The Trail of Governors is a non-profit group working to celebrate leaders who have shaped South Dakota into the state it is today. The Trail of Governors will be creating and erecting life-sized statues of all past South Dakota governors and forming a “trail” of the statues from the State Capitol grounds to downtown Pierre near the Missouri River.
Photo credit to Trail of Governor’s Foundation
The intention of the trail’s design is to allow people to walk along the trail and learn more about not only South Dakota’s former governors, but also to learn more about the state’s history.
Recently, the Trail of Governors Foundation placed the first two statues of the project in their permanent places. Walter Dale Miller’s statue stands near Burke Real Estate and Harlan Bushfield’s statue is on Historic Pierre Street. Arthur Mellette will be placed at the Hughes County Courthouse in late July.
The next series of Governors have been announced for next year. They include Governor Frank Farrar, Harvey Wollman, and Bill Janklow. Both Farrar and Wollman are still living, which the Trail of Governors chairman notes, “makes the project even more special.”
Artists from across the state have been commissioned to create the life-sized statues. Artists include John Lopez, Lemmon; James Michael Maher, Belle Fourche; and Lee Leuing and Sherri Treeby, Aberdeen. Each statue costs around $68,000 and the money is raised through private sources – each statue is allowed to have four sponsors.