This image of the early settlers monument, on the north end of Pelican Rapids, likely dates to the late 1940s. The monument was completed in 1946, and the structure was renovated by the city in 2008.
Also pictured, the introductory plaque at the monument. The earliest settlers of the Pelican area, including eight surrounding townships, are noted on the monument--along with historic dates such as first U.S. Post Offices and railroad arrival to the area.

The concept of a “roundabout” at the “Y” junction of County Road 9 and Highway 59 was a different twist in the “complete streets” planning sessions in 2019.


One of the graphics at a town meeting showed a “roundabout” installation for routing traffic at the somewhat awkward “Y” configuration.


Roundabouts have become more common on highways in recent years. Most notably are the two installations on Highway 59 south of Detroit Lakes, including the Shoreham area.


The prospect of a roundabout brought into question the “historic settlers monument” at the “Y.”


Whether or not a roundabout is ever installed, there is some question about the location of the monument–which is inconvenient to view because of the volume of traffic on US 59 and County 9.


The monument was completed in 1946, in conjunction with eight Pelican area townships. Plaques on the monument note the earliest settlers in the area–from Scambler to the city to Norwegian Grove. The earliest settlers date to 1868, only three years after the Civil War ended.


Wayne Runningen, who was mayor in 2008 when the stonework installation was repaired and renovated, stressed the importance of the monument.


MnDOT actually owns the site, but the maintenance has been the responsibility of the city.


The 2008 renovation of the monument cost upwards of $6,000. The cost to completely relocate the monument could be even more expensive.