A crowd of well-wishers gathered to watch the new "Welcome to Bowling Green" sign go up at the entrance to the city on State Road 46, Tuesday. This is, possibly, the sixth time the sign has been redone.
The Old Settlers committee has searched and found pictures and documentation of five other sign changes.
"If anyone has pictures of the signs, or was present when they were redone before, we'd love to hear from you," Denise Bridgewater, trustee and treasurer, said.
The original sign was installed in 1933. The current sign is very similar to the original.
The new sign is 16 feet by 32 feet, and was painted by Ron Glasscock of Clay City. Glasscock worked for several months on this sign at his business, Signs of the Times, and the sign also spent some time spread out on the floor of the Clay City Windows of Hope.
"I painted it in four sections at a time," Glasscock said. "I used an oil-based sign paint, and added special touches to give it dimension. It's painted in a style meant to be viewed from a distance."
This project began in April 2006, and is still not finished. Trustees of the Old Settlers committee estimate the total cost of this project to be approximately $10,000. At this time, they've raised approximately $5,775. There are still several expenses, and jobs to be done.
Trustees would like a flag and flagpole. They need lights and landscaping.
The light bill, insurance and upkeep costs must also be factored in.
"We've been very lucky with the help we've received so far," Bridgewater said.
Trustee Richard Lightfoot agreed.
"L.T. Clark has been a godsend. He's really got a lot of donations for us," Lightfoot said.
"With his help, and people like Ken Rector and D.J. Smith, we've been able to get more than halfway to our goal."
Ken Rector and D.J. Smith are the muscle behind the project. Residents at the sign raising were all in agreement of their limitless support.
"I'm just so excited," Bridgewater said. "I want everyone who had anything to do with this to know how thankful Bowling Green is. I can't wait until Old Settler's Days to see what people think."
Old Settler's Days are from Aug. 23-25 this year.
If anyone would like to donate to the Old Settlers Committee fund, they can send donations to; Bowling Green Old Settlers, P.O. Box 64, Bowling Green, Ind. 47833. Or contact Denise Bridgewater at 812-835-5932.
Bowling Green's new "Welcome" sign says,
History of Clay County
Bowling Green is the oldest town in Clay County, IN established about 1818 as the first trading post between Spencer and Terre Haute.
David Thomas, the first white man to enter Clay County in 1812, purchased the bottom land with corn from the Eel River tribe of the Potawatomi Indians whose village sat on the knoll 300 feet from the bridge on the right entering town. He blazed the first wagon trail from here to Terre Haute in 1817 and built the first ferry across Eel River which operated for 35 years before the first bridge was built. In 1820 the first white child of Clay County was born here and the first school was established. Bowling Green became a thriving town of 551 people with churches, doctors, businesses, schools and a seminary. It was the first county seat from 1826-1877.
Some of the names of the first pioneers were: Rizley, Cummings, Walker, Chambers, Boone, White, Cromwell, Rawley, Briley, Mayfield, Cooprider, Luther, Hudson, Peyton, Moss, Stewart and Chance.
This tablet is dedicated to the Pioneers who carved Clay County history.