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Monument near Longview restored after plaque theft

New plaques have been installed at the Little Chicago-Royalties monument near Longview after the original brass plaques were stolen last summer.

Plaques that commemorate a piece of High Country history have been replaced after thieves made off with the originals last summer. 

Three plaques, made of brass, were stolen from the Little Chicago-Royalties monument in July 2022, causing extensive damage to the stone monument located north of Longview on Highway 22 in Foothills County.

The replacement plaques were installed on Aug. 24, said Irene Kerr, director of the Museum of the Highwood. 

“They're identical to the old ones, except they're not on brass or bronze or anything like that,” Kerr said. 

The new plaques are made of coated aluminum and are less expensive to make than the originals. 

“They're nowhere near what a bronze plaque would cost,” she said, adding the new plaques should last for about five years. 

“I actually got two sets in case they start falling apart or they start fading.” 

A donation from people with a connection to the area helped fund the replacements. 

“A couple of people just walked in that had lived in Little Chicago, or their parents did, and they just wanted to help out,” Kerr said. 

“They gave us a little bit of money, and that pretty well covered the actual cost of getting the signs printed.” 

In 2008, at the request of the Little Chicago Revisited Committee, Museum of the Highwood staff and volunteers became caretakers of the site. 

“I really like to think that we kept our promise, and we looked after it,” Kerr said. 

The town of Little Chicago-Royalties dates to the mid-1930s, but little remains of it today. 

“If you go there, you would never know that it was ever such a thriving place,” she said. “The history in that area is just incredible.” 

When the theft was discovered, Turner Valley RCMP opened an investigation but recently said no leads were generated and no suspects were identified.

Robert Korotyszyn

About the Author: Robert Korotyszyn

Robert Korotyszyn covers Okotoks and Foothills County news for and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact [email protected]
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