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History of Construction - Back to History

The following information was taken from the construction video of the conversation between John Rasmussen and Kenneth Johnson, the foreman of Kyburz-Carlson Construction of Aberdeen:


1. Cement pillars are 18 feet into the ground with approximately four feet above the ground. The width of each pillar is 36 inches with anchoring straps placed two feet into the cement. The footings each took one five-yard load of cement.

2. The poles are Douglas fir that were shipped here from Idaho by truck. Each pole is approximately 75 feet long and weights 5,000 pounds. They are 70 to 80 years old.
The poles were notched to fit the angle straps. Twenty-four inch bolts each one-inch in diameter were used. There are six bolts in each pole. A 19-inch bit was used to drill half way through each pole, then they drilled from the opposite direction. It took one and a half hours to set each pole on a calm day, Poles were tied at about 60 feet to be pulled into place by the crane. Poles were left flat on the bottom and then were grouted to fill in crack at base. Each pole has guide wires for stability. Each pole has 80 feet of guide wire per pole. The center pole has four guide wires and the outer poles have two.

3. Scaffolding was set up 40 feet. After first platform was constructed they could scaffold up from there. A lot of heavy treated wood was used. There is a total of 6,500 pounds of bolts and steel in the structure and there are NO NAILS. There are 96 steps to the top. The tower is 80 feet high at the peak. Each floor is 20 feet above the other.

4. A similar tower is located in Galena, Illinois, overlooking an unglaciated valley called the "driftless area.''

5. The tower and interpretive center were built at the same time. Construction dates were May 1991 to June 1992 with the dedication taking place in October bf 199I.


1. Local native Clarence Herges of Aberdeen was the architect who donated the plans.
Construction was by Kyburz-Calrson Construction of Aberdeen, SD.

2. Footings were dug by backhoe June 1991 and the forms set.

3. There is 2,400 square feet of space in the building. It took one week to build the exterior walls, which are a rough finish block. This type of design took three times longer than a square building.

4. The laminated beams are set on the back wall and rest on on columns at the front of the building. The roof is made of heavy plywood, a heavy rubber skin and washed oversize rock.

5. Cost of the project was over $335,000. There were no federal, state or county funds used for this project. This was all accomplished with donations by seven interested persons, all over 70 years of age.

6. The building may be reserved for appropriate meetings for a fee. Please contact the board of Directors for the Heritage Museum, PO Box 215, Sisseton, SD 57262