The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Fast Corporation on board with Hiawatha restoration


Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

MIKE WIEDL, Fast Corporation, inspects the Hiawatha statue in Ironwood Wednesday from a donated Ironwood fire department truck lift. Pete Sturgul and John Rudderg are leading the fund raising efforts to repair and restore the statue. So far the duo has gathered $14,000 of the expected $20,000 costs for repairs.


Ironwood - "It's worth saving," said Mike Wiedl, from Fast Corporation, in response to Pete Sturgul's question on the state of the Hiawatha statue. For Sturgul, who is raising funds to restore the statue with John Rudderg, those words must have been a shock and a relief.

Wiedl said their company is one of the few left doing this kind of unique work, with their primary competition coming from China in prefabricated molds. The Fast Corporation made the red Stormy Kromer hat and the giant skier on US 2. Wiedl said he should have the quote back in three weeks.

Sturgul and Rudderg have raised $14,000 of the expected $20,000 cost to replenish the statue so far and are hoping to secure the rest of the funds this spring and summer. Their plan is for the remodel to occur this summer, possibly as late as the fall - equipment and schedule depending.

The Hiawatha statue is owned by the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce, which is why Mike Meyers was on sight for the inspection, but it is on land owned by the city of Ironwood. The city allowed Wiedl to use the lift on one of the firetrucks, driven by Matt Sterbenz, for the inspection, in a display of solidarity.

Meyers and Sturgul said they hoped for similar time with local equipment when it came time for the repairs to save money.


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