La Crosse Mayor requesting removal of Hiawatha Statue from Riverside Park

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Mayor Tim Kabat is requesting the removal of the Hiawatha Statue from Riverside Park.

Mayor Kabat sent a letter to the La Crosse Board of Park Commissioners requesting the removal of the statue. Hiawatha letter to Park Board

The letter states in part “…for the past two-plus years, the City has been working with members of the Anthony Zimmerhakl family. The family contacted us to request the return of the statue and to relocate it out of the City. It is time to give this statue back to the family as requested.”

The Mayor’s Office, along with the City Clerk and Legal Department, worked on the legislative history of the statue and the authority for who manages it. The City’s Board of Park Commissioners has the authority to manage the parks in a manner in which its discretion indicates. This discretion includes the removal of the statue from Riverside Park.

Mayor Kabat said, “I understand there will be upset residents, but deep down each of us must know that it is time to retire the Hiawatha and return it to the Zimmerhakl family per their request. Let’s come together in solidarity to move all of La Crosse forward in a positive way.”