The Dixon Memorial Arch turns 100 this June, and as the arch historian, I have researched the ups and downs of the several arches that have spanned Galena Avenue. That Dixon still has an arch is a miracle. This is the only arch in the nation I know of that dates back to 1919.
At various times, a previous arch became so dilapidated that there were thoughts of tearing it down without building a replacement – but somehow the city and the citizens came through in 1949, 1965, and 1985, in keeping an arch spanning Galena Avenue. The arch is an iconic thing. Dixon is known and remembered for its arch.
I recently gave a talk at Founder’s Day on the history of the arch, and was also interviewed by television station 13. In watching the televised story, I was struck by one thing – as were others – that the arch needs a good cleaning!
I drove into town and examined the arch. It is grimy, especially on the north side, and needs a power washing. The north pier has rust streaks around the door. Conditions like this do not leave a good impression on people passing under the arch. These problems need to be taken care of. Past problems with the arch could be traced back to a lack of maintenance, problems, if neglected, lead to bigger problems later.
The arch is Dixon city property – how about giving it the care it needs?
I am the surviving member of the Arch Committee formed in 1979, and want to keep the 1985 arch in condition to last for the 50 to 100 years the builder said it would last.