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John Adams vanishes, moved to secret location

It’s a sculpture. It couldn’t have just gotten up and walkedaway on its own.

So, where is John Adams?

The slightly pudgy, meticulously dressed, bronze sculpture ofthe country’s second president was last seen on the northeastcorner of Main Street and Sixth Street, but with the start ofconstruction on the Main Street Square project, Adams has beenmoved to an undisclosed location.

“It’s going to remain a mystery,” said Neal Schlottman of SecoConstruction. “Only a few of us know exactly where he is hiding,and it’s going to stay that way until he’s out on display or backon his corner.”

For Adams’ safety, Schlottman said the removal of Adams wasnecessary.

“Where John sat is actually part of the construction site andwill be redone along with the rest of Main Street Square,”Schlottman said. “He’s now in another safe place and has been verycooperative. He hasn’t complained once or even made a sound.”

Adams was served one term as president from 1797 to 1801. Healso was the first vice president of the country, serving underGeorge Washington from 1789 to 1797.

When construction of the Square began, Dalleri Davis, co-founderand vice president of the City of Presidents Foundation Davis, saidworkers of Seco Construction built a friendly relationship withAdams and nicknamed him the “foreman” of the project. However,after a few weeks of relentless supervising, it was decided thatAdams be moved until construction is complete.

“John Adams was a very fussy man in nature and the constructionworkers were fed up with his critical stare and nosiness day afterday,” Davis said.

In mid-to-late December, a few workers from Seco Constructiontackled the job of removing Adams. Schlottman said this wasn’t theeasiest of tasks.

“The few guys that moved him had to be very careful and use aBobcat and forklift in order to move him,” Schlottman said. “Butnow he’s sitting in a safe, comfortable place away from theconstruction.”

Davis said now that Adams is gone, George H.W. Bush who sits onthe southeast corner of Main and Sixth streets will be the onesupervising the construction.

“George and John became good friends ever since they’ve bothbeen watching that corner since they were installed,” Davis said.“I’m sure George will now take on the role of keeping tabs onconstruction.”

Rita Finn, who visited the Black Hills for the first time fromPort St. Lucie, Fla., said Adams’ absence did not go unnoticed.

“We had a map and were trying to find all the presidents and wenoticed he was gone,” Finn said. “It would have been nice to seeit.”

John Lopez, the artist who created the 300-pound sculpture ofAdams, said the sooner Adams can get back out in the open, thebetter.

“He wouldn’t like to be put away some place where he couldn’t beheard,” Lopez said. “He wants to be out where he can fight for hisideas and not be hidden away somewhere.”

Adams will not be cooped up for long and agreements are beingworked on to move him to another location where he can be ondisplay for the summer and pose with tourists, Davis said. If nosuch arrangements are finalized, than come September when theconstruction of Main Street Square is complete, Adams will berepositioned to his former post.

“We’re looking for a place to house him,” Davis said. “However,until then he will remain in exile.”

Contact Hannah Baker at 394-8419 or .

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