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Sunday, August 24, 2014QUESTION:
What happened to the large concrete Indian that used to be on top of Houck Stadium?
A 22-foot fiberglass statue of an Indian chief that formerly stood on the top of Houck Stadium is now located at Chaonia Landing Resort and Marina on the northwest corner of Lake Wappapello, Mo.
Prior to the statue's arrival at the resort, the giant figure greeted those who attended sporting events at Houck Stadium and Houck Field House at a time when Southeast's athletic teams were known as "the Indians."
For many students and alumni at Southeast, the mascot for the athletic teams had long been known as Chief Sagamore, an Algonquin name for leader or chieftain, and the yearbook at Southeast was also named ”The Sagamore.” Thus, it was natural for fans of Southeast Athletics to refer to the figure towering over Houck Field as “Chief Sagamore.”
The statue was relocated to Houck Stadium from The War Drum Restaurant in Sikeston, Mo., a site which was, briefly, the location of the second Lambert’s Restaurant. The national movement to eliminate the use of Indian symbols as mascots led to the University's removal of the giant figure. It was placed in storage on the north side of the Southeast campus. There, a nephew of Nancy and David Bowman of Lake Wappapello saw the Indian and took a series of photographs to show his aunt and uncle, the owners of Chaonia Landing Resort and Marina.
The Bowmans came to the campus, purchased the chieftain and transported him to their resort. When the statue's damaged arm was repaired and a fresh coat of pain applied, Allison Construction Company hoisted the chief to the top of the lookout above the resort, and today Chief Wappalese stands tall and proud, high above the deep waters of Lake Wappapello. There, Chief Sagamore greets sports fans and passersby from his perch above the lake."