El Capitan Is Back!

KSCB News - December 13, 2010 12:00 am

It took a few weeks, but the repairs to El Capitan are finally complete and Dodge City has its landmark statue back again in the heart of town.

??We came to town and saw El Capitan was gone and it was like the town had disappeared almost, ? said Charlie Meade, tour guide.

After a car accident damaged the beloved El Capitan statue, it was taken away and residents of Dodge City felt like a piece of their town was missing.

“They were all wondering about when he was coming back and is he going in the same spot he’s been there for 40 years, so he’s just been such a part of the community, ? said Jane Longmeyer, Public Information director.

But El Capitan is back and better than ever after being fixed at a foundry in Lawrence.

The longhorn landmark was a reminder of just how important cattle were to Dodge City back in the late 1800 ??s when buffalo herds were depleted. Dodge City needed a new source of income and that came in the form of cattle trading.

“It’s a great, great history — in an 11-year period of time there was somewhere between six and seven million head of longhorns came up the trail to Dodge City, ? Meade said.

But El Capitan isn ??t just a reminder of the past; he ??s also a huge draw for visitors touring the city.

??He is one of the fundamental tourist spots of this community, ? Longmeyer said. ??He was very popular among all the tourists around the world who would come to Dodge City. ?

City workers placed the statue on the same spot where he had been for 40 years and El Capitan once again looks out on Dodge City like nothing had ever happened.

The cost of the repairs made to El Capitan was picked up by the insurance company of the man who crashed into it back in October.

 

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