Community Members Offer to Help With Some of the Costs of Removing McKinley Statue and Jacoby Storehouse Plaque

Plaza V, Installation of McKinley statue 1906

Installation of McKinley Statue 1906. 

Press release from the Arcata City Council:

On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, Arcata City Council voted in favor of removing 1 and replacing a second historic monument from Arcata’s Plaza.

The monuments include a bronze plaque created in 1963 denoting the Jacoby Storehouse building’s status as a California Registered Historic Landmark and the statue of former President William McKinley that has been located at the center of Arcata’s Plaza since it was donated by Arcata resident George Zehndner in 1906.

The McKinley statue has been the center of much debate spanning several decades. Recent requests for the removal of the statue and rewording the plaque resulted in a special study session held on December 4, 2017 attended by approximately 75 people.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Arcata City Councilmembers heard 3 hours of public comments on the subject before voting unanimously to replace the plaque and voting 4 to 1 in support of removing the McKinley statue, with Councilmember Winkler dissenting.

The estimated cost to the City of replacing the plaque is $4,000. Bill Chino, owner of the Jacoby Storehouse building, has offered to help offset some of the expense. To replace the plaque, the City’s Historic Landmarks Committee will reach out to the local Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and Storehouse owners to develop revised language. The final language will be sent to the State Office of Historic Preservation for approval.

The City will begin the lengthy process necessary to remove the President McKinley Statue immediately. The statue is identified as a historic feature of the Plaza in the City’s guiding document called the General Plan. This designation requires the City to complete an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prior to removal. An EIR is a very standard planning procedure that provides analysis of the project and time periods for public review and comment. It is initiated by a public scoping meeting, which will be held in March. Standard timelines for a General Plan amendment and EIR are estimated at 8-months, which includes periods of public review.

The cost estimate to remove the McKinley statue is $40,000 – $65,000. At least one community member has come forward with a commitment to raise the funds and the City is reaching out to coordinate efforts.

Additional details will be announced as they become available.

Statement from Mayor Sofia Pereira:

“As a Council, we took on a difficult issue that has endured for decades in Arcata. Thank you to all the community members who took part in the Council’s decision-making process by voicing their opinions during our December study session, making phone calls, writing letters, signing petitions and engaging the Council at Wednesday’s meeting. I encourage all community members to continue to engage the Council and attend our monthly meetings on issues they feel strongly about. Since Arcata is on Wiyot land, I also want to extend gratitude to the Wiyot Tribe for offering their input on this important community matter.

The decision to remove these monuments was not made lightly, and the Council recognizes that this is still a passionate issue for many in our community. I stand by our vote as I believe that these monuments do not reflect our values as a community nor the values to which we aspire. We cannot deny or change the history behind these monuments, but we can change the prominence they hold in our community.”



  • Because hiding the past changes it right ? that money and time could have went to teaching where we are verses where we were. so tired of all of this. 10 years from now it will be another band wagon kick. Truely wonder how many people truely know much about him.

  • > The cost estimate to remove the McKinley statue is $40,000 – $65,000.

    LOL. Post it in the free section of Craigslist. I guarantee you a tweaker will have it gone in less than a day. You’ll have to fix the tire tracks in the lawn, though.

    • Local Skeptic Thru Observation

      OK, first off – Holy CRAP, that is super f’n funny.

      But beyond that,

      Anyone know who to contact about bidding on the contract to remove the statue?

      I want that contract.

      I can do the job, and I can collect the $1.30/lb scrap value ON TOP OF THE CONTRACT VALUE. How many lbs do you think that statue weighs?

      Let’s see who actually GETS this contract. Anyone want to bet the contractor will be connected to someone working for the city?

    • No kidding. What a scam. Which politician is related to the winning bidder.

  • I hope the Nazis don’t show up to protest.

    • Get your tiki torches ready.

    • Hang whitey. We should make the new statue have breasts n balls. Please everyone eh…?tjis is the exact problem with America right now. Everyone is too politically correct! Our children know only screens,being gay is the new “cool” and what ever you do don’t judge someone. Go outside for once. Work hard for once. Cherish marriage. Get in a fist fight once in your life. Stand up straight. Like I tell my boy. If your a straight white male in society today…..your hated. Get used to it

      • Note: Before anyone jumps on the first sentence, LabeledaNazi is not actually advocating hanging white people. He is making a point about the political climate that you can agree or disagree with.

        • No kym. Not advocating violence….by labeling,ridiculing,and throwing hate at people because of past actions,creed,race,etc is exactly what the people who are advocating the opposite are doing. What I see by being forced to remove a statue of significante history to the area is….wait for it…..hate and prejudice! A statue of a Native American Cheif of the area would be cool though…

      • Indeed strange times we live in.

    • We do not have any nazis. Most are dead now, the remainder are extremely old.

  • I think it’s time for some new city council members. That money should be spent on things that actually matter. Our roads are shit! And not a damn thing is being done. Oh wait, besides the two speed humps added to Holly st in Cutten. I would love to know who thought we needed those put in instead of pot holes being fixed on another street. Priorities need to be reevaluated, and quick.

    • So, will McKinleyvlle be renamed…or will the statue be moved to one of the Trailer parks there? Or maybe across the road from the Totem Pole? Where’s it going? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Local Skeptic Thru Observation

        I propose they pull the Rio Dell card, announce their town is now suddenly “industry-friendly” and rename the town “McKindleyville”

    • potholes are equivalent to speed bumps (speed humps)

  • Isis would be proud, but hey for a mere $39995 I’ll drag it right out of there, seriously tho who comes up with the cost? Put a frigging bag on its head and fix the damn roads!

  • he should be placed in a place neutrally friendly ,cow field maybe ,he is apart of history good or horrible ,ruthless ,murderer butcher but still we learn from the past.

    under his statue a depiction of the Indian island massacre would be appropriate . babies and all.and the description from San Francisco newspaper as he saw from the next morning on the island .dont forget after murdering woman and babys they stole all their blankets.

    • Is that all that he did, is it what he stood for ? In Germany to this day you find nazi past, they dont remove it, bot because the want to celebrabrate that past, it is because they dont want to forget it so that it isnt repeated.
      Today we have folks wanting to remove the reminders instead of adding milestones, it is sad, it is short sided and it is based upon some twisted sense of victimhood. Because of our pasts the challenges they bring makes our accoplishments that much greater. the past isnt an excuse for failure unless that is all you want to be remembered for.

      • They don’t put their Nazi past on a pedestal though. I don’t remember anything ‘honoring’ the regime. Quite the contrary.

    • He wasn’t prez at the time of the massacre. But he was killed by an anarchist which fits more in line with how Arcatans would like to see themselves, so maybe they want to rethink the vote.

  • How many shit stirrers are long term residents? Money could definitely be spent better elsewhere than rewriting history.

  • A tribe with a casino should buy the statue for cost of removal then melt him down and make commerative chips.

    They’d end up making money.

  • I’ll take it down for 25,000. The other 40,000 can go to the roads. Seriously! Alderpoint Road is about to slide down the hillside. Eureka and Arcata roads are fucked too!

    • I think the money to be spent would come from then City of Arcata’s budget. Can’t fix The AP road with that….. unfortunately. Besides, sounds like local citizens and/or businesses will shoulder the removal cost.

  • Do any of these Arcata boneheads have a clue what they are doing or why? I don’t think so.

    • Gov't is about players not audience watchers.............

      If the taking down McKinley went to a vote the statue would not be removed. Arcata still has a large conservative population. The attendees were a small segment of Arcatians. The news only reported that. Yet the system of Gov’t we live under is what we agreed to under the Constitution and is what the supporters used to make those decisions. Recall the Constitution says Gov’t BY the People, For the People. And voting in leaders that then have the authority to decide for the greater good of the community becomes the rule. I don’t live in Arcata so I don’t have an iron in the fire, but I know why the system in many cases does not work to the majority beliefs. Voting is extremely important. But many ONLY vote and do not take the added step of taking active participation in Gov’t and who is voted into office. Or like the supporters of McKinley’s demise used the system to pressure elected officials to decide. Our, “it’s all about me” generation has become lazy and disconnected from their citizen responsibilities of working for or against issues. We have still complained about our unhappiness with decisions followed by attitudes of, “there’s nothing I can do about it”. The Arcata Council demonstrated there IS something we CAN do about it. Right or wrong it is how we roll.

  • I live in Arcata. Not many of the protesters are long-term residents. Easy for them to spend our money like this. An explanatory plaque would’ve cost much less and be an interesting lesson in historical perspectives. Instead the council caved to a mob and would erase uncomfortable history. It’s shameful what Arcata has become. Not progressive but regressive.

    • I love it. “Our money.” Can’t live in America any more without being accused of being “from away.” Anywhere. Pretty weak.

      • Yes. I live in Arcata and pay local taxes. That is the money that will be used to pay for this debacle. Do you not understand how local taxes work? We are seeing a historic financial drain from both weed money and HSU but now it’s a good idea to blow $40-70 grand on a feel-good moment? It should have been put to a vote. I agree with Winkler. Now- what is “weak” about my comment?

    • I agree, Scarlet, changing the plaque and giving more of a full story of what McKinley represented to different people (the good, the bad and the ugly) would’ve been honest, educational and a whole lot less expensive.

  • Need to put up a wildlife fence around Arcata, reintroduce Grizzly bear and Big endangered Canadian grey Wolves inside the fence. Then make it a gun free zone and legalize pot and prescription opioids. Unbelievable!!!

  • Maybe they should gather up all of the books from the library, and pile them at the base of the statue and burn them, 2 problems solved.

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    Replacing it with a statue of Bernie Goetz or Mark David Chapman might set the mood in the community after the last dope grower leaves with things returning to normal.

  • And soon the books will burn . Shame on you all ! The past has been erased so many times ! Why would you want to be part of that ? To control thought . Wrongthink is now a thing . Sad sad sad

  • The past is hardly being erased. The past is being remembered. There is nothing about that statue that tells us what McKinley did to the Philippines or even that he was shot by an anarchist. That we find in books, not statues. However, by removing the statue we are educating about and remembering the past and how there are somethings we do not honor in bronze. The city of Arcata deserves something attractive in its town square as opposed to a wretched colonialist. It is the town’s “center.” It’s the equivalent of wearing a confederate flag on your shirt. You’re allowed to do it, God bless you, but we don’t have to make you the symbol of Arcata.

    PS I’d love to know how many of the pro-McKinley statue folks are still in support of the invasion of the Philippines by McKinley. Perhaps they are failing to mention that darker skin people don’t deserve historical respect. I don’t expect anyone to admit it, but the Grin Reaper knows. For that matter, how many of you even know the history. Read “War is a Racket” by Marine General Smedley Butler, who fought in the Philippines back then as well as leading charges into Central American countries on behalf of United Fruit, etc. Or perhaps a Marine General who was there is still not enough for you to understand the horrors perpetrated by McKinley.

    • Too funny dude, lighten up, just a statue,I’ve lived here 50 yrs and never noticed it lol, remove it or leave, most don’t care, later.

    • Well said, Grin Reaper.

      • Balderdash. In 10 years only old geezers will remember there was a statue. There will be no education and there never was. Just a lot of holier-than-thou weaponized slogans that makes the user feel that if they had lived in that time they would magically have seen everything with 21st century eyes. They would have been so superior. Yeah, right.

        Such blithering is embarassing. “You” never honored anyone with a statue- only stood in smug judgement of those who did.

  • The citizens of Arcata should try to bring real change and protest the inefficiency and wastefulness of the government that they take 1 day of work and turn it into a year and 50k. You’re upset about what your government did in the past? You should be upset about the misuse of our tax dollars. But I guess holding signs demanding sensceful spending and responsibly don’t really up your street cred in the drum circle.

  • Taking down a statue is a weak attempt to ease the guilt they feel. If Arcata wants to make amends they should give the tribes the community forest back…Eureka did the right thing with the island. Step up Arcata do the right thing with the forest! You say your all about education use the McKinley statue as a teaching tool. Put up a plauqe explaining what Manifest Destiny was all about. The good and the bad…

    • and who did the tribes take the la d from ? lets not forget that this land we live on was inhabbited long before modern history, the artifacts that are known about arent as old as the true history of the land. So much has been forgotten or lost and even more never researched because the truth will not fit within the story we are supposed to follow.
      How many tribes for each other over land ? war parties against each other for not just land. It isnt like war wasnt happening before westerners came here it is just that westerners were more effective at it.

    • fool on the hill, it appears now that my comment or reply ended up under the wrong comment . i fully agree with your thoughts on using it as a teaching tool to explain the past why how people thought and the effects it had good or bad. and maybe some questions to make folks think about how differant things might be if actions werent taken and what other problems we might be facing today.

  • Well if he has to go I think he should be taken to Ft.Humboldt. Or are they going to do away with that also?

  • With that cost to the city – all the “protesters” in favor of removing Mckinley need to put their money where their mouth is and pay for it. Arcata doesn’t have it. Us full time residences sure don’t want to pay for it

  • Or maybe,,,uh? McKinleyville?

  • If we have to move it, put it on one of the corners of the plaza where his outstretched hand can welcome people to the town square. Having a gazebo in the center would be cool for bands, acting or even political events.
    I have nothing against McKinley and frankly think it is insulting to history to remove statues and it certainly doesn’t warrant sticking it into some storage facility forever. If I agree with any of this it seems like the statue is clogging up the center of our town square.
    The question of who pays for all this really should be answered by putting it to a vote. I definitely agree with Mr. Winkler and many others on that

    • Maybe just put in a flat pad that will have a dual purpose, the peace, loving ,one with the earth can meditate and do yoga on the giant pad in the mornings and after dark it will serve as a helicopter pad to life flight out the drunk bar going fighters that need immediate attention

      • Cut it up in situ and sell for scrap. Once the decision has been made that one can change history by popular vote, it doesn’t matter what happens to the trappings of history.

        Now I suggest that Martin Luther King’s name be taken off the holiday because he plagiarized his doctoral paper and cheated on his wife. No? That is irrelevant considering what he accomplished? Wow. What a thought. That an historical figure is not required to be perfect by current standards.

        Of course, that might be reconsidered a hundred years from now. McKinley is a fairly weak reed to carry the weight of that idea but he did represent what one man thought at the time of a much more complex situation than is knowledged now. It is ridiculous to try to shame the dead. An exercise of self indulgence over understanding.

          • Pardon me for inquiring; I am a very poor student of history and I don’t remember some things.
            Once they burn the books, remove the statues and historical paintings, and take our guns, what comes next? I’ve been told that we will be taken care of….. Why am I not reassured? I hope they take better care of us than they took care of the students in Florida.

            I am not a radical of any kind, but I am a nervous skeptic. I like people and honor their opinions, even when some of them scare the hell out of me.

            They are also trying to remove the statue of Andrew Jackson from Jackson Square in New Orleans. Do you think maybe the Arcata-ians got their ideas from the Acadian people of Louisiana? Andrew Jackson also had a horrible (Horrific?) history of human rights. He was a deplorable and despicable human being by current standards…. but a man of his time in history. He won the battle of New Orleans during War of 1812 stopping the British from taking back the Louisiana Purchase, which they claimed the French didn’t have the right to sell to the United States.

            Had the British taken the Louisiana Purchase back the rest of the United States would have also fallen. We would all be speaking English now…. (humor icon here)

            It is my opinion that our history, the good bad and the ugly, should remain entirely intact and the historic books, statues, and art should stay, and maybe add some addendum plaques with some historical content. What a grand opportunity teach our history to our children and the otherwise naive. Is that to much to ask, that you learn about history?

            To ignore our history is the very definition of ignorance.

            Also, if you are a white person with European ancestry, Atila The Hun was your direct ancestor…. How are are you going to deal with that?

            • Ernie, I am not a fan of removing history either. I think a plaque explaining McKinley’s acts would do far more to raise awareness than removing McKinley. Or, an equal art installation elsewhere on the square that expressed something of what McKinley’s tragic policies led to would also be educational and possibly beautiful as well.

  • I was born and raised in Arcata I’ve been here almost 70 years. I am so glad to see that damn statue coming down. It’s about time! It has been an embarrassment to many of us locals our entire lives.
    Now, let’s get this hocus POTUS out of office. We are so sick of white trash with money .

  • HEY! Maybe they should replace the way the statue is currently displayed with a configuration more like the photo atop this article, where it looks like McKinley is being hung: 2 BIG timbers as an apex, and a rope, instead of a cable, around his neck? …..Or not. Just sayin’. The pic kinds looks that way, no?

  • Eldon G. Whitehead

    Maybe we need to do away with America. That seems to be a lot of the garbage being spewed here. During all of the Wars that America has fought in, how many hundreds of thousands of Men, Women and Children have we killed by our Bombers carpeting whole Cities and Countryside with lethal and powerful Bombs, that killed, maimed, burned and destroyed Generations after Generations, along with destroying homes, business’s and other facilities. I, for one, could care less about any and all Statues. As has been previously stated, our infrastructure like roads, buildings, etc., is falling apart. Use the money to repair those and help save the expense of having to repair your vehicles after “they” start to fall apart from bouncing from one pot hole to another. Enough said.

  • Replace it with a statue of Judi Bari. $40G,s to take the statue?? Stall tactic…

  • In order to create their totalitarian future the left must eradicate the past. Anglo-Saxon achievements must be wiped off the history books. The revisionist alternate history profs at HSU do this every day, producing students who also hate America yet suck the life out of it (yes, I have read their papers). High school kids are taught “alternate lifestyles.” Even little ones are told they can “choose their gender.” The lamestream media -and giant companies like Dizzee, Amazon, etc. – fully supports this with their fake news/leftist entertainment agenda.

    Removing statues all over the country is just a first step. The guns will be taken away. Soon, people will be “removed.” If you don’t agree with the Marxist/fascist state, you will disappear.

    Let me paraphrase:

    “First they came for the statues, and most people did not say a thing …”

  • Just another step to make history & our leaders of the past fully comply with the liberal cult followers forcing their twisted logic on everyone. Maybe Lenins statue would be more appropriate.

    Just another great reason for me to avoid Arcata & spend my money elsewhere!

    Give Arcata & all of California back to the first real Americans who deserve to get all of their property back!

  • Set up a “Go Fund Me” campaign and I bet plenty of people, and not just people from Arcata, will chip in to melt this statue down…

  • Elric of Melniboné

    I suspect we missed another teachable moment here. A plaque listing all the reprehensible things McKinley was responsible for would have been cheaper and instructive.

  • Where’s the like button hidden? I’d like to like Stormy’s comment a gazillion times, well said!

  • That price is ridiculous, especially since people are considering melting it down. A cutting torch and a tow truck could have it down in one day for less than $2500….

  • At no cost should we erase our own history or else it might just repeat itself.

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