Pocatello officials hope Shoshone leader's statue draws tourists 6-17-07

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - A sculptor plans to start work next month on a 16-foot tall statue of Chief Pocatello that will be placed prominently in this eastern Idaho town and that officials predict will lure tourists.

“It's a shame Pocatello has no artistic attractions to pull people off the interstate,” sculptor JD Adcox told the Idaho State Journal. “And it's a shame we're not recognizing our heritage.”

Plans are to place the statue of the Shohone leader on South Fourth Avenue so that travelers can learn more about the historic chief.

Rebecca Satter, executive director of the Pocatello Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the statue will also lead visitors to some of Pocatello's other attractions.

“Most people know (Pocatello) was a Shoshone chief, but they don't know his legacy,” Satter said.

She said Chief Pocatello survived the June 29, 1863, Bear River Massacre, in which U.S. troops attacked a village along the banks of the river near Preston, killing some 275 Shoshone men, women and children.

A month later, Pocatello took part in the Box Elder Treaty to secure lands for his tribe. He died in 1884.

Not all the money to create the $40,000 statue has been obtained, but officials said there is enough to begin.

Adcox said the stone he intends to use, Idaho travertine, should arrive at the end of July and he will then begin working on the statue. He said it could be complete within a year.

Once in place, Satter said the statue could attract tourists who are on their way to Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyo.

She said the statue will be near the Visitor Center, which will provide tourists with information on other attractions, including the Ross Park Aquatic Center, the Pocatello Zoo, the Bannock County Historical Museum and a replica of Fort Hall.

“We need to embrace tourism,” said Satter.