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Courthouse lawn again rock solid

Courthouse lawn again rock solid

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CROWN POINT - It was a rededication, not just of a set of stone tablets that

had been restored to the Old Courthouse Square after a 20-year absence, but to

the 100 or so people who attended, it also was a rededication of the faith of a


The ceremony that took place Tuesday morning at the northeast corner of the

square marked the cooperative effort of the Crown Point community to aid in the

restoration of the engraving of two stone tablets on a three-by

four-and-a-half-foot slab of marble.

"The first time these commandments were here this was Lake County's

courthouse - a testimony of all of Lake County," Mayor James Metros said as he

addressed the crowd.

"God and government are no longer intertwined," Metros said. "But I believe

very much that this nation was founded on biblical principles and belief in one

God. It's what made us a great, strong, nation for over 200 years.

"We bring back a little piece of history of what we should be - the way we

should treat our neighbors and believe in God," Metros said.

The tablets were originally erected at the northeast corner of the square on

May 26, 1957, by the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

At the top of the commandments is an engraving of the Eye of God which sits

atop an eagle and an American flag. Above the commandments are engravings of

two smaller tablets with the commandments which appear in Hebrew. A Star of

David also is engraved on the tablet. At the bottom is a dedication to the

people of Lake County.

About 18 years ago, vandals broke the dark marble slab and after being

declared irreparable, the pieces were thrown out.

Metros credited longtime Crown Point resident Elaine Englebright with

spearheading the effort to restore the Ten Commandments monument.

"So many people got involved when they found out," said Metros, who also

commended Steve Greer, also a Crown Point resident, who saved the broken

tablets from the trash bin years ago.

Englebright said her purpose in working to restore the tablets was for them

to "be a good influence and an enlightenment to all, especially young people."

Englebright's mission took her several years and the recruitment of the help

of many to complete. "But persistence paid off," she said.

Englebright thanked the Lake Courthouse Foundation, which now owns the

property, and G&G Landscaping, Anderson Monuments, Ozinga Ready Mixed Concrete,

Swartz Welding, Crown Point Kiwanis, The Federal Order of Eagles, the city's 14

churches of various denominations, and others who helped contribute to the

restoration of the stone.

Pam Ruse, of Crown Point, said afterward, that she felt, "really blessed,"

by the ceremony.

"I think it's wonderful," she said. "It brings everybody together."

Rhonda Gancarz, of Crown Point, said it was, "really fantastic that someone

is finally bringing back the basics of what we believe in; especially for kids

in the city."

Greer, who donated the broken tablets for restoration, said he was,

"delighted to see it put back in its proper place. I have special feelings for

this courthouse. It's been kind of in limbo for a long time. I commend all the

people who put in hard work to get it back here."


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