This title was given back in 1892 when Frederick Prentice, president of the Prentice Brownstone Co. of Wisconsin, offered to supply a huge brownstone monolith for the Wisconsin Exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. He proposed to furnish this impressive one-piece structure at a size of 110 feet high, 10 feet wide at the base and coming to an apex of 2½ feet, which, according to Mr. Prentice, would eclipse the Egyptian Obelisk that measured 105 feet, 7 inches high. The stone was to be quarried from one of the Prentice operations and shipped by barge to Chicago. The Houghton quarry was selected because it had the best brownstone for the purpose, i.e., free from clay pockets, tints and streaks. A gala banquet was held when the stone was broken loose to celebrate Mr. Prentice's huge undertaking and generous gift. Unfortunately, the cut stone never left the quarry. Mr. Prentice withdrew his offer and the huge stone was cut and reshaped for use in other buildings.
The brownstone obelisk before you was created in the likeness of that early monolith, only on a ?th scale (27½ feet) and from many separate pieces, whereas a monolith is comprised of one single piece.By Art H. MacLeod, Washburn Area Historical Society