April 2, 2007

A monumental new business

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The new Darwin Monument Company is an expansion of the Precast Systems, a concrete manufacturing company.

Darwin Monument Company provides a large variety of styles, granite colors, and engravings for grave markers, memorials, signs, statues, rocks, pottery, glass and more.

“Any surface that can be sandblasted can be done,” said owner Mark Smith.

Marks’s wife, Jenny, designs the graphics to be sandblasted onto the monuments. First she does a printed sketch for the customer to approve. Upon approval, Smith then uses the a stencil machine to create a rubber template. The template is then placed over the granite and sandblasted or engraved.

Sandblasting takes several hours depending on detail. Details can be extensive as well including crosses, flowers, leaves and other three dimensional designs.

Granite is delivered polished and sizes and is ordered from all over the world. Grey granite comes from St. Cloud and Georgia. A mahogany and green comes from South Dakota and blacks and reds come from China and Korea.

Accessories are also sold there including vases, solar lights and candles to attach to monuments.

If granite is in stock, monuments should only take up to two weeks. Color determines the price of the monument, but approximately from $1,000 on up for the average headstone. Prices are as low as $65 for basic rock and pottery engravings. Once completed, the monument is delivered and installed.

“Our goal is to provide a quality product at a fair price,” said Jenny Smith.

Pictures and prices are online at www.darwinmonument.com. See store for the full catalog at 116 East Highway 12 in Darwin. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and nights and weekends by appointment by calling (320) 693-5902.

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