One of the things that has been a little weird about moving back to Missoula after being away for 20 years is feeling disconnected from the stories that shaped this town while I was away.

It seems like once a week I hear about something that happened in the time I was away that I had no idea about. For example, it wasn't until the recent conversations around the potential for a festival at Playfair Park that I learned about the concert that led to damage at Ogren Field.

And even more recently, it wasn't until I saw a sign at the PaddleHeads Post in downtown Missoula that I knew what became of the old Peace Sign on Waterworks Hill.

Chris Wolfe, Townsquare Media
Chris Wolfe, Townsquare Media

Growing up, I lived on the northwest side of Missoula, but we did a lot of things in downtown Missoula, so we often drove on I90 to get back and forth across town. Nearly every time we drove that route, I looked to see if the sign had changed or been painted. Funny enough, I don't remember the sign coming down, even though I lived here at the time. But I do remember coming home from college during the summers and feeling like a part of the town was missing when I looked up at the hill and the sign was gone.

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It absolutely warmed my heart when I found out that the sign had been "peaced" back together and now has a permanent home on the backside of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. The Center also has a brief history of the sign on its website. The original sign was created in 1983, and though the sign was removed in 2001, it was resurrected 20 years later, and this year is the 40th anniversary of the original symbol.

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Gallery Credit: Chris Wolfe

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