WENATCHEE — The Skookum sign — a 14-foot, double-sided sign of a grinning and winking Native American — was removed Sunday to be disassembled and put into storage.

The sign had been sitting on the corner of the Office Depot roof at Wenatchee Avenue and Ninth Street for two decades, one of several locations for the sign in Wenatchee since it first went up in 1921.

Blue Bird Inc, a local agricultural company and the owners of the sign, initially removed the sign to evaluate the mechanical integrity and the need to refurbish the facial painting, said Ron Gonsalves, Blue Bird president, in an email.

“Change is part of the constant reality we deal with each season in the fruit industry,” he said in an email. “The Skookum logo was used by Blue Bird for many years, but we had moved away from using (it) a while ago.

“The Skookum sign was part of Wenatchee’s past that was enjoyed by many but also viewed by others with concern.”

The Skookum Indian was the mascot of Skookum Inc., another local agriculture company. The sign was built in 1921 when it sat atop the old Wenatchee Hotel at Orondo and Wenatchee avenues.

The sign had been on loan to Office Depot, located on 915 N. Wenatchee Ave., to display on its building since 2000. And before it was an Office Depot, the property was the old Skookum apple packing warehouse, according to Gonsalves.

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