About

Dakota Monument: Making Memories Last

Saying It In Stone for More Than a Century

Only the best memorial, marker, sign or gift will do for your family. We understand. After all, we accept only the best for ours, too.

Dakota Monument is a 5th-generation, family-owned memorial company that’s been crafting distinctive monuments, markers, benches, signs and gifts for more than a century.

When you work with us, you’ll find a special kind of caring, compassion and respect that we’ve developed over generations of serving families just like yours. You’ll also find a unique blend of Old World craftsmanship and New World technologies, techniques and equipment. Finally, you’ll select from only the highest-quality stone, bronze and steel.

We work with people during some of the most important moments in life. From births to birthdays, graduations to engagements, weddings to anniversaries and new business openings to special occasions, Dakota Monument’s Certified Memorialist, talented artists and highly experienced craftspeople create plaques, mementos, markers and other personalized gifts that capture the moment and last for years.

And when life comes to an end, we’ll help you create a unique tribute  that honors your loved one or beloved pet, their memory and what they’ve meant to you and your family.

Moments, memories and lives – we’re here to help you celebrate them in personalized ways that make the whole family proud.

Caring, Careful Process

We understand you have unlimited choices for memorials and monuments. That’s why we’ve built a process that’s based on learning about your loved one and your family, and giving you the information you need to make well-informed decisions. You will be at the center of the Dakota Monument process and we’ll be here to help you through every step.

The Finest Materials

Dakota Monument uses stone, bronze and steel from around our region and the world. While our stone monuments and memorials are primarily granite, we also work with other hard stones. Whatever type of material you want, we’ll source it and engrave, letter and finish it to the most stringent quality standards.

  • Aluminum
  • Bronze
  • Stainless Steel
  • Many other materials

Quality control is one of our top priorities, both in terms of raw materials and workmanship. The quality of a stone depends on the formation from which it originates, the area of the world and the techniques used to extract, form and ship it.

To ensure every memorial starts with the best stone possible, we’ve built long-standing, trust-based relationships with some of the world’s most reputable granite and marble suppliers over the years.

We’re also an authorized agent for Royal Melrose Granite Company, Cold Spring Granite and Granit-Bronze, Dakota Granite Company and Matthew’s Bronze International.

Written Guarantee

At Dakota Monument, we stand behind our work. We’ll provide you a written guarantee for your memorial stating the material will not crack or disintegrate due to exposure to the elements.

Highly Qualified

We’re very good at what we do, we take pride in our work and your satisfaction is always our top priority.

Dave Anderson, Dakota Monument’s owner, represents the fourth generation of memorialists in the family, and his sons are now the fifth generation to work in the business.

Our very own Tyler Francis is the only Monument Builders of North America (MBNA) certified memorialist in North Dakota, and Dave is the organization’s current president. Dakota Monument has been part of MBNA since 1982, and we strictly adhere to its Code of Good Practice.

Dave and his son, Dustin, also Dakota Monument as one of only 50 members of the American Institute of Commemorative Art. This is an invitation-only organization, and Dave has been a member since 1980.

We also are a member of the Northwest Monument Builders (NWMB). Each year we host an NWMB laser users seminar at our facility, where we teach aspiring memorialists the proper techniques for laser engraving stone. We’re also active in the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

From our salespeople to artists, shop technicians to equipment operators, delivery people to installers, our staff brings decades of experience to making sure you’re satisfied with the process and the product.

Advanced Technologies & Equipment

We can do amazing things with stone, bronze and steel with today’s technologies and advanced equipment coupled with the creativity and expertise of our artists and craftspeople.

Almost everything we do, from memorials and monuments to personalized gifts, comes down to creating contrasts in the material to influence the interplay of light and surfaces.

Laser

Our laser machine provides the most precise etching and lettering possible.

We use it on multiple materials, but primarily on jet black granite. Since jet black granite lacks color, it can provide the greatest contrast of all the available stone types.

We also apply the laser to clay bricks that are commonly used in gardens, remembrance walls, walkways and so on. A primary example of this involves bricks with individual names and contribution amounts for fundraising projects.

Using laser technology rather than sandblasting bricks can save you money because we can do more bricks in a shorter time. In addition, the result is more appealing and the brick will last a lot longer. The longevity comes from the fact that the laser process does not remove of any material from the brick, as happens in sandblasting. Rather, the laser melts letters and numbers onto the brick and turns the shapes into dark glass outlines.

Finally, we use the laser for award plaques, commemorative plaques and gifts made of acrylic, glass, granite, marble, sandstone or wood. The laser puts the lettering, design work or logos into the material with exceptional precision.

Sand Etching

Sand etching is a type of graphic art process that involves using light to create a stencil. It starts with designs, fine lettering or pictures that we run through a computer program to get them to scale, then print on a clear piece of Mylar. We place the stencil on stone or glass, and use a fine-grain, sharp grit sand to etch the exposed areas.

Overall, the sand etching process allows us to incorporate graphics into monuments and gifts less expensively than using a laser.

Sandblasting

Dakota Monument does standard inscribing, engraving and lettering with a sandblasting process. While it results in a product that’s less detailed than the other processes, it has advantages in terms of cost and time.

Like sand etching, sandblasting begins with a computerized layout program that enlarges a design, either from a graphic of photograph, and runs it through a plotter that has a knife on it. The knife cuts a rubber stencil, which is applied to the stone.

Our automatic sandblasting machine shoots the material at the stone with high-pressure. The sand bounces off the rubber stencil, but carves into the stone where it is exposed. The machine goes up and down for numerous passes, chipping away more material with every pass.

We strive for what’s called a “v-sunk” letter, which means the grooves are the optimal depth for the size of letter being applied. The unpolished areas, at various levels, provide color hues and tones. The v-sunk lines, letters and numbers provide the contrast of the deep cut areas on the unpolished areas.

Once the designing, etching, lettering and engraving is complete on a memorial or gift, we clean and ready it for pickup, delivery or installation on site.