Both fair organizers and visitors interpreted Borglum’s and Fraser’s statues as depicting the demise of indigenous peoples and coming of white civilization. One declared that “The symbolism of the ‘Pioneer’ and ‘The end of the Trail’ is … a very fine expression of the destinies of two great races.”3
After the fair closed, the Exposition Company was responsible for cleaning up the site. They sold buildings, fixtures, and equipment to the highest bidder. Because they were made of staff (plaster, faux travertine and chicken wire), the buildings and artwork did not last as long as normal stone, brick or wooden buildings. Part of the fairgrounds became Golden Gate Park. The Palace of Fine Arts was spared, and later rebuilt on the same spot. But construction workers regraded most of the site for redevelopment, including the Court of Flowers where The Pioneer stood.Like most PPIE art, The Pioneer was made of plaster and abandoned after the fair closed. The Tulare County Board of Forestry acquired the heroic-sized sculpture for only the cost of shipping it from San Francisco to Visalia: $150. The statue was placed on a stone base in Mooney Grove Park in the late 1910s. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. It was severely damaged by an earthquake on May 28, 1980. While pieces of the statue are rumored to survive in private collections, only the stone base remains in Mooney Grove Park.