WADSWORTH, Ohio (AP) — A northeastern Ohio city that has been without its iconic Civil War statue for more than seven decades is getting a duplicate in time for the community's bicentennial celebration this year.
The new statue for the city of Wadsworth in Medina County depicts a boy with a leaking boot taking water to Civil War soldiers. The city's original statue was installed in the late 1800s, but taken down at the beginning of World War II when scrap metal was needed to help the war effort, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Similar sculptures of the statue sometimes known as the "Boy with the Leaky Boot," the "Boy with the Leaking Boot," and the "Boy with the Boot" can be found in other locations around the world. But what prompted the idea for such a statue and when and where the design first appeared aren't clear.
Officials in northwestern Ohio's Sandusky agreed last year to allow one of that city's two statues of a boy with a boot to be used by the Toledo Area Sculptors Guild as a model for a new one for Wadsworth, Wadsworth Mayor Robin Laubaugh told the Akron newspaper.
But Sandusky officials had been reluctant at first to part with their replica until a member of the Toledo guild helped convince them that the statue replica would not be harmed. The Medina Gazette reported.
"It was moved once before and damaged, so we would have concerns about transport. It's the symbol of the city," Sandusky City Commissioner C. Wesley Poole the Gazette.
The new statue will be cast from Everdur Silicon bronze — "a metal that will last for hundreds of years," Jim Havens, a member of the sculptors guild, told the Beacon Journal.
The statue is expected to be finished in mid-May and officially dedicated over the Memorial Day weekend.
The Wadsworth Bicentennial Committee has been raising $17,000 to reproduce the 4-foot-tall statue and $6,000 for the fountain that will be its base in the city's East Park.
The Wadsworth American Legion Post 170 has raised about $9,500 for the project, which includes $2,000 to purchase plaques with the names of soldiers from Wadsworth who were killed in World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam. The plaques will be put at the statue's base, said Joe Rodgers, post commander.
Laubaugh says a spring penny drive at Wadsworth schools will add more to the funds.
Caesar Carrino, former Wadsworth mayor and a local historian, remembers seeing the statue when he was about six years old.
"It has a particular significance to a lot of people," he told the Gazette. "People my age regard that as a symbol of the early days of Wadsworth."