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Help Strengthen The Arm Of Liberty

by Lynne Belluscio

LeRoy’s Statue of Liberty needs our help.  Thirty years ago, she was repaired, but now it’s time for professional restoration. As you can see in the photographs, several seams are coming apart and someone has vandalized her face.

The LeRoy statue was dedicated on September 17, 1950. It was purchased by the LeRoy Lodge #1132 Loyal Order of Moose and was given to the LeRoy Boy Scouts. The pedestal for the LeRoy statue was designed by LeRoy architect, Ivan Cromwell.

Between 1949 and 1954 over 200 similar statues were erected in 39 states and several territories. The project was started as a way to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts in America. It was the idea of Kansas City businessman, J.P. Whitaker who was the Scout Commissioner of the Kansas City Area Scout Council.

The Boy Scout program was called “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty” and special scout tie slides and pins were issued. The US Post office also issued stamps to commemorate the project. Today, only half of the statues survive. An inventory is maintained by Boy Scout Troop101 in Cheyenne, Wyoming www.cheyennetroop101.org/liberty. There are five other statues in New York State: Niagara Falls near the Rainbow Bridge; Olean; Schenectady; Oneonta, and Utica.

The statues are approximately 8 ½ feet tall, without the base and are constructed of 40 sheets of copper. They weigh about 290 pounds and some of them were supported on the inside with wooden braces. They were manufactured by the Friedley-Voshardt Company of Chicago and were purchased through the Kansas City Boy Scout Office at a cost of $350 plus freight.

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