Issue 5-17-15 Website - page 11

LeRoy’s Statue of Liberty
needs our help. Thirty years
ago, she was repaired, but now
it’s time for professional res-
toration. As you can see in the
photographs, several seams are
coming apart and someone has
vandalized her face.
edonSeptember17, 1950. Itwas
purchased by the LeRoy Lodge
#1132 Loyal Order of Moose
and was given to the LeRoy
BoyScouts. The pedestal for the
LeRoy statue was designed by
LeRoyarchitect, IvanCromwell.
Between 1949 and 1954 over
200 similar statues were erected
in 39 states and several territo-
ries. The project was started as
away 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
Commissionerof theKansasCity
Area Scout Council.
The Boy Scout program was
called “Strengthen the Arm of
Liberty” and special scout tie
slides and pins were issued. The
USPost office also issued stamps
to commemorate the project.
Today, only half of the statues
survive. An inventory is main-
tained byBoy Scout Troop101 in
are five other statues
in New York State:
Niagara Falls near the
Rainbow Bridge; Ole-
an; Schenectady; One-
onta, andUtica.
The statues are ap-
proximately 8 ½ feet
tall, without the base
and are constructedof
40 sheets of copper.
Theyweighabout 290
pounds and some of
them were support-
ed on the inside with
wooden braces. They
the Friedley-Voshardt
Company of Chicago
and were purchased through the
KansasCityBoyScoutOffice at
a cost of $350 plus freight.
On September 17, 1950when
the LeRoy statuewas dedicated,
itwasestimated thatnearly5,000
peoplewitnessed the parade and
Boy Scouts and five area high
school bands in the parade.Wal-
laceKnickerbocker, secretary of
lypresented the statue to theBoy
Scouts,whowere representedby
George Coburn of Perry, Presi-
dent of theBoyScout Council.
In tribute to the event a squad-
ronofP-47Thunderboltsfrom the
136thFighter Bomber Squadron
of the NYS Air National Guard
stationed in Niagara Falls under
the leadership of Capt. Richard
thecreekbank ina special salute.
A reception for dignitaries was
held at theRedOsier.
In 1985-1986 LeRoy’s statue
was refurbished. Money was
aised through theGeneseeCom-
unity College’s celebration
of the centennial of the Statue
of Liberty in New York City.
Additional funds were raised by
theAvonCo.TheDPW removed
the statue and took it to LeRoy
Plastics where Cordyn Durney
solderednewspikeson thecrown
and repaired thearm.KermitAr-
rington removed thebrassplaque
andcleaned it.Thestatuewas re-
dedicated in thesummerof1986.
I contacted the State Historic
PreservationOffice tofindplaces
thatwoulddo thenecessarywork,
and I talkedwith three that were
I am confident that the McKay
Lodge Conservation Laboratory
nearOberlin,Ohio is theplace the
Ladywillbe takenforrestoration.
I sentphotographsof thedamage
and theyestimate that itwill cost
$5,000 to$7,000 tocomplete the
work. We will need to crate her
and transport her toOberlin and
thenbringherback.And itwould
be good to do some landscaping
andupdate theelectrical lighting.
Sowith all that said, it looks like
wewill need $10,000.
The Historical Society has
agreed to be the lead agency
on this project and has set up a
special fund designated for the
restoration. Alldonationsare tax
deductible. Checksmaybemade
out to the Strengthen the Arm
of Liberty Fund, c/o the LeRoy
Historical Society, POBox176,
toplaceMemorial DayFlags atMachpelahCemetery
(note change indate!)
Thursday, May 21 - 6 pm
Meet at the south entrance.
LeRoyNY 14482.
The storyof theStatueofLib-
erty isalsoastoryof themillions
of peoplewho have immigrated
to the United States, so it only
seems fitting to rededicate the
LeRoy Lady to LeRoy’s immi-
grants. If you want to include
the names of your family, we
will include them in the time
capsule thatwillbeplaced inside
the statue. Soon you will find
donations boxes and envelopes
at various places in LeRoy. As
they say - -“Let’s get ‘er done.”
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