Monday, April 29, 2013

The Anthony Wayne Statue

Statue as it is today in Freimann Square
by Nancy McCammon-Hansen

We’re working on the next edition of the Old Fort News and the lead story by our editor and the History Center’s curator, Walter Font, is about the Anthony Wayne statue in Freimann Square. As you’re probably aware, Mayor Tom Henry has suggested that the statue be moved from the square to the Courthouse Green and he’s met with some opposition to that thought. See:

Walter offers a wonderful history of the statue from its inception to its current location—a story that is really quite interesting because it also reflects the mood of our city in times past. 

One facet of the statue is missing these days, though, and that is the original base upon which Wayne and his horse were mounted. The plaques on that base now reside in the Genealogy Department at the downtown Allen County Public Library. The artistry of these plaques is really quite beautiful and so, to whet your appetite for the magazine coming out in the next month, we offer you these photos.

Little Turtle

Center plaque showing an aerial view of the fort.

The wording on the accompanying graphics for these panels gives us a little more history.

“These three bronze plaques, executed by George Ganiere, were originally part of the municipal equestrian statue of Major General Anthony Wayne, erected at Hayden Park (now renamed John Nuckols Park) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1917.”

From left to right, the panels depict Little Turtle, an aerial view of the fort and a portrait of Tecumseh.
The statue was moved in 1973 to Freimann Square but the granite base upon which the statue was located was not moved. Timothy E. Doyle, who was a local artist and stone carver, rescued the bronzes in 1985 when the granite base was scrapped. Julie R. Waterfield purchased the bronze plaques and donated them to the ACPL.

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