Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘bronze statue’

Coal Miner’s Statue -Unsung Heroes Remembered

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt

Those words rang true for the thousands of coal miners that lived in the vicinity of Guernsey County, Ohio during the early 1900s.

In order to honor these men and coal miners across the nation, a statue in their honor has been placed at the old train depot in Byesville, Ohio. This is no ordinary statue as it was commissioned by Alan Cottrill, internationally renowned sculptor, who has his studio in Zanesville.

The Train to Nowhere

These were busy tracks in their day, but today they have no traffic.

Why, you might ask, is this statue in Byesville? Why not place it in some larger city? Byesville was the coal capital of Ohio back in the early 1900s. Perhaps a hundred and fifty trains would roar down their tracks each day. Cars carried coal from Marietta to Cleveland and often into Canada.

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These volunteers were present for the dedication ceremonies.

Raising money for the statue was itself a challenge. Contributions came from local residents as well as all those who rode the now silent Byesville Scenic Railway. Total cost of this memorial was $40,000. So if you rode the train or visited their museum, perhaps you had a hand in making that statue become reality.

When you made a donation in any amount, you were given a badge saying:

I GAVE    COAL MINERS MEMORIAL    BYESVILLE OHIO

coal-mineres-memorial-badge

This was no ordinary badge as it was designed very carefully. Each color on the badge had great significance.

Yellow stands for a beam of sunshine that sheds light on the darkness of the dungeon of a dark and gray mine.

Gray is for the rock/slate layers that are found above and below the seams of coal.

Black needs little explanation as it is the color of coal, also known as black diamonds, buried sunshine, or rocks that burn.

Red is for the color of blood that was spilled onto the ground from those who either lost their lives or were injured while working about the mine.

Bronze Coal Miner Statue

Bronze Coal Miner Statue

Everything on this bronze statue has meaning.

His hat gave him a place to hang his carbide light. This was the only light down in those coal black mines. The miner had to purchase the pellets to fill his carbide light…at the company store, of course.The coal mines gave them nothing. Why, they had to buy their own picks and dynamite! 

If you look closely at the statue, the miner’s brass tag reads 382, the number of coal miners who lost their lives in the deep mines of Guernsey County over the mines’ sixty active years.

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The sculpture pieces in Cottrill’s studio wait to be assembled.

The miner statue is missing his right index finger in honor of all the men injured in the mines. The dinner pail he carries was made by the Buckeye Aluminum Co. and was an important part of the miners day.

Many of those miners were immigrants, often called dumb hunkies  Everyone headed out to work swinging their dinner pail. The pails could not be set down on the mine floor or the rats, the miners’ mascot, would open them and eat their lunch. So miners always hung their dinner pails high on the mine wall.

A West Virginia ham sandwich was quite the treat. That ham by the way was what we call bologna.They always left a little something in their pail, just in case a cave in occurred and they might be below ground all night. If they made it safely through the day, the miners would let the children have their pails on the way home for a little snack.

From top to bottom each item has special significance from his hat to the dynamite at his feet.

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The dedication plaque at the statue

A portion of the plaque behind the statue states:

May the personal sufferings, sacrifices and the hardships endured by your families, never be forgotten nor taken for granted.

May the memory of these unsung heroes live on for generations.

The Coal Miner Memorial Statue can be found in Byesville, Ohio off I-77. Take Exit 41 and head into the small town of Byesville. Turn left on Second Street and two blocks down on the right hand side you will see the old train depot. The statue stands in front of the depot.

Hopalong Cassidy Statue Dedicated

Hoppy 1

Laura Bates, Hopalong Cassidy Fan Club founder, stands beside the newly dedicated bronze statue of Hopalong Cassidy with the sculptor, Alan Cottrill.

The legend of Hopalong Cassidy lives on in Cambridge, Ohio where he grew up as William Boyd. In June, 2016, a bronze statue was placed at the Guernsey County Senior Center to honor this local hero. June was a fitting month for this to happen as June 5 was both the birthday of William Boyd and the date of his marriage to Grace.

Laura Bates had a vision and a dream to have this memorial statue built for her hero. Through the efforts of Laura and her dedicated Hoppy Fan Club members, money was raised for a life size statue of Hopalong Cassidy. Laura has been the organizer for Hopalong Cassidy Festivals in the Cambridge area for 25 years, and has printed a monthly newsletter that she shares with Hoppy’s Fan Club.

Guests appeared from all over the United States for the dedication, which Laura emceed in a western turquoise and purple outfit – the favorite colors of Hoppy’s wife, Grace. Why, the courthouse in downtown Cambridge was even lit in turquoise and purple to honor this special dedication.

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John Gilliland was the cowboy, who posed for Alan Cottrill when he designed the statue. He was kind enough to imitate that pose again at the dedication ceremony..

This celebration recalled those special values that Hopalong displayed and taught. He was a good man doing the right thing…the kind of cowboy who was clean living and never shot to kill anyone in his movies or television shows. Hoppy never smoked or drank and supported his home county even when he was in Hollywood. During WWI and WWII, when Hoppy bought savings bonds, he always gave the bond credit to Guernsey County.

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Laura Bates watches as the Hopalong Cassidy statue is unveiled.

The bronze statue made by Alan Cottrill, international sculptor, was brought to Cambridge a couple days earlier to be set on its foundation. Laura said this was not an easy thing to watch as they had a rope around Hoppy’s neck and were swinging him around so much that she feared he would be broken. No harm was done but it still was a very traumatic experience for her.

Hoppy Grace

A picture of Grace Boyd was presented to the Senior Center and can be found in the entrance hall.

Having this statue placed at our Senior Center makes it the only Senior Center in Ohio with a bronze statue by the talented Alan Cottrill. His work is detailed and outstanding with a couple of his popular creations being the Thomas Edison bronze statue on display in Washington D.C and one of Woody Hayes on the Ohio State campus.

Hoppy Plaque

This plaque beside the statue acknowledges all those who contributed to keeping alive the memory of William Boyd, best known as Hopalong Cassidy.

Many dignitaries were in attendance to give words of praise for this legendary cowboy. Several mentioned that his words should continue to resonate throughout America. He stood for those values that we long to see come back. He always reminded children at the end of his programs to be mindful of how we treat each other.

Hoppy DirtAt the conclusion of the dedication ceremony, several honored guests placed special soil around the bottom of the statue. This soil came from near the cabin where the Boyds stayed when films were being made in California.

The program ended with the reading of Hoppy’s Creed. The final words were:

Be glad and proud to be an American.

 

 

 

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