Historical_2 - page 1

VolumeXXVI
Number2
2015
23EastMainStreet •POBox176 • LeRoy,NewYork14482
TheBoardofTrusteesof theLeRoy
Historical Society has agreed to act
as the lead agency to raise between
$7,000 and $10,000 to repair the
Statue of Liberty, which stands on
the bank of the Oatka Creek, oppo-
site the Woodward Library. A sepa-
rate bank account has been estab-
lished toacceptdonations.
The story of the LeRoy statue be-
ginswith thecommemorationof the
40thAnniversaryof theBoyScoutsof
America.Thestatueswere the ideaof
KansasCitybusinessman,J.P.Whitak-
erwhowas theScout Commissioner
of the Kansas City Area Scout Coun-
cil.TheBoyScoutprogramwascalled
“Strengthen theArmof Liberty.”
Between 1949 and 1954 over 200
similar statues were erected in 39
states and several territories. The
scouts wore tie slides and special
pins. The US Post office also issued
stamps to commemorate the proj-
ect. Today, only half of the statues
survive. An inventory is maintained
byBoyScoutTroop101 inCheyenne,
Wyoming (
org/liberty).Therearefiveother stat-
ues inNewYork State: Niagara Falls
near the Rainbow Bridge; Olean;
Schenectady;Oneonta,andUtica.
The statues are approximately 8½
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 insidewithwoodenbraces.They
weremanufactured by the Friedley-
Voshardt Company of Chicago and
were purchased through the Kan-
sas City Boy Scout Office at a cost of
$350plus freight.
LeRoy’s statue 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
LeRoyarchitect, IvanCromwell.
The LeRoy statue was dedicated
on September 17, 1950. It was esti-
mated that nearly 5,000 people wit-
nessed the parade and ceremonies.
There were 2,300 Boy Scouts and
five area high school bands in the
parade. Wallace Knickerbocker, sec-
retary of the LeRoy Moose Lodge
officially presented the statue to the
BoyScouts,whowere representedby
GeorgeCoburnof Perry, President of
theBoyScoutCouncil.
In tribute to the event a squadron
of P-47Thunderbolts from the136th
FighterBomber Squadronof theNYS
Air National Guard stationed in Ni-
agara Falls under the leadership of
Capt. Richard L. Steifvater of Batavia
flewover the creek bank in a special
salute.A reception fordignitarieswas
heldat theRedOsier.
In 1985-1986 LeRoy’s statue was
refurbished. Money was raised
through the Genesee Community
College’scelebrationof thecentenni-
alof theStatueofLiberty inNewYork
City. Additional fundswere raisedby
the Avon Co. The DPW removed the
statue and took it to LeRoy Plastics
where CordynDurney soldered new
spikes on the crown and repaired
the arm. Kermit Arrington removed
the brass plaque and cleaned it. The
statue was rededicated in the sum-
merof 1986.
I contacted the StateHistoric Pres-
ervation Office to find places that
would do the necessary work, and I
talkedwith three that werewithin a
day’s drive of LeRoy and I am confi-
dent that the Mckay Lodge Conser-
vationLaboratorynearOberlin,Ohio
is the place the Lady will be taken
for restoration. I sentphotographsof
the damage and they estimate that
it will cost $5,000 to $7,000 to com-
plete thework. Wewill need tocrate
her and transport her toOberlinand
then bring her back. And it would
be good to do some landscaping
andupdate theelectrical lighting.So
with all that said, it looks likewewill
need$10,000.
Donations can be made to the
Strengthen theArm of Liberty Fund,
c/o the LeRoy Historical Society, PO
Box176, and LeRoyNY14482.Dona-
tions are tax deductible. Since the
Statue of Liberty has special mean-
ing to immigrants,donationsmaybe
made inmemoryof familyor friends.
All donornameswill be included ina
bookplaced ina timecapsulewithin
the statue.
HelpStrengthen theArmof Liberty
1 2,3,4,5,6
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