This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Civic statues

Some cities have a lot of art scattered around them. Others have relatively little. I think Rensselaer is in the relatively little category. However, we do have one quite notable and impressive statue, that of General Milroy in Milroy park.
Milroy was a Civil War general who led a retreat (which is an important achievement, because if not done properly, it can turn into a rout).
I have looked around Rensselaer to see what else might qualify as civic statuary. There is a bell at the court house. I do not think it was ever used as a bell. It is just something to mark a centennial. (Update: I was wrong about the bell--see the comments.)
We have the obligatory cannon in another park, Flatiron Park. I do not know if it was ever used in a war, and if it was, whether the war was I or II. It just sits there. The Memorial Day ceremonies do not center on it but rather on a new monument at Weston Cemetery.
We have a bench with a sign for James Hanley, who wrote songs. Can we count the bench as sculpture? (I think this is considered a park--Hanley Park. It is the smallest park in Rensselaer. It is one parking space of the parking lot.)
The closest I could find to another civic statue were two gargoyles that decorate the Jasper County Court House. They are rather cute.


Ed said...

Actually Milroy was roundly criticized as a general. Not only did he lead a series of retreats (in areas I now hike), but he also stubbornly held Winchester when his strategists told him it would be better to fall back. That particular campaign lost him a good chunk of men and forced the surrender of another 6000. After that fiasco he was essentially demoted by being transferred to a civil project on the Cumberland Gap. Only in a small town would a failed leader be canonized.

Desert Survivor said...

I like the gargoyles, even though they look a little creepy. Don't see too many (if any) gargoyles in modern architecture.

Anonymous said...

The bell and the flagpole beside it were originally fixed to the very top of the Jasper County Courthouse. They were taken down to prevent structure damage to the courthouse.

reMark said...

The bell was removed from the courthouse bell tower about 10 years ago. It was not rung in many years due to the sound waves degrading the structural quality of the tower. When it was repaired during renovation, the bell was placed on the courthouse lawn.

reMark said...

Also, President Lincoln's annoyance with General Milroy is chronicled in the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Interesting book.