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Intersection of West Main and Washington Streets
This zinc statue of an Indian Chief is an exact duplicate of the statue that once stood in the center of the intersection of Main and Washington Streets. The original figure was gifted to the city by industrialist and city benefactor Robert E. Lewis and his wife Fanny in memory of their son, Clifton, in 1896. It was created by the J. L. Mott Iron Works of New York. The original statue stood on top of an ornamental fountain that provided drinking water for animals and thirsty passersby. It stood in place for nearly 30 years until it was struck by a passing motorist in 1925 and knocked off its perch.
The original statue was damaged beyond repair and so an exact duplicate was ordered from the original manufacturer and placed in Union Park, where it stood for nearly 30 years, suffering damage at the hands of vandals, small children and the elements. In the early 1960s the City of Watertown decided to remove the statue. Rather than sell it for scrap, city officials decided the best place for it would be to entrust it to the Watertown Historical Society. Accordingly, the statue was placed on the grounds near the Octagon House in 1964, where it has remained ever since.
This statue, which depicts an unknown Indian Chief, is one of many such statues that can be found in several parts of the United States. It is a masterpiece of the sculptor’s art. It also serves as a visual reminder of the many Native American peoples who once lived in and around Watertown.
History of Watertown, Wisconsin