We drove to the middle of Pennsylvania for a Worldwide Marriage Encounter gathering on Saturday.  Up and out by 6 AM brought us through the Duncansville Pa area around 8.  There is a restaurant there that we used to go to and meet halfway to get our youngest grandson for visits.  It was on one of these trips that I first discovered a statue in the middle of the Susquehanna River.  This particular stretch of road takes you right along the river.  I really enjoyed that.

The Susquehanna River is in the northeastern United States.  It is 464 miles long.  It is the longest river on the American east coast that drains into the Atlantic.  With its watershed it is the 16th largest river in the United States.   It is the longest river in the continental United States without commercial boat traffic. It flows through New York, PA and MD.  The river empties into the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay.  This provides half of the Bay’s freshwater inflow.

Those are the stats.  What it is along Rt 322 is a lovely drive.  When the river is low it is a very rocky picture.  One can almost invision our Native American Indians walking long side of it with their families and gear in tow.

On one of these rides to get our grandson I grew very excited when I saw this large white statue in the middle of the river.  I strained and stared and twisted my head around on the way over to see what it was.  On the way back I pointed it out to our grandson and we looked it up on the internet.

I was in fact a replica of the Statue of Liberty.  It was built to honor the 100th anniversary of the original.  No one knew who created the structure.  The original one was made of venetian blinds and plywood to withstand the wind and place seruptitiously in the middle of the night on an old railroad pier that is in the middle of the river.  Once it was up the people of the area came to enjoy it’s majesty.

After 6 years a wind took the statue down.  In 1992 the folks of Dauphin Borough, the town where Liberty sat in the river, raised $25,000 to build a replica of the replica which they had come to enjoy.  They built their very own replica and it is sturdier, taller, eight times heavier and still standing.

After twenty five years an attorney came forth and said he constructed the original with some friends in his garage.  He said he now believed the statues of limitations on any crime would be passed.  Evidently there was much discussion not to continue with the prank as it was a dangerous part of the river.  It was placed replaced and stands today.  I think it was a great idea!

From wikipedia:

A 25-foot-tall (7.6 m) replica sits on the ruins of the late Marysville Bridge (erected on a platform (pier)) in the Dauphin Narrows of Susquehanna River north of Harrisburg. The replica was built by a local activist Gene Stilp on July 2, 1986; it was made of venetian blinds and stood 18 feet (5.5 m) tall. Six years later, after it was destroyed in a windstorm, it was rebuilt by Stilp and other local citizens, of wood, metal, glass and fiberglass, to a height of 25 feet (7.6 m).[44][45][46]

The original Statue of Liberty stands in the Jardin du Luxemborg in Paris.  I have actually seen that one!  I have not seen the one that stands in New York!

In my research to tell the story of the statue in the Susquehanna I discovered that there are many replicas  of Lady Liberty.  There are 7 in Paris, 6 in Europe, 3 in the UK and one in Ireland.  Mexico has one as well as twelve other countries in the world.  I should probably add a plus to this as I did not do ALL the looking.  The United States alone has 36 replicas from Deer Isle, Maine to Forney, Texas and in between.

My favorite replica is the Lego one that I found.

A Lego replica of the Statue of Liberty consisting of 2882 bricks and standing 0.9 m (3.0 ft) is a popular sculpture among Lego enthusiasts. The statue went out of production, but due to popular demand was returned to sale.[47] A much larger replica built entirely in Legos can be seen in Legoland Billund.[citation needed] A smaller version of the Billund model is on display at the Legoland California amusement park.

This whole post is a testament to choosing the alternative.  Stay on the safe or well traveled roads if you want.  Many glorious parts of our America and indeed our world can be found off the beaten path.  The road less traveled is sometimes the more fun.  I make that choice it as often as I can.




3 comments on “THE STATUE OF LIBERTY – ONE – TWO – THREE …..

  1. What?!?!? You have never seen the Statue of Liberty in NYC/NJ????

    That reminds me of a story told by my friend Tom from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He had been living in South Jersey for about 15 years raising a family and he finally decided one summer to take his kids on a series of day-trips to see the sites of NYC. On this one beautiful summer day he chose the Statue of Liberty. As they were traveling the short distance from the Battery on Manhattan to the Statue the boat was packed. A woman next to Tom struck up a conversation with him. I imagine she was doing most of the talking since he was one of few words with strangers. She said she was from Michigan and expressed her excitement of this being her and her family’s first time in NYC and naturally her first vist to the Statue of Liberty. Tom replied in his terse manner, “Yeah, this is my first visit, too.” She asked him what part of the country he came from, and he turned toward land and sheepishly pointed to the shoreline of Brooklyn.

    Sometimes we don’t take the time to look right under our noses at the great things that abound in this country. We get perspective when someone travels from a great distance or a foreign country and marvels at things right in front of our eyes. Great story, Tommy.

  2. Nice message, Kathy. It’s just what we’re doing in France (–at least some of the time. What a fun find for you.

    Dad wrote about the original statue of liberty in his second book–“Millionaires and Vagabonds.” Elihu Washburne, then ambassador (minister plenipotentiary) to France, supported the artist’s efforts at raising funds in order to create the statue that he gifted to the United States and now sits in the New York Harbor. Fascinating story.

    Hope you’re all well and survived the recent disappointment. My best to your dad.


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