GOOD MORNING WORLD
After I wrote the blog about statues I was made aware of a statue of the Lady in the Rockies.
“Our Lady of the Rockies”, a 90-foot statue sitting atop the Continental Divide is the result of a dream and six years of hard work.
With the help of generous donations and a wealth of love and faith, countless volunteers completed a seemingly impossible task. On December 20, 1985 “Our Lady” was placed on the East Ridge to overlook Butte, Montana. The base sits at an elevation of 8510
feet above sea level and 3500 feet above the mile high city of Butte. The statue, lighted and visible at night, is a spectacular sight to behold.
This led to a discussion of our country and other countries being filled with little known statues and monuments that were important at the time they were erected and failed to remain prominent until you drove by them or were made aware of their existence.
One such for me was the huge cross that came looming up in front of me each time I drove from Missouri to Maine all those years we lived in MO. Finally one day I did the research and discovered just what it was. Subsequently my husband and I stopped there one time to visit the little shop.
The Cross at the Crossroads
The Cross Foundation, creators and sponsors of the “I Love You Card” program, is a non-for profit organization dedicated to promoting both faith and family on an ecumenical basis. Based in Effingham, the Cross Foundation completed a 198-foot Cross structure near the intersections of Interstate 57 & 70.
On the evening of September 16, 2001 at 7:30 pm, the Cross at the Crossroads was formally dedicated. A short service of music, a little talk and prayer prefaced the long awaited illumination of the Cross. Beginning at about 6:00 pm, at least two thousand people streamed car after car into the parking lot adjacent to the Cross and the field surrounding the Cross. Cars lined the roads leading to the Cross, filled parking lots, businesses in the industrial park, and along Fayette Avenue and Raney Street. Soon after sunset, the four one thousand watt bulbs were switched on.
The groundwork for the dedication service begun in the early summer of 2001 and was planned to be on the darkest night of mid September, the evening before the new moon. The events of September 11 in New York City, Washington, D.C. and rural Pennsylvania brought forth an even more somber, darker night throughout the nation and in central Illinois. As the lights were turned on and the illuminated Cross at the Crossroads broke the darkness, there was a sense of joy, relief and hope for the throng gathered at the base of the Cross.
As you crossed the bridge to the island on which I grew up there on the right hand side of route three for a long time was a large wooden carving of an Indian. I loved that carving and even more I liked the idea behind it. Rather than me prattle on I will share what Wikipedia has on the whole thing.
The Trail of the Whispering Giants is a collection of sculptures by Hungarian-born artist Peter Wolf Toth. The sculptures range in height from 20 to 40 feet (6.1 to 12 m), and are between 8 and 10 feet (2.4 and 3.0 m) in diameter. Currently there are 74 Whispering Giants, with at least one in each of the 50 U.S. states, as well as in Ontario and Manitoba, Canada, and one inHungary. In 1988, Toth completed his goal of placing at least one statue in each of the 50 states, by carving one in Hawaii, and in 2008, he created his first Whispering Giant in Europe, Stephen I of Hungary in Délegyháza, Hungary along the Danube River.
As of September 2009 there are eight more Whispering Giants planned.
The 74 Whispering Giants range from 20 to 40 feet (6.1 to 12 m) in height, and all resemble natives of the region in which they are located. Toth always donates the Whispering Giant he creates to the town he carved it in, and never charges a fee for his time. He does require that the raw materials (a large log between 8 and 10 feet (2.4 and 3.0 m) in diameter) be provided, as well as lodging and living expenses. The carvings have been appraised at a quarter of a million dollars each.
Toth uses a hammer and a chisel as the basic tools to create the Whispering Giants, but on occasion will use a mallet and an axe, or rarely power tools. Before starting work on a Whispering giant, Toth confers with local Native American tribes and local lawmakers. The sculpture that is created is a composite of all the physical characteristics, especially facial features, of the local tribe or tribes, as well as their stories and histories.
Currently Peter Toth resides in Edgewater, Florida, where he has a small studio where he carves small wooden statues to raise money to create more Whispering Giants. He travels around America to repair Whispering Giants he carved in the past that have not been kept up, as well as to carve new ones. The latest Whispering Giant carved was in Vincennes, Indiana, in 2009 out of Black Oak, but there are still eight more statues planned to be built.
The Whispering Giant in Bar Harbor was completed in October of 1983 and made of Elm. It has been moved to a different location from it’s original spot. There is a you tube video of a tourist looking at it if you care to see it.
In looking for information about this sculpture I found a discovery about the world’s tallest Indian. Or Skowhegan Maine’s claim that it has it.
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/6162 World’s Tallest Indian
Skowhegan’s big brave is easily theWorld’s Tallest Indian, though he is too skinny to be the World’s Largest Indian(height x radius2 x Pi).
He stands on a 20 ft. base and is 62 ft. tall. He appears to be carved out of raw pine trees, with legs like telephone poles. The World’s Tallest Indian was erected in 1969 in observance of Maine’s 150th anniversary, created by Bernard Langlais (1921-1977), a sculptor from OldTown who attended the local art school.
It is dedicated to Maine’s Abnaki Indians, who are known to have helped the Pilgrims make it through a couple of bad winters. In their heyday, the Abnaki dressed even more comfortably than the statue’s crate-like attire suggests. No tomahawk-waving Mohawk with a mohawk here — this Abnaki gentlemen is content to clutch a fishing trap resembling too-skinny scaffolding.
The engraved wooden sign at the statue’s base reads: “Dedicated to the Maine Indians, the first people to use these lands in peaceful ways.” On the back of the base is a less noble message: “Copyright 1969, Skowhegan Hospitality Association.”
A popular 1970s postcard has helped make this out-of-the-way Indian widely known — although then he stood against a stark and empty blue sky. Today he is crowded by adjacent taller trees, partly obscured in the back parking lot of a Cumberland Farms convenience store and next to an optometrist’s office.
I am betting that with further investigation one could find many wonderful little known spots on that Roadside America website. Sure would be fun to pick a few for a summer vacation! The Griswold’s could once again set sail!!!
…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…