What is the story of the Boy with the Boot statue?
November 10, 2009
Near the Erie County Courthouse in Sandusky is a water fountain that features a statue of a boy holding up a boot. That statue serves as the unofficial mascot of the city. It was first installed in 1895 by Voltaire Scott, a man from Baden, Germany. He had purchased a two story hotel on the corner of Water and Wayne sts (where the Citizen’s Bank is currently) and established a small park across the street to give his guests a better, more beautiful view. It was named Scott Park. In the center, he built a pedestal of rock, surrounded by grass, various trees and shrubs and sidewalks as well. The statue of the Boy with the Boot, which was cast by J.W. Fiske Ironworks in New York City, was placed on the pedestal. Other statues were also built, including water spouting dolphins and maids of the mist. In the evenings, Scott Park was illuminated by colored lights strung overhead and placed beneath the water, which was a fairly new innovation at the time. Guests enjoyed this spectacular view for years. However, in 1924, it was severely damaged by a tornado and the statues were stored in the city greenhouse. In 1935, the park was leveled in order to construct a parking lot and the Boy with the Boot was given a new home, Washington Park. The statue was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
During the 1990’s, the Boy with the Boot statue was damaged several times by vandals. The original zinc statue was repaired and an identical bronze cast was made. Today, the original statue can be found in the lobby of the City Hall building on Meigs Street. The identical bronze statue is the statue on display in Washington Park year round.
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