Iron Mike to be Removed from Plaza
Iron Mike, the statue that is on top of the Carter Memorial Fountain in the Ashland Plaza, was vandalized the week of October 13 and will be removed on Friday, October 31 to assess the damage and determine options for repair.
Iron Mike and the Carter Memorial Fountain, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The City has been in contact with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for guidance on restoration options. Based on preliminary inspections and the probable extent of restoration requirements it is likely Iron Mike will be down for an extended period of time, possibly more than a year.
SHPO recommends the City consult with professional art conservators to determine the best method and approach to restoring the statue. At this time, the City does not have an estimate on the restoration costs.
“The statue has suffered a lot of damage over the years,” says Public Works Superintendant Mike Morrison. “In addition to the recent broken gun the statue fell off the fountain in the 1960s and suffered a broken leg, arm and gun. Initial inspections of the statue indicate signs of cracking on one of the feet. We don’t know if it is surface cracking in the paint or something more serious and structural related.”
Iron Mike depicts a pioneer cradling a flintlock rifle and shading his eyes as he searches for game. The statue sits atop the Carter Memorial Fountain, erected in 1910 as a gift to the city by family members in honor of prominent Ashland citizens Henry and Harriet Carter.
If anyone has any information about the vandalism they are encouraged to phone the Ashland Police Department at 541-482-2211 or 541-482-5211.