The Boy with the Leaking Boot

The Boy with the Leaking Boot (HMHJD)

Location: Stevens Point, WI 54481 Portage County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 31.613', W 89° 34.473'

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A Tragic History

One of an estimated twenty-four such statues in the world, this Boy with the Leaking Boot is thought to have been purchased in 1895 as part of an improvement project for Stevens Point's Public Square. The Boy design may have originated in Italy (or Germany, France or Belgium) in the middle to late 1800's - no one seems certain where, or when. Any knowledge of his creator is lost to history as well. But it is agreed that fifteen of the original castings still stand throughout the world, ten of those in the United States. (Nine others in the U.S. are no longer displayed due to damage or theft.)

Around 1910, a horse-drawn wagon struck the watering trough on which he stood. The Boy lost his boot and his lower legs as he crashed to the hoof trampled earth. In that hopeless condition, he was carted off to a nearby slough. Within a year the Boy was rescued by two local Fire Fighters who repaired him, gave him an iron snake to hold aloft and set him up on his knees in a flower bed outside the old north side fire station. There he remained, holding onto various objects until 1967, when he was moved to the basement of the newly-built fire station, to be stored until a place was found for him.

In July of 1975, after a concerted effort by Stevens Point Fire Fighters and several local people, our Boy was given a fine new place to stand. With fresh paint, lower legs of concrete, a pedestal and a pool, he stood once again holding aloft a leaking boot.

Early on October 15, 1988, vandals pushed the Boy off his pedestal into the pool. The impact decapitated him and tore a three inch wide hole in his chest.

A fund drive for restoration raised $1,300. Many local people offered their skills to do the repairs. Machinist John Becker of Milladore, Wisconsin was hired to complete a restoration of the Boy to his original condition. The aid of a metallurgist helped Becker determine that sand, pewter, white-based metal and old welding rods were among the materials originally used in the statue. Using photographs of similar statues, Becker attempted to recreate every stitch and wrinkle that had been obliterated by nearly a century of history. He even went so far as to recast the Boy's lower legs and leaky boot.

On June 30, 1989, after 400 hours of painstaking work by Becker and his employees, our Boy was returned to his place in front of the Fire Station, to be watched over by his friends at the Fire Department.
Series This marker is part of the Markers Attached to Sculpture series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 2:12pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 295421 N 4933619
Decimal Degrees44.52688333, -89.57455000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 31.613', W 89° 34.473'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 31' 36.78" N, 89° 34' 28.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)715, 534
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 881-983 Division St, Stevens Point WI 54481, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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