Chaz Evans-Haywood, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, would like to invite the community to court square on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 10am as the Fiske Statue is removed and turned over to Fine Line Architectural Detailing for restoration.
No specific records have been found dating the original placement of the Fiske statue, but early photographs lead staff to believe 1904 is likely. It is difficult to determine the reason for the placement of the fountain and statue, but historically The National Woman's Christian Temperance Union encouraged local chapters to erect fresh water fountains in public venues. Rings still located on the base once had chains and metal cups attached to be used by folks to quench their thirst as they visited downtown for Court Days or other business.
The local statue had been vandalized several times in past years and finally was removed from public view as the head was missing for many years. Clerk of Court Chaz Evans-Haywood was made aware of the statue shortly after taking office in 2008. After seeking several funding sources to no avail, the Margaret Grattan-Weaver Foundation representative R.H. “Twig” Strickler and President Don Showalter met with the Clerk. Recognizing that the historic preservation of this item fit the foundation’s mission (see attachment), they offered full funding for the restoration. Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Chairman Pablo Cuevas and the entire board unanimously voted and offered their gratitude and accepted the work that would take place on County property.
The entire project for restoration will take approximately 6 months and will include a complete casting of the sister statue located in Ligonier Borough, Pennsylvania. Clerk Evans-Haywood intends the restoration of the statue and fountain to appear just as it did when first erected.