Marines Raise Old Glory on Iwo Jima

© Photographed June 18, 2015 and June 4, 2017
Phillips, Price County, Wisconsin
45.671471,-90.39101 (entrance to the park)
Google Map

Restoration and relocation of sculptures
at the Wisconsin Concrete Park
Many changes have occurred to the Wisconsin Concrete Park since Fred Smith's death in 1976. In that year Smith's property was divided and his Rock Garden Tavern, located on the south side of the park, was sold to a private owner. Later that year the property north of the tavern -- including the historic Smith family house and barn, and the majority of the sculptures in the Wisconsin Concrete Park -- was purchased by Kohler Foundation, Inc. In 1977, the sculptures Smith built on the tavern grounds were moved to the northeast side of the property and incorporated into the new boundaries of the Wisconsin Concrete Park. However, the tavern owner, who had served at the battle of Iwo Jima, requested that the Iwo Jima monument remain next to the tavern as long as he owned it. Thus, the Iwo Jima monument remained in its original location for about five years.

A powerful cyclonic downburst on July 4, 1977, caused tremendous damage to Smith work, and the Iwo Jima monument was shattered. In the extensive project to conserve storm-damaged sculptures, the monument was restored in its original location next to the tavern. When site restoration was completed in September 1978, Kohler Foundation, Inc. gifted the Wisconsin Concrete Park to Price County.

In the early 1980s the Iwo Jima monument was relocated from the tavern property to the Wisconsin Concrete Park. It was situated at the northeast corner of the parking lot (its present location), near the former site of Smith's barn. Shortly after relocation the monument was once again shattered, this time by an unknown cause. It was restored in place; however, the repair work altered Smith's original Iwo Jima composition considerably, and the mural on the north face was lost, covered by a layer or mortar.

In 2002, a flagpole and the Friends of Fred Smith Veterans Monument were erected nearby, creating a solemn setting for the many visiting veterans for whom Smith's monument is especially meaningful. In 2008, Friends of Fred Smith began a two-year project to restore the Iwo Jima monument and improve the surrounding landscape. As a part of this project Smith's mural and the small hill were recreated. The Indian Entrance Posts were re-positioned near the Iwo Jima monument to replicate their original configuration on the tavern property.

This interpretative plaque was created to convey the changes that have occurred to sculptures built on the tavern property since 1977. Sculptures originally built on the Tavern property include: Iwo Jima, Sacajawea, Sun Yat-set, Mileage Marker, Indian Entrance Posts, Statue of Liberty, Statue of Freedom, Bear Family and Skunk, Tavern Marker, Indian Shooting deer, and the Budweiser Display. The two Horse and Buggy tableaux were also moved from their original locations (near the Moose and Elk families, on the east side of the parking lot), to the center of the northeast section of the Park in 1977, to fill out the newly established area.
The marker is located on the grounds of Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park, located on northbound Wisconsin Highway 13, at N8236 Wisconsin 13, Phillips, Wisconsin 54555.

NOTE: The Iwo Jima memorial (it's impossible to miss) is located in the back of the park, near the parking lot.

The Official Website

Wikipedia: Battle of Iwo Jima
The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945) was a major battle in which the United States Armed Forces landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. The American invasion, designated Operation Detachment, had the goal of capturing the entire island, including the three Japanese-controlled airfields (including the South Field and the Central Field), to provide a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. This five-week battle comprised some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of the War in the Pacific of World War II.
The foregoing Wikipedia Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. 

Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park

located at Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park.

 The referenced Friends of Fred Smith Veterans Monument (on the left).

 The oft-referenced Iwo Jima monument.

 The entire veterans memorial display.

The shaded sculptures with titles were built by Fred Smith on the property around his Rock Garden Tavern, just south of the Wisconsin Concrete Park. They were moved to their current locations in 1977.
This photo shows Fred Smith's Rock Garden Tavern with the Iwo Jima monument and Indian Entrance Posts in the foreground, and the Statue of Liberty in the background, all in their original locations (circa 1960).
This photo shows Fred Smith at work on the Budweiser Display, his last lableau, with the Iwo Jima monument, one of his earliest works, in the background, in their original locations (1964).
This photo shows the Budweiser Display, Iwo Jima monument, and Sacajawea in their original locations (circa 1966).
This photo shows Fred Smith's barn, which stood in the vicinity of the present locations of the Iwo Jima monument and the Indian Entrance Posts. The barn was demolished in the windstorm of 1977. Note the level of Highway 13, which was originally on the same grade as the Park and Tavern grounds. After Smith's time the highway was elevated, severing the important connection between the Park and the road (photo circa 1960s).
 The referenced Budweiser display.

 Dexter and his new friend, the Budweiser dog . . .

The referenced Indian Entrance Posts and Mileage Marker.

The entrance to Concrete Park . . .

Wisconsin Concrete County Park is located in Phillips, Wisconsin.

No comments:

Post a Comment