Marines Raise Old Glory On Iwo Jima

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

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 sculptures in the Wisconsin Concrete Park -- was purchased by the 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 in the battle of Iwo Jima, requested that Iwo Jima monument remain next to the tavern as long as he owned it. Thus, the Iwo Jima monument remained in its original for about five years.
A powerful cyclonic downburst on July 4, 1977, caused tremendous damage to Smith's 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, 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 of 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 1008, 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 interpretive 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-sen, 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 tableax 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 areas.
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 marker is next to the Iwo Jima memorial (it's impossible to miss) in the back of the park, near the parking lot.

Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park

located at Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park.

Wisconsin Concrete County Park is located in Phillips, Wisconsin.

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