Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Henry Gassaway Davis
and Davis Memorial

At the entrance to the Elkins City Park and the campus of D&E College is an interesting statue. Located now in what we may consider to be urban sprawl, this statue of Henry Gassaway Davis was I am sure positioned at a time when this location was more serene.

This statue was sculptured by artist Louis Saint-Lanne (Born 1871) in 1926. The American Art Foundry produced the statue.

The equestrian statue of Henry Gassaway Davis. Davis's head is turned to the proper left and he gazes passively towards the ground. His proper left arm is bent at the elbow, and his hand, holding the reins, rests on the horse's neck. His proper right arm is straight by his side, and he holds a wide brim hat in his proper right hand. He wears a long overcoat, open at the front, which shows a vest or coat underneath. The horse stands with head erect and turned slightly to the proper right. His legs are spaced to suggest that he is waiting for a command from the rider.

Here is the data on the inscription on this art piece.

(Plinth, northeast corner:) L. St. Lanne Sc (Plinth, northwest corner:) Amer Art Foundry N.Y. (Front of base:) HENRY GASSAWAY DAVIS/BORN BALTIMORE, MD. NOVEMBER 16, 1823/DIED WASHINGTON, D.C. MARCH 11, 1916/ BENEFACTOR/PHILANTHROPIST/RAILWAY BUILDER/WORKED AS IF HE WERE/TO LIVE FOREVER/LIVED AS IF HE WERE/TO DIE TOMORROW signed Founder's mark appears.

This statue is identical to the one located at Davis Park in Charleston, WV.

As I was takening the photos of ole Henry Gassaway on his horse, I turned around to face this wonderful church pictured below. This is Davis Memorial Presbyterian.

The church (located at the intersection of Randolph Avenue and Sycamore Street) was constructed in 1895. Henry and Thomas Davis erected this church in the memory of their parents. The site was originally occupied by the "Old White" church which housed Federal Troops and served as a stable during the Civil War. A significant portion of the roof was replaced in 1984 with the tile virtually identical to the original. The stained glass windows were restored in 1985.


Blogger bill wehr said...

The old White Church was not located at this intersection. It was located near 3rd. Street and Randolph Avenue. This was not the site of the old White Church. The new church and land was donated by Davis, but not on the original site.

9:04 AM  

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