The iconic Skowhegan Indian statue is showing some damage on the face and hand, but officials tell us it wasn't the work of vandals.

What is Cindy's Connection to the Indian?

I have a special affection for the Skowhegan Indian. It was built in 1969 when my great-uncle Rubert owned Campbell's Feed Store. The store was located in that white building that sits just to the right of the statue. I still remember when he told us that 'they' came to him and asked permission to put the statue next to his store. I'm not sure if 'they' were town representatives or maybe the artist...but he said yes, regardless.


How Big Is This Statue?

According to the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce, which has a tab on its homepage titled simply 'Indian,' the wooden sculpture that was built by Bernard 'Blackie' Langlais is 62 feet high, sits on a 20-foot base, and weighs 24,000 pounds. It depicts a Wabanaki fisherman, holding a spear in his left hand and a weir, or fish trap, in his right. The sculpture was commissioned in 1966 by the Skowhegan Tourist Hospitality Association and was erected in 1969 in recognition of Maine's 150th anniversary. It has stood proudly ever since and has become a tourist destination for people visiting Skowhegan.

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What Happened to It?

It's now 55 years old and the statue has shown some wear and tear. It underwent a 4-year reconstruction from 2010 to 2014 and looked as good as new. But now, the recent heavy rains and high winds have taken a toll, once again. A portion of the statue's face has fallen away and one of the hands is gone altogether. I reached out to Skowhegan Police Chief David Bucknam about whether this was the result of, well, weather or if it was the work of vandals. Chief Bucknam reassured me that this is simply Mother Nature at work. Nothing nefarious in the mix.

The Skowhegan Indian is made of wood and the weather has had a huge impact on its durability.

You can see the damage in this report from WABI-TV's YouTube page.

I left a message with the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce to inquire about if and when the statue will be restored. Here's hoping it's in the plans so that the Wabanaki fisherman can continue to cast his gaze over the city.

I'll update this story when I find out the plans for the Skowhegan Indian.

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