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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stevens Point in Portage County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Boy with the Leaking Boot

A Tragic History

 
 
The Boy with the Leaking Boot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 4, 2007
1. The Boy with the Leaking Boot Marker
Inscription. One of an estimated twenty-four such statues in the world, this Boy with the Leaking Boot is thought to have been purchased in 1895 as part of an improvement project for Stevens Point's Public Square. The Boy design may have originated in Italy (or Germany, France or Belgium) in the middle to late 1800's – no one seems certain where, or when. Any knowledge of his creator is lost to history as well. But it is agreed that fifteen of the original castings still stand throughout the world, ten of those in the United States. (Nine others in the U.S. are no longer displayed due to damage or theft.)

Around 1910, a horse-drawn wagon struck the watering trough on which he stood. The Boy lost his boot and his lower legs as he crashed to the hoof trampled earth. In that hopeless condition, he was carted off to a nearby slough. Within a year the Boy was rescued by two local Fire Fighters who repaired him, gave him an iron snake to hold aloft and set him up on his knees in a flower bed outside the old north side fire station. There he remained, holding onto various objects until 1967, when he was moved to the basement of the newly-built fire station, to be stored until a place was found for him.

In July of 1975, after a concerted effort by Stevens Point Fire Fighters and several local people, our Boy was given a fine new
The Boy with the Leaking Boot and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 4, 2007
2. The Boy with the Leaking Boot and Marker
place to stand. With fresh paint, lower legs of concrete, a pedestal and a pool, he stood once again holding aloft a leaking boot.

Early on October 15, 1988, vandals pushed the Boy off his pedestal into the pool. The impact decapitated him and tore a three inch wide hole in his chest.

A fund drive for restoration raised $1,300. Many local people offered their skills to do the repairs. Machinist John Becker of Milladore, Wisconsin was hired to complete a restoration of the Boy to his original condition. The aid of a metallurgist helped Becker determine that sand, pewter, white-based metal and old welding rods were among the materials originally used in the statue. Using photographs of similar statues, Becker attempted to recreate every stitch and wrinkle that had been obliterated by nearly a century of history. He even went so far as to recast the Boy's lower legs and leaky boot.

On June 30, 1989, after 400 hours of painstaking work by Becker and his employees, our Boy was returned to his place in front of the Fire Station, to be watched over by his friends at the Fire Department.
 
Location. 44° 31.613′ N, 89° 34.473′ W. Marker is in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in Portage County. Marker is on Division Street (Business U.S. 51) south of Franklin Street, on the right when
The Boy with the Leaking Boot image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 4, 2007
3. The Boy with the Leaking Boot
traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at the front of Stevens Point Fire Department Station 1. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1701 Franklin Street, Stevens Point WI 54481, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Stanislaus Church World War II Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Portage County Civil War Memorial (approx. half a mile away); First Public Building (approx. 0.6 miles away); Saint Peter Church War Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Public Square (approx. 0.6 miles away); Airborne Forces Memorial Bridge (approx. 0.7 miles away); Stevens Point — Gateway to the Pineries (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Historic Southside Railroad Complex of Stevens Point (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Stevens Point.
 
More about this marker. Lyman Rowe, Sr. and Herman Krembs were the two Fire Fighters that rescued the Boy from the slough and repaired him.
Source: Stevens Point Daily Journal article
 
Also see . . .
1. Fire Department Boy With The Boot Statue. Fire Department Website. (Submitted on January 13, 2010.) 

2. The Boy with the Leaking Boot. Wikipedia entry; locations of other statues. (Submitted on January 13, 2010.) 

3. Boy and the Boot
Other Wisconsin Statue image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 21, 2010
4. Other Wisconsin Statue
Located at the Wausau Center Mall Food Court

The Boy with the Boot
Donated to the people of Wausau by Sue Hammond Rae in 1925. Placed in the Wausau Center by the Kiwanis Club of Wausau and the Wausau Park Department August 3, 1983. —plaque by statue
. Roadside America; locations of other statues. (Submitted on January 13, 2010.) 

4. Leaking Boot. A United Kingdom Web site, with historical data on the Stevens Point statue. (Submitted on January 13, 2010.) 
 
Additional keywords. The Boy with the Leaky Boot
 
Categories. Man-Made Features
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,834 times since then and 5 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   4. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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