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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Palatka in Putnam County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Spirit of the American Doughboy

 
 
The Spirit of the American Doughboy Marker image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, October 17, 2014
1. The Spirit of the American Doughboy Marker
Inscription.
Palatka Memorial Bridge

Visualized in 1921 at an estimated cost of $375,000, the Memorial Bridge spanning the St. Johnís River was completed six years later. The bridge was considered at that time to represent the highest type of modern architectural style and construction methods. The final cost of the construction was $1.25 million leaving city leaders scrambling for a way to recoup their funds. Thus the bridge was initially set up as a toll bridge, and the fee to cross ranged from five cents to a dollar depending on the means of crossing. Tolls were to be eliminated when the bond issues used to pay for it were retired. The bridge would only last fifty years, and the new Memorial Bridge you see today was completed in the spring of 1977.

The statues guard the base of the bridge on both sides. They were erected on the site by nationally known artist E.M. Viguesney of Spencer, Indiana. The statues have been given national publicity and nearly one hundred other statues like them have been erected to date. The “Spirit of the American Doughboy” is the only statue in the world that has the endorsement of the American Legion as being 100 percent perfect.

(captions)
Left: One of Viguesney's Doughboy statues which stands at one of the four corners of the bridge.
Above:
The Spirit of the American Doughboy image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, October 17, 2014
2. The Spirit of the American Doughboy
Southwest corner of the bridge.
The eagle wings, spread over the globe symbolize a proud nation. Wreaths hold multiple meanings of victory, bravery and remembrance of the lives lost during the World Wars.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Spirit of the American Doughboy - E. M. Viquesney marker series.
 
Location. 29° 38.801′ N, 81° 37.679′ W. Marker is in Palatka, Florida, in Putnam County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North 1st Street and Reid Street (State Road 100), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is located at the entrance to Waterside Park at the west end of Palatka Memorial Bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Palatka FL 32177, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Veteran's Memorial Plaza (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); City of Palatka Florida 9/11 Memorial (about 600 feet away); Woodman of the World Vietnam Memorial (about 600 feet away); Basil C. Pierce Jr. USS Tang Memorial (about 600 feet away); Putnam County High School Band WWII Memorial (about 600 feet away); Fort Shannon (about 800 feet away); St. Mark's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bronson-Mulholland House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Palatka.
 
Regarding The Spirit of the American Doughboy.
The Spirit of the American Doughboy image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, October 17, 2014
3. The Spirit of the American Doughboy
Northwest corner of the bridge.
There are 4 statues, 2 at each end of the bridge: a Doughboy carrying a 1903 Springfield rifle; an officer equipped with a Colt .45 pistol and grenade; another soldier carrying a grenade and sticks of dynamite; and a sailor holding a shell.
 
Also see . . .  Palatka, Florida - Doughboy::. This website also contains information on all known Viquesney Doughboys (there are about 140 of them throughout the U.S.); however the link refers only to the one at Palatka, Florida. (Submitted on October 21, 2014, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Artist's name on memorial plaque is misspelled.
The memorial information marker, although nicely done, has the artist's name misspelled. It was E. M. Viquesney, with a "q", not "Viguesney", with a "g".

Also, "The Spirit of the American Doughboy" was never "endorsed" by the American Legion, which in 1935 was finally forced to issue a legal injunction to stop Viquesney from making such claims.
    — Submitted October 21, 2014, by Les Kopel of Oxnard, California.

 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicBridges & ViaductsWar, World I
 
The Spirit of the American Doughboy image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, October 17, 2014
4. The Spirit of the American Doughboy
Southeast corner of the bridge.
The Spirit of the American Doughboy image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, October 17, 2014
5. The Spirit of the American Doughboy
Northeast corner of the bridge.
Southeast corner of the bridge. image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, October 17, 2014
6. Southeast corner of the bridge.
Old Memorial Bridge Park
Project funded by State of Florida
Department of Natural Resources
FRDAR Grant
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. This page has been viewed 396 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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