Palatka in Putnam County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Spirit of the American Doughboy
Palatka Memorial Bridge
Visualized in 1921 at an estimated cost of $375,000, the Memorial Bridge spanning the St. John’s 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
Left: One of Viguesney's Doughboy statues which stands at one of the four corners of the bridge.
Above: 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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Bridges & Viaducts • War, World I. In addition, it is included in the Spirit of the American Doughboy - E. M. Viquesney series list.
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. Marker is located at the entrance to Waterside Park at the west end of Palatka Memorial Bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Palatka FL 32177, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Veterans Memorial Plaza (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); City of Palatka Florida 9/11 Memorial (about 600 feet away); Woodmen of the World Vietnam Memorial (about 600 feet away); Basil C. Pearce Jr. USS Tang Memorial (about 600 feet Putnam County High School Band WWII Memorial (about 600 feet away); Fort Shannon (about 800 feet away); Saint Mark's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hotel James (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palatka.
Regarding The Spirit of the American Doughboy. 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.)
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".
— Submitted October 21, 2014, by Les Kopel of Oxnard, California.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. This page has been viewed 523 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 20, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.