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Fred Smith's Concrete Park

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Fred Smith was a tavern owner and former lumberjack. He began building sculptures in 1948, when he was in his 60s. Smith created more than 200 concrete sculptures here in Phillips, WI. He covered them with broken beer bottle glass from his tavern and other found objects. Fred said, "nobody knows why I made them, not even me".

His nearly life-size figures include cowboys, miners, Indians and soldiers some riding horses or driving teams of oxen, others just standing in long rows. There are sculptures of Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox, Kit Carson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty, the Budweiser Clydesdale team, a double wedding, and the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima.

He built the sculptures for over 15 years until 1964, when he suffered a stroke. He died in 1976 and soon thereafter a storm knocked down 70% of his figures. The Kohler Foundation began restoring the park which is now maintained by the Friends of Fred Smith. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

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