LOWVILLE The wait is over for the villages 129-year-old Civil War statue, which returned home after a yearlong restoration project at McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory Inc., Oberlin, Ohio.
On the village green at West and North State streets, workers set to installing the base and framework for the 38-foot-tall statue early Thursday.
Repairs were necessary because the structure suffered from multiple cracks and deterioration, caused partially by a $10,000 restoration project in 1988 that filled the hollow zinc statue with concrete.
Nearly 12 years of fundraising efforts by Save Our Statue, chaired by Charlotte M. Beagle, and a $142,965 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation made the restoration project possible.
During the more than a decade of chicken barbecues; raffles; Civil War re-enactments; plays; coin, pin and notepaper sales; letter writing and spaghetti dinners, Mrs. Beagle said she never gave up hope.
Oh, I never give up, she said.
The statues inclusion on the state and National Register of Historic Places helped it garner more donations as well as the large grant that finally enabled work to begin.
Many similar structures around the country were lost during scrap metal drives in World War II, while others suffered deterioration beyond repair.
That makes Lowvilles statue rare, but its central location also makes it special.
Many are stuck in cemeteries, Mrs. Beagle said. We have the best site placement.
A rededication ceremony is planned for Memorial Day.