Joey: it’s Mike Lindberg’s brother BOB (the dentist)writing. Recently we had family from Tampa in town and showing them around Gloucester and I wanted to show them the
very nice Joan D’Arc statue . When asked “why does Gloucester have this statue ?” I thought, you know I do not know but I will find out ; I did know the artist was from the area. Much to my surprise I learned many very interesting facts besides that the sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington came from causeway studio at “hole in the wall” at Goose Cove where we passed a million times as kids heading out to the Annisquam and the Bay.
I do know some refer to her as Joanie on the Pony affectionately and somewhat naively irreverently ( goodmorninggloucester) and always wondered why French statue and not Swedish,Portugese or Italian.
Among the surprising facts I have found thanks to internet:
1) horse was modelled from the biggest Gloucester firehorse at the time in pre WWI days
2) her studio was the house at the hole in the wall as we called it;family owned the house aka first marine biology field station there ;she designed plaque on the rock
3) figure model of Joan was her niece
4) in the art contest many liked her worked but she didn’t win because it was thought a man must have helped her -it was so good
5) Joan is holding up sword before battle asking for God to help her in leading the men in the quest to rid France of the English;later burned at the stake at 19,later sainted
and wore men’s clothing because as she said “no voice told her to not wear men’s clothing”
6) There are several copies of statue one other in NY and 3 in France -Gloucester’s is #2
7) It was given to Gloucester after WWI as a special thank you to all US forces who helped France kick Germany out of France
particularly men from Gloucester in the Battle of Belleau Woods 1918 where the marines fought so bravely they earned the nickname said to have been given to them by
the Germans ” teufelshunden-hound devils or hellhounds ” for their tenacity and where a famous marine corps officer ‘s response to request from the French fighting alongside to retreat under the heavy fire from the Germans was “Retreat?We just got here!”
8) at that Battle which was greatest battle since Appomattox where US soldiers fought includes men from Gloucester- local Gloucester man Lester Waas seehttp://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/30873-show-tell-wwi-5th-marine-co-cdrs-kia-group-dsc-navy-cross/who was last surviving officer none the less led a fatal charge of marines to capture a German machine gun and won several medals for bravery see following and the first Medal of Honor for WWI was given to a marine for bravery surprisingly for helping wounded while under fire a dentist Alexander Gordon Lyle from Gloucester won the medal of honor for bravery http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Gordon_Lyle also veteran A Piatt Andrew who name is on 128 bridge .
So after learning this I will look at Joanie on the Pony with well earned affection and appreciation and gratitude . Regards Bob Lindberg
Check out the page from distinguished women from the past-