So long, Teddy!

A monumental bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt left Tacoma yesterday for a cross-country trek to Long Island, New York, and...

A monumental bronze statue of Theodore Roosevelt left Tacoma yesterday for a cross-country trek to Long Island, New York, and the tiny town of Oyster Bay, where Teddy Roosevelt was born.

The statue, which was cast by the downtown Tacoma foundry The Bronze Works, was made from plaster casts dating back to 1920 and the sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor. The casts were used to erect monuments in Portland, Oregon and Minot, North Dakota. On Tuesday, the 12-foot-high statue, titled ‘Rough Rider’ and depicting Roosevelt in full colonel uniform on horseback, was hoisted by a forklift onto a flatbed transporter, where it was then strapped down in preparation for its East Coast journey.

The Oyster Bay Rotary Club raised $75,000 to purchase the monument, which will be placed at the entrance to Oyster Bay during a ceremony Oct. 29.

“When I began researching the placing of the statue of Teddy Roosevelt in the hamlet of Oyster Bay, I learned that the project had been attempted many times over the past thirty years with no success,” said Anthony J. Tini, past District Governor of Rotary International, in a statement released Tuesday. “The Oyster Bay Rotary Club accepted the challenge, and, through its foundation and a capable committee, is finally bringing the Roosevelt statue to Oyster Bay where it will be appreciated by many generations to come.”

“Much of what Roosevelt achieved still affects Americans today, and his spirit is an important part of the Oyster Bay community,” said Norman Parsons, President of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, in a statement. “Quite simply, it’s a beautiful statue with a remarkable resemblance to Roosevelt. Everyone who drives to the hamlet will see it and know they’re in Roosevelt’s hometown.”

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