Lowden State Park, Illinois

I crossed the Rock River in Oregon and drove back north a mile or so to Lowden State Park where the giant Indian statue is located. There isn’t a lot to the park other than the Indian, but I managed to find a few bits of excitement, including several stumps that were carved into mushrooms.

See that rock in the picture on the right? The plaque says:

Frank O. Lowden 1861-1943. Governor of Illinois 1917-1921. President The Holstein-Friesian Association of America 1921-1930.

Sensitive to the best in men and animals, devoted to the refinement, productivity and integrity of both, conscious of the contribution of the dairy industry to the people of this nation. He discovered the fountain of youth in his Hostein cow and said, “without her milk children languish, the vigor of the adult declines, and the vitality of the human race runs low.”

Erected by the Hostein-Friesian Association of America

Really. That’s what it says. They don’t make governors like that anymore.

The Indian statue is 50-feet tall and hollow. It was created by some guy named Lorado Taft who was a member of an artist colony on this site. Although it’s often called Black Hawk, it isn’t supposed to represent any particular Indian. It’s just that Taft liked Indians, and he liked to stand on the bluff above the river with his arms folded. The rest is history. The park brochure says it is “thought to be the second largest concrete monolithic statue in the world.” I know I think so.

Anyway, here’s the Indian and me.

The Indian and me

And here’s what we’re looking at:

What the Indian's been looking at all these years

It’s not every day you get to see the second-largest concrete monolithic statue in the world and while it wasn’t all that exciting, I’d say it was worth the hour and a half drive from home just to get away from the crowds and see some scenery — and a really big Indian.

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