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New Boy Scout Statue - Barre,VT

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A local Boy Scout historian is leading the effort in Barre, a city known as "the granite center of the world," to complete the project — a granite statue of a scout carrying a person on his shoulders. The original project ceased following the 1941 death of Italian-born artist Carlo Abate, who helped train generations of Barre artists.


The Boy Scout sculpture would join three existing works of art that commemorate the city's heritage as a granite center made famous by its immigrants.


"We've erected monuments throughout America and even the world and we only have three within the city," said Steve Restelli, a Barre native and former Boy Scout.


There is no officially recognized first Boy Scout troop in the country and at least two other locations, one in Oklahoma and the other in Pennsylvania, also claim to be the home of the first U.S. Boy Scout troop.


The Barre Scouting Monument will honor Troop #1, which was founded in Barre, Vermont in 1909. The monument will bring to life the incomplete model begun by renowned sculptor Carlo Abate. It will be a testament to Barre’s historic past and the movement that captured a nation by inspiring and shaping our youth as a sculptor shapes a block of stone in to art.

The Barre Scouting Monument will pay tribute to:

A City: For over 200 years, Barre has been known as the “Granite Center of the World.’

A Movement: In 1909, William Foster Milne transformed the local Boys Brigade in to Boy Scout Troop #1, the first in America.

An Artist: Carlo Abate is one of Barre’s most celebrated artists and teachers


What became Barre's Boy Scout Troop 1 began in the fall of 1909 when a group of boys from the First Baptist Church's Boys Brigade were asked by Scottish immigrant stone cutter William Foster Milne if they wanted to become Scouts.


"We voted we did," Wallace Watt had said, recalling the moment in a 1985 interview not long before his death. Watt was 14 when the boys voted.


Restelli is leading a committee seeking to raise the money for the Boy Scout statue, which will be carved out of the area's signature gray granite by local artist Giuliano Cecchinelli II.


"It wasn't easy to find someone to take on the project," Restelli said. "Artists are pretty reluctant to take over somebody else's work and then finish it. It's not really their own."


Once completed, the life-sized Boy Scout statue will take its place in the heart of downtown Barre, outside the old train station, another example of the city's granite roots.


The original unfinished plaster model of a uniform-wearing Scout, another boy over his shoulders in a fireman's carry, from the late 1930s sits on the second floor of the local library. (Shown below)


Cecchinelli's modern model is at the Vermont Granite Museum, in Barre.








Edited by RememberSchiff
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Hey! My boyfriend wrote this article! :)


I've seen the model many times in the library (I don't live in Barre, but do live in the area). I never realized it was a scout, although a closer look would have clued me in.


Barre has done a really cool campaign lately to get more "modern" granite statues throughout town-- gargoyles on the end of bike racks, a granite "zipper" on the ground with flowers coming out (like you are unzipping the earth), etc. My boys' favorite is a life-size granite chair and couch!

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  • 8 months later...

I always enjoyed visiting the Green Mountain State.  I've been to Barre a few times and that sounds like a neat idea if they want it.  Suprised to hear about the modern granite statues.  I've never seen them.  I'll have to look harder the next time I'm in town.

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Update Apr 18, 2018

Enough money has been raised to start sculpting the granite statue while fundraising to complete the project continues.

The monument committee is also optimistic about its chances of landing a pair of grants it has applied for and is continuing to accept online donations at www.scoutingmonument.org. Checks made payable to VFW Mackenzie-Webster Post #709 can be mailed to: Barre Scouting Monument, P.O. Box 321, Barre, Vt. 05641. Reference “scouting monument” in the memo line.

Barring any unforeseen complications, sculptor Giuliano Cecchinelli should start work later this month and be finished some time in October.

“The timing is perfect,” he said, explaining that the hope is to dedicate the monument when the Green Mountain Council holds its 20th Annual Salute to Veterans Parade in Barre on Saturday, Nov. 3.


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