Looking over Voyageur Shoulder

Still Room for more.

Chief Black Hawk and Dr. Beaumont

Emma Big Bear and Victorian Lady

Aunt Marianne Labuche will be the next bronze sculpture. She was Prairie Du Chien's first Physician. She rescued and nursed her granddaughter, baby Louise Gagnier who had been scalped and left for dead. Photo is small replica.

Shelter

Dedicated in 2013, the Mississippi River Sculpture Park Shelter will provide families and friends to gather, share a meal, and imagine the possibilities.

Follies 2016

What could be more amusing than a show full of sarcastic songs, zany dances, hysterical jokes, exaggerated stories and riotous skits put on by your friends, neighbors and local celebrities? (Photo: Todd Crotty performs dance routine at 2015 Fun-Follies)
For the third year in a row, the “Fun” Raising Follies, a variety—show fundraiser for the Mississippi River Sculpture Park, offers a uniquely good time that will evoke plenty of laughter and side-splitting entertainment. It is held in the Little Theater at Prairie du Chien High School.
Three performances are scheduled for the weekend of Friday, Jan.8 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday; Jan. 9, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets can be purchased at Prairie du Chien True Value and Prairie du Chien Piggly Wiggly. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. There is no reserved seating.
"This year promises to be even better than the last two years. New songs, new dances and wonderful skits will be performed," Cindy Hertrampf, director, said. This is the third year for the Fun follies directed by Hertrampf.
Dan Harwood, second director, will direct the music and also perform last year's favorite, The Round About song. "There will be a few changes in the song," Harwood said. "After all, the round-abouts have been in Prairie du Chien for more than a year."
Norb Aschom will be the master of Ceremonies.
By unwinding at the Follies and having a good laugh, audience members help the sculpture park gain its next planned statue. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the “Fun” Raising Follies will he used toward the statues at the sculpture park on St. Feriole Island.
“This fundraiser will really make, a big dent in the cost of the next sculpture. The sculpture park represents the history of the people who walked in our community. It is such an amazing facility, we're very lucky to have in Prairie chi Chien,” Hertrampf added.

Sculpture Park – News

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There is simply no other park like this in the Midwest. Dare I write, in the US!

The Mississippi River Sculpture Park is  included in the wiki list of sculpture parks (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sculpture_parks) This, in itself, is no small accomplishment.

The Mississippi River Sculpture Park is in the second oldest city in Wisconsin. Prairie du Chien is located in the Driftless Area of south western Wisconsin, a few paddle strokes north of the confluence of the Mississippi River and Wisconsin Rivers. It’s open 365 days of the year, free of charge for all. There is no playground. It is a park with no swings, jungle gym, slide, or sand box. It is a city-owned park. It is on an island surrounded by the waters of the Mississippi River. This, alone should make it unique.

St Feriole Island Western sandy shore touches the East channel of the Mississippi River. Throughout the eons of time, many people have set foot on the sands and perhaps, walked inland in search of food or protection from the elements of nature. The Mississippi River Sculpture Park is dedicated to these visitors who may have stayed for a few days, or stayed for generations.

Many Hands do Light Work

The exquisite detail of each life-sized, bronze sculpture in The Mississippi River Sculpture Park reveals the attention to detail undertaken by the sculptor, Florence Bird. Just as each sculpture tells a story of their visit to the Prairie du Chien area in times long past, the hands reveal the character of each sculpture.

The son of Dr. William Beaumont, Israel, reveals not only an interest of ones environment, but of the  playful side of all children. One can only imagine the conversation between father and son.  The occasion may have been used as a teachable moment as the father relates a story to the son about the importance of the relationship between humans and nature. Or, maybe, they’re just enjoying happy memories.

Being created in bronze, each sculpture’s patina reveals those places most touched by a park visitor. In almost each case, the hand reveals a soft glow, as if the visitor were reaching out to learn more about the sculpture.

The Mississippi River Sculpture Park, when complete, will have over 20 sculptures.  Each one created in bronze telling their story for generations to come.

The Prairie du Chien city park is open to all, free of charge each and every day.

Each new sculpture depends on contributions from individuals and, sometimes, corporations. Just as many hands do light work, many donations, no matter how small or large, will help to add a new sculpture. 

The hand of each sculpture reach out touching an object of importance. Whether holding a book, a black willow sapling, a pipe, or an umbrella, or a frog, the hands reveal the character of the sculpture. 

Each park visitor, by touching the sculpture’s hand, reaches out to make contact with a bit of history  that only can be found in the Mississippi River Sculpture Park. Your hand can reach out and help to grow this park for generations to come.

Looking Back into the Future


Chief Black Hawk was the first bronze sculpture to be installed into The Mississippi River Sculpture Park, in 2005. Today, as the bronze sculpture stands on the pedestal, gazing across the Fire Circle, one’s imagination wonders how many times Chief Blackhawk, himself, gazed into the north horizon – hoping to find safety and peace for his people.
The fire circle stands today as a place where modern people gather to tell stories and warm themselves from the cool autumn days. The Leamy shelter offers  protection from the sun’s rays and gentle rain in the summer.  The forked tree suggesting a path split in two directions.
The story of Blackhawk eerily coincides with today’s placid scene. Blackhawks people using a fire to cook and warm themselves, a teepee for protection, and a choice of paths, which one would lead his people to safety? The answer is revealed along the Mississippi River.
The future of The Mississippi River Sculpture Park is also at a split along its path to completion. The choice of pathways is uncertain.  We are hopeful the path chosen will lead to further sculptures. The choice of pathways is yours.

Changing Seasons

The end of one season and the beginning of another is marked differently in Prairie du Chien. In most places, Labor Day marks the end of the summer season. But, In Prairie du Chien, The Carriage Classic, marks the beginning of fall.

Viewing classic carriages drawn by expertly groomed teams of horses, imperceptibly nudged by drivers to do their bidding around and through obstacles is a spectacle to behold.

In the fall, ones sense of historical importance is brought into focus. Standing along the edges of the Mississippi River watching and listening to horses hooves and wooden wheels crossing the railroad tracks reminds one of another era One easily wonders who stood in the very same beach.

The answer, at least a partial one, comes when walking among the bronze statues of the http://www.statuepark.org/. The sculpture park is located on Prairie du Chien's historical St. Feriole Island, not far from The Carriage Classic festival grounds. The city park is open year round and is free for all.

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The life sized bronze sculptures presently in the park tell their own story of years gone by.

The Voyager - Julian Coryer – head upon a back pack resting before beginning the journey back to familiar hunting grounds, the Victorian Lady, representing tourists – many from Europe – who flocked to the area and walked along the Mississippi River are but two of the sculptures presently located in The Mississippi River Sculpture park

In addition three other life-size bronze statues are currently in the park:  Chief Black Hawk; Dr. William Beaumont, father of gastroenterology; and Emma Big Bear.

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A fire circle with bronze cultural symbols ties together the five current and 19 planned historic figures who shaped our area.

Some day, 22 other bronze sculptures will accompany the five. We are hopeful that the next sculpture will be Marianne Labuche within the next two years.

Pave the Way

They say that in order to create lasting memories, you must first pave the way.

Each life sized bronze sculpture in the Mississippi River Sculpture Park at St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien, WI, are created to tell a story. All of the historical sculptures have been visitors of the Prairie du Chien area. Each bronze sculpture was created by master sculpture Florence Bird.

You, too, can help to preserve these stories in the hearts and minds of future generations. You have the unique opportunity to create a lasting tribute. Pave the way with a commemorative paving brick,.  Click on link to learn more....http://www.statuepark.org/2014/02/test-post.html

The individualized inscription on each brick can honor your children or grandchildren, an anniversary, or a in memory of a loved one. The lines of personalized text varies with the size of the brick.

The Mississippi River Sculpture Park is a city owned park and open, free of charge, year round.

Social media fundraiser being done for latest Sculpture Park statue

Appeared in Courier Press – 12/7/2015
By Ted Pennekamp
The Mississippi River Sculpture Park Board is in the midst of a major fundraising effort in order to get a new sculpture for the park.
“This is a big fundraiser,” said Randy Paske, president of the Sculpture Park Board. “It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this in Prairie du Chien.”
Paske noted that the fundraiser is being done through emails and other social media as part of the Kickstarter Program through Amazon.com. “We’re hopeful to raise at least $45,000, but it’s all or nothing,” said Paske, who noted that the fundraising effort began a week before Thanksgiving and will end on Christmas Eve. The project will only be funded if at least $45,000 is pledged by Thursday, Dec. 24.
The fundraising is being done so the park can add a sixth life-size, bronze statue which will be Marianne LaBuche. It is hoped it can be dedicated within the next year, Paske said.
Currently, the park has statues of Chief Blackhawk, Dr. William Beaumont and son Israel, a Victorian Lady, a voyager, and Emma Big Bear. Each one is intricately sculpted by Florence Bird. Bird said, “It may not be understood that these are one-of-a-kind works of art made in the tradition of famous museum pieces and other public bronze monuments. They are each made especially for the Mississippi River Sculpture Park in Prairie du Chien, to illustrate the history and prehistory of this area. These statues are not mass produced decorative garden pieces. Each one requires its own separate production process starting with the inspiration of the artist. The whole process takes from six to eight months for each statue. The techniques and tools are similar to ones used for bronze statues of all ages. Each bronze statue will last for thousands of years.”
“It’s a one-of-a-kind park in North America, and perhaps the Western Hemisphere,” said Paske. These are historical figures who have either lived in, or visited this area. It’s a diamond in the rough.”
Paske said each statue begins as an 18-inch-high clay mannequin sculpted by Bird. Then, a life-size Styrofoam “sculpture” is made and clay is placed over that and fine details are done. A bronze casting, known as a plasticine cast is then done over the clay at an artisan foundry in Milwaukee.
“Those statues will be there forever,” said Paske, who noted that the board hopes to eventually have 25 statues in the park, which will take many years to complete.
The city-owned Mississippi River Sculpture Park is open 365 days of the year and free of charge for all. It is on St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien surrounded by the waters of the Mississippi River.
The story of Aunt Marianne LaBuche is astounding. In the early 19th Century she came up from New Orleans. She was a healer, part French, part Sioux and part African American, and became known as the first doctor of Prairie du Chien. In 1827, she rescued and healed her 18-month-old granddaughter who had been scalped in the Winnebago Uprising. When they were preparing the baby for burial they found she was still alive. Aunt Marianne placed a piece of silver, possibly a Spanish Pieces-of-Eight, which was hammered out to a thin disc, (said to be antibacterial) over the wound. The granddaughter, Mary Louisa, lived to be 67 years old and had 13 children and 38 grandchildren.
Paske said, people interested in the Sculpture Park can visit the website statuepark.org for details about how to donate. For those wishing to donate, 80 percent of funds go directly to casting and installing the statue. Twenty percent of funds are for premiums, shipping and administration.
Donors may choose to make a contribution in any amount without receiving a premium. In that case, their total contribution will go toward the sculpture and their donation will be 80 percent tax exempt.
For the $100 premium donation, paving bricks are stockpiled. These are produced and sandblasted locally. For the $500 and $1,000 premiums, hydro-stone is produced by the same foundry that is used for the final casting. The original mold was used to produce a duplicate bronze maquette. This mold will be used to produce a mini hydro-stone statue of Aunt Marianne LaBuche that is six inches tall for the $500 donation and 14 inches tall for the $1,000 donation. The hydro-stone statues are designed by Florence Bird.  The planning team has worked closely with the foundry to ensure that hydro-stone statues will be ready as needed.

The Fire Circle

The central point of the sculpture park is a 6 foot wide fire circle, where stories are told, songs are sung, and the mythical characters come to life. It is built of local stone with bronze plaques attached to the outside rim. The bronze plaques depict some of the mythical characters and symbols of the many and varied cultures that have come together near this confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. So many people from around the world have met here.

DVD available.

Artist Florence Bird has made a DVD featuring each of the plaques on the fire circle. For a minimum donation of $60.00, the Mississippi River Sculpture Park will send you your very own DVD. Supply is very limited. (Donation Link: http://www.statuepark.org/2014/02/make-donation.html )See this link for a YouTube version of the DVD and further information:http://www.statuepark.org/2014/02/the-fire-circle.html

Twilight of the Living Statues - 2015

A threatening weather forecast  and cloudy skies did not deter the annual appearance of the statues of the Mississippi River Sculpture Park.  Visitors to the sculpture park heard the stories from the “living statues” portrayed by Prairie du Chien High School students and adult volunteers.  Background banjo music and songs, played by “Many Strings," a buckskinner, a could also be heard in the background.  Small sculptures which will, someday, make their appearance in the park were displayed by artist Florence Bird. (Photo – Left: “Dousman children” visiting with part of the crowd)
This year, also marked an improvement of the Leamy picnic shelter found at the sculpture park. Stone bricks were placed around the pillars. The stones create a unified theme for the Mississippi River Sculpture Park. Many thanks go to volunteers, Bob and Tom.
The Mississippi River Sculpture Park is one of the city parks in Prairie du Chien. The Mississippi River Sculpture Park  is located on St. Feriole Island adjacent to the Villa Louis. This city owned park is open year round free of charge.  Five life-size bronze statues are currently in the park:  Chief Black Hawk; Dr. William Beaumont, father of gastroenterology; the Victorian Lady, representing tourists – many from Europe – who flocked to the area; Julian Coryer, a voyageur, and Emma Big Bear, who earned her living in the mid-20th Century with traditional Ho-Chunk crafts and is remembered by elderly residents who visited her when they were young.
Twilight of the Living Statues is a fund raising event to bring to life the sixth bronze sculpture– Marianne Labuche.  The photo, left, shows a small scale model of Marianne Labuche, called a maquette. The maquette stands about 15 inches and is cast in bronze. The maquette is currently making its way around businesses in Prairie du Chien. Donations are encouraged. 

June 20–Twilight of Living Statues CAST CALL

Cast Call! 
  UntitledExciting News! "Twilight of the Living Statues" is going to be held late Saturday afternoon at RENDEZVOUS 2015 this year, June 20th. MANY MORE people from many other towns, cities and states sharing our rich Prairie du Chien history. (Link to 2015 Twilight)
We are requesting your talents  as our current/future statues willing to share your character's stories in another "Twilight" experience.   Would you be willing to help us again, please? The date is Saturday, June 20th at the Statue Park (one month from TODAY.).  Scripts are prepared. You may have to have your own costume. The Mississippi River Sculpture Park might be able to provide a few costumes.
Please let Cindy Hertrampf know if you would be able to help by becoming a "living statue" for this year's event. It would be wonderful if you would be able to let me know "YES" or "NO" as soon as you are able, please?
Thank you so very much for your talents you have shared with our community.  Please email  donniecindyhertrampf@gmail.com at your earliest convenience OR please call Cindy at (608)326-4326.
     Thank you for your consideration. I will be looking forward to hearing back from all of you soon.
     Cindy Hertrampf

THANK YOU!

The “Fun-Raising Follies-AGAIN!” were made possible through the generous support of the following:

Our Mississippi River Sculpture Park Board members: Randy Paske, Cathie Nelson, Cindy Hertrampf, Melody Igou, Marlene Helgerson, Marilyn Leys,

Our ‘financial” advisors: Lori Bekkum and Dale Klemme of the CDA

The Prairie du Chien School System, in particular Andy Banasik , the Music Department of Phil Stiemke and Matt Lenz, and the Janitorial Staff

Our Production Crew: Luana and Jordan Stiemke, Tom Paulson, Harold Waterman and Studio 91, Kathy Paske, Stan and Barb Toberman, Debbie Morovits, Hunter and Brooke Boone and Jacob Melgosa, Crystal Priebe

Our generous donors and supporters: Dan Lipke and the Klements Sausages, WPRE, Howe Printing, The Courier Press, Pizza Hut, Leisure Time Sports Bar and Grill, Zinkle’s Piggly Wiggly, Valley Fish and Cheese, The Planted Tree, Deb’s Hair and Nails, Bob’s Bar, AmericInn, Coaches, Huckleberrys, The Sawmill Saloon, Fort Mulligans, Patrick and Janet Leamy, Dave and Joanie Skemp, Blair Dillman, The Chamber of Commerce, Channel 6, The Eagles Club, Butch Boland, Lori Frailey, The Local Oven, all of our performers and also everyone who bought a ticket…WE THANK YOU ALL!


Feeling bad about missing this year’s “Fun”-Raising Follies-AGAIN?

A professional DVD of the “Follies-AGAIN! 2015” is still available

to order for $15.00 each through February 15, 2015.

Please contact Cindy Hertrampf at (608) 326-4326 and

leave your order with your name and contact information.

Checks are made payable to the MRSP (Mississippi River Sculpture Park.)


Thanks again to everyone who helped make this year’s Follies a success!

See you next year! Keep up-to-date on the website www.statuepark.org

Fun Follies 2015

What could be more amusing than a show full of sarcastic songs, zany dances, hysterical jokes, exaggerated stories and riotous skits put on by your friends, neighbors and local celebrities?
For the second year in a row, the “Fun” Raising Follies, a variety—show fundraiser for the Mississippi River Sculpture Park, offered a uniquely good time that evoked plenty of laughter and side-splitting entertainment.
The show was brought back due to the overwhelming response from last year’s audience of around 400. It was held in the Little Theater at Prairie du Chien High School.
Three performances were scheduled for the weekend: Friday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday; Jan; 10, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m..
This year's performances were funnier than last year’s. All new songs were be sung, new dances and skits performed and funny stories were told. “Mike McCoy’s interpretation of Lambeau Field and the Packers as Cousin Kletus was worth the price of admission alone,” Hertrampf said.
Descendants of Marianne Labuche, the local historical figure for which the park's next statue represents, were also in the audience for this years Follies. Their attendance helped the Mississippi River Sculpture Park board add some leaves to Aunt Marianne's family tree. A sign-up sheet was provided for each of the three family branches that begin with Marianne and her three husbands: Duchouquette, Claude Ganier and Charles Menard. Descendants added themselves to these family trees.
“It blows me away to think that there are still descendants of this amazing woman among us,,” Hertrampf said.
By unwinding at the Follies and taking in a good laugh, audience members helped the sculpture park gain its next planned statue. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the “Fun” Raising Follies will he used toward the statues at the sculpture park on St. Feriole Island.
“This fundraiser will really make, a big dent in the cost of the next sculpture. The scripture park represents the history of the people who walked in our community. It is such an amazing facility, we're very lucky to have in Prairie chi Chien,” Hertrampf added.

Mary Ann LaBouche

The Mississippi River Sculpture Park Board of Directors sponsored the “Fun”-Follies on Saturday and Sunday, January 9 and 10th as a fund raiser for the next sculpture to be added to the park. Artist Florence Bird's next creation will be Mary Ann LaBouche - first woman doctor in Prairie du Chien.

Mary Ann LaBouche was born prior to 1774 in Cahokia, Illinois. She was of African and French descent. Mary Ann moved to Prairie du Chien at a young age. She was married three times. Her first husband was a man named DuChouquette and they had two sons.

The second husband was a Gagnier and they had three sons and three daughters. Mary Anne's third husband was Charles Menard and together they had three sons and two daughters. At some point in her adult life she started to care For the sick and injured and delivered babies. When someone needed medical attention Aunt Mary was summoned. Even alter a surgeon was available at Fort Crawford many preferred Aunt Mary's help and her”yarb tea” to restore health.

We are all Familiar with the story of the baby who survived a scalping at the hands of the Winnebago and Red Bird on june 28, 1827. The baby's name was Mary (or Louisa Gagnier). Her Father was Rijeste Gagnier who was killed on that day and her grandmother was Aunt Mary. Aunt Mary's most Famous patient was presumed dead and was being prepared For burial when her breathing was noticed. Aunt Mary took over and nursed her granddaughter back to health. She supposedly put a piece of silver on the wound to cover and protect it.

Mary (Louisa) led a long and normal life. She married twice, her first husband was a man named Moreaux. He died in 1855 and left her with ten children.

The second husband was Coasm Cherrier. He was known by the name Comb. The couple had three children: Magdalene born December 6, 1863, Felix born October 7, 1865 and Louisa born February 29, 1868 and died in infancy.

Mary (Louisa) Cherrier lived to be 80 years old. She always wore a cap or piece of ribbon to cover the crown of her head. There are many in the area who can trace their roots back to Mrs.Cheerier and Aunt Marx

The “Fun” Raising Follies was a wonderful performance of singing, dancing and vaudeville-like acts. We have many talented people living in the area and it was truly a pleasure listening, watching and laughing during the very entertaining show.

BRAVO!

MRSP FOLLIES–AGAIN 2015

follies flyer

Fri. January 9 and Sat. Jan 10, 7:30PM

    Matinee Sat. Jan 10, 2:00 PM

    Prairie du Chien High School Theater

    • Traveling trophy awarded to most creative and enjoyable act submitted from the business competition.

    • Fun filled acts that will thrill and amaze you.  

    • Share in the hilarity with Cousin Cletus and  local celebrities.

    • Surprises around each corner.

    • 50/50 Raffle

            Purchase tickets at the door. Cash or Credit card

            $10 General Admission $50.00 Premium Seating*

            Premium Seating includes:

          • First two rows reserved seating

          • Complimentary Follies – Again DVD to each family ($15 value)

          • Fun and frolic with performers at after party