Captain Jack Statue
The second of the three copies of the Captain Jack statue was located in Clough Park on the Meredith waterfront. It is not known what happened to the Meredith statue, or when. Clough Park was built in 1925. The postcard below showing the statue is of 1940s vintage.
Edward Hamlin Clough built Clough park in 1925. In 1927, a number of stones gathered over the decades by Seneca Ladd* were donated by Ladd’s daughter, Fannie, to be placed in the wall along the base of Meredith Bay. The rocks were fashioned into a retaining wall that ran the length of the 240 feet of shorefront. The wall was built with a variety of geological rarities including pieces of meteorite, a chunk of the Greek Parthenon, a shoe-shaped rock from an Indian grave, and coral from the shore of Havana Harbor where the battleship Maine was sunk. The wall also included rocks donated by famous people including Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. It is unknown which of the stones in the postcard above was the “Calvin Coolidge” stone.
The Captain Jack statue was not the only Indian statue in Clough Park. Just a few feet away in Meredith Bay, another statue was placed on what became known as “Indian Island”. The statue was flanked by two giant iron anchors that until 1870 were in use on the steamer Chocorua. Several postcards, below, show the statue known as Chief Chocorua, but the statue cannot be seen in detail. The statue resembled the Chief Squantum statue in Tilton (see photo below), which has recently been restored, and is on display on the corner of Main Street and Park Street in Vest Pocket Park.
The Chief Chocorua statue met an untimely demise. Damaged by a shotgun blast after being used for target practice, the statue met its final fate after being struck by a snowmobile. Moved off the island and taken to the old town garage, the statue proved to be irreparably damaged and its remains were reportedly buried.
In the early 2000s, an effort to replace the statue was successful. The Indian Island Restoration Committee raised $58,000 to fund the creation of the bronze, and another $5,000 to restore the badly eroded island. Glenn Hines of Houlton, Maine and his wife, Diane, crafted the imposing 11,000-pound eight-foot tall replica. The replacement was a more historically accurate depiction of a Native American. The aggressive stance of the statue’s predecessor was softened, and the sculpture was enlarged to allow it to be more easily seen by passing boaters.
Marine contractor Dean Mason repaired the island and installed the statue. The island, with its crumbling stone wall, was eroding into the lake, held together by old cribwork beams from a past building. A 2,700 pound granite boulder served as the statue’s base. Stainless steel pins attached Chocorua to the boulder. Dean Mason was a personal friend of this website’s webmaster. Sadly, Dean passed away in 2016.
*Seneca Ladd was one of early Meredith’s most important business persons. His various businesses included carriage manufacturing, piano manufacturing, water power, and the founding of Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB), which still exists today. The MVSB recently erected the Seneca Ladd building right next to its home office on Route 25.
The new Chief Chocorua statue on Indian Island. Unlike the old statue, which stood in the wide open on a flat, manicured lawn, the new statue is tucked away on an island covered with bushes, scrub and trees. Photo taken on 7/11/23.
Clough Park is today known as Scenic Park. As can be seen in this photo, Indian Island lies only about 100 feet away from the park into Meredith Bay. Today’s park features a Sculpture Walk, which has been a very popular attraction for Meredith visitors.
The Meredith Sculpture Walk’s first sculpture was placed in 2013 at the Courtyard, on Main Street. The Walk has grown over the years to include multiple works along Main Street, on the grounds of the Mill Falls complex, and in the Hesky and Scenic lakeside parks.