PHOTOS WANTED: Be a WEBSITE contributor

WE DESIRE YOUR DIGITAL PHOTOS of MacNeil's work! Here's some photo suggestions:
1. Take digital photos of the entire work from several angles, including the surroundings.
2. Take close up photos of details that capture your imagination.
3. Look for MacNeil's signature, often on bronze works. Photograph it too! See examples above.
4. Please, include a photo of yourself and/or those with you standing beside the work.
5. Add your comments or a blog of your adventure. It adds personal interest for viewers.
6. Send photos to [email protected] Contact me there with any questions. ~~ Webmaster

Archive for March, 2012

 ONE COUNTRY,   ONE CONSTITUTION,   ONE DESTINY

words from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Philadelphia

“IN GIVING FREEDOM TO THE SLAVE

WE ASSURE FREEDOM TO THE FREE”.  Abraham Lincoln

CLICK HERE for interpretive video

Early postcard (about 1927) shows the back of MacNeil's "Soldiers and Sailors" Monument looking east to the downtown. (Photo credit Gib Shell, KC,MO)

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Philadelphia By Hermon A. MacNeil was dedicated in 1927. Two 60 foot granite pylons mark the entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The period automobiles and newly planted trees line the Parkway. This beautiful boulevard leads from Logan Circle through the rolling Parkway Gardens on up the hill to the Philadelphia Art Museums.

Hermon A. MacNeil's “Soldiers and Sailors Monuments” mark the entrance to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia

Link

 

Since 1940, MacNeil's "Pony Express" has galloped westward out of Saint Joseph, Missouri, on the 10 day mail run to Sacramento, California. The horse was modeled on a wild mustang from North Dakota, named "Pancho Villa."

MacNeil modeled the saddle, spurs and rider's accessories after Dr. Strong's collection of authentic western gear .

The bronze “Pony Express” horse and rider galloping out of downtown Saint Joseph, Missouri, since 1940, is Hermon A. MacNeil’s immortalizing of “Pancho Villa.”  The sculptor modeled the monument’s “glorious horse flesh” after an actual “outlaw” wild mustang from the North Dakota prairies, named “Pancho Villa” (after the Mexican outlaw). (See the original 1946 ‘Long Island Star – Journal” story below).

‘Pancho Villa’ put six rodeo cowboys in the hospital before he allowed Dr. S. Meredith Strong, a Flushing physician, to tame and ride him. The ‘cowboy doctor’ (as he was called) bought the animal after its last rodeo performance in Madison Square Garden, New York City.    Originally, “Pancho Villa” was captured from the North Dakota prairie where he ran with a herd of wild horses.

Spurs and saddle detail

Dr. Strong, who died in 1946 (see obituary below), was the National President of the American Rough Riders Association, a group devoted to the preservation of the wild mustangs. He traveled thousands of miles as a lover-of-horse-flesh seeking to preserve this western heritage. He and MacNeil must have had some interesting conversations.  (The newspaper photo below shows Hermon MacNeil seated on the statue).

I am grateful to James E. Haas, (author, researcher, and Hermon-MacNeil-enthusiast) for this resource find. Jim has become this website’s “official research detective” and a true benefactor of history on Hermon A. MacNeil.   Through his detective work over 150 digital sources have been given to me as webmaster. His books on College Point history can be found at his website. CLICK HERE    (http://www.jimhaasbooks.com/).

Hermon MacNeil' "Pony Express" monument is modeled on an actual wild stallion from North Dakota named "Poncho Villa." The man seated on the statue base by the sculptors signature is Hermon MacNeil himself.

In related news the National Pony Express Association will conduct its annual Re-Ride over the 1,966 mile route of the Pony Express National Historic Trail from California, through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas to Missouri, June 12 to 23, 2012.  Like the statue, this annual event preserves this history that Dr. Strong and Hermon MacNeil so loved.

“Giddy-up Poncho”

The "Long Island Star-Journal" published this obituary of Meredith Strong on February 4, 1946. Twenty months later, Hermon MacNeil died as well.