Uncle Sam Comes Full Circle, Statue Officially Dedicated In Danbury
If you were a kid and attended the Great Danbury State Fair, then I'm sure you remember the Uncle Sam statue that greeted everyone at the entrance. Well, after almost 38 years, Uncle Sam is finally back where he belongs.
After the Fair ended in 1981, Uncle Sam found a new home at The Magic Forest Amusement Park in Lake George, New York, where he stood until the park changed hands last year. Enter Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and the city's campaign to "Bring Uncle Sam Home." Joining the mayor in his quest were a slew of local Danbury businesses, including Leahy's Fuel whose founder, John Leahy, originally brought the statue to the Fair.
After a long negotiation, the city was able to buy the statue back from The Magic Forest Amusement Park for $50,000, and set up his new home right in front of the Danbury Railway Museum on White Street.
All the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and local businesses who contributed their services, led to Uncle Sam's official dedication on July 25th, 2019.
Mayor Mark Boughton and many city dignitaries where present, as well as local figures like Jack Stetson, who penned the book The Life and Times of the Great Danbury State Fair, and Paul Valeri, the trustee of the Danbury Museum and Historical Society. Check out the highlights of the ceremony in this short video:
According to the Mayor, the statue is an iconic Danbury landmark and happens to be the tallest Uncle Sam statue in the world standing over 38 feet tall. There were only two of these statues ever made -- the other one still stands somewhere in Wisconsin. But that one is on a 15-foot platform, so technically, according to Mayor Mark, Danbury's Uncle Sam is the tallest statue standing on just the ground.
Believe it or not, our version of Uncle Sam got his first gig at a Hamburger Restaurant, where his main job was holding a gigantic burger. The only problem was that the weight of the burger caused the statue to fall over a bunch of times, so when he finally made his appearance in Danbury in the early 70s, his left hand was turned over, and the cane was added.
Now fully refurbished, Uncle Sam is back and in full effect for all to see just in front of the Danbury Railway Museum on the corner of Patriot Drive and White Street.