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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Art of E.T. Wickham: Lester Soloman & Daniel Boone

Art of E.T. Wickham: Lester Soloman & Daniel Boone

Enoch Tanner (E.T.) Wickham was born in 1883 and lived as a farmer most of his life in the small town of Palmyra, TN on the western side of Montgomery County. After retiring in the early 1950's, E.T. started quite a hobby.

Starting then and continuing for nearly two decades, he started making concrete statues. After each statue was built, it was places on the side of the road on his property. Soon, after he started building these, he put up a sign that said Wickham Park, and that is what the place became known as. The statues started with animals and family members but soon became famous Tennesseeans and Americans.

E.T. Wickham died in 1970.. The many statues were enjoyed by the locals, but unfortunately the elements and more importantly frequent vandalism took their toll on the statues. (which is the obvious reason why there are things missing from these pictures.)

Luckily, the family has stepped in to preserve the statues (or what's left of them) and the memory. In 2006, some of these statues were moved to a better location, making them easier to see, but also behind a barbed wire fence to cut down on vandalism. They also have a website wickhamstonepark.com/ which provides very thorough information on the statues.

These two statues used to be a collection of four in one piece. On the left is Lester Solomon and on the right is Daniel Boone. There used to be another two to the right of Boone, Chickasaw tribal leader Piomingo and Sitting Bull. You've heard of Daniel Boone, but Lester Solomon was the county soil conservationist and friend of Wickham.

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