Statue loaned to Laning-Young Research Center

Cary Ashby • Dec 6, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The Laning-Young Research Center has acquired another piece of local history, thanks to a temporary loan by the Huron County commissioners. 

And it would be a rather large piece — that is, if it were together. The nearly 11-foot-tall statue, now in two pieces, will be placed in the agricultural area of the center, 9 Case Ave., once it has been cleaned and restored.

“We will assemble it and make it work,” president Dan Rood said soon after its arrival Wednesday morning. “We think it’s copper or it could be bronze.”

The Gothic-style statue, which has a serpent wrapping around a pole, was on the base that is more than five feet tall. The statue was on a cupola on top of the original sheriff’s office and jail on Whittlesey Avenue. That building was erected in 1887, but it’s unknown exactly when the statue was created or who built it. 

A county worker noticed the statue had fallen apart.

“It was leaning. The inside post was rotting away,” Rood said.

“The pole slipped down and the top five-foot section shifted,” trustee Bill Knadler added.

The symbolism of the serpent encircling the pole is a bit of a mystery.

“It may actually be called the Rod of Asclepicus, (be) Greek in origin and medical in nature,” said Chris Harlan, secretary and trustee. “We will try to figure out why they used the serpent.”

Asclepicus was the son of the Greek good Apollo (god of the sun, healing, truth and prophecy) and the nymph Coronis. He often is depicted in Greek art carrying a staff with a snake wrapped it, which has become the symbol of the medical field. The Rod of Asclepicus is also called the Staff of Asclepicus.

Anyone with information about the statue is encouraged to call 419-668-6038 and leave a message.

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