WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – There’s a local statue that has upheld a long history in Wheeling, and now it’s time for a face lift. 7News brings you all the details you need to know about this World War one monument, and why it left Wheeling Park today in a U-Haul.
It’s called the Doughboy, but not the one that works for Pillsbury. In fact, this doughboy has been around since long before that character. The Doughboy statue at Wheeling Park was placed there on Memorial Day in 1931 as a memorial to all World War 1 Soldiers.
That’s how American Soldiers in World War 1 were referred to. It could have been the dust on their uniforms that looked like dust, it could have been that their buttons looked like doughnuts.SEAN DUFFY – LOCAL HISTORY SPECIALIST, OHIO COUNTY LIBRARY
But now he ready for a much-needed restoration.
He’ been neglected over the years. He’s been vandalized. His rifle was removed, we think, by vandals. There’s corrosion to his patina.SEAN DUFFY – LOCAL HISTORY SPECIALIST, OHIO COUNTY LIBRARY
He is being restored by a company in Detroit Michigan. They say it will take nearly eight months to restore not only the statue but replace its rifle. They are also keeping its aged look so it looks more historical.
We want to restore him to his original dignity. As I said, he represents a lot of sacrifice. They risked everything to go overseas and fight in World War 1.SEAN DUFFY – LOCAL HISTORY SPECIALIST, OHIO COUNTY LIBRARY
The company has restored 10 Doughboy’s out of the over 100 across the U.S. So, our statue is in good hands. Locals are hoping when he returns on Memorial Day next year, a celebration will be held in it’s honor.
Because this statue belongs to Wheeling. It belongs to all the veterans who served and all their families. It’s really just a symbol of America and I hope we have a nice celebration when he’s back.SEAN DUFFY – LOCAL HISTORY SPECIALIST, OHIO COUNTY LIBRARY
The Doughboy Statue took over 20 minutes to release from its original base. Officials say when it’s restored it will be placed back on its original mounting.