It is really happening. The Pioneer Mother statue located outside the Clare City Middle school (formerly the high school), sitting majestically in the wind, the rain and snow since 1938 is finally getting a facelift. The sculptor, Samuel Cashwan would be pleased. In a “Save Outdoor Sculpture,Michigansurvey, 1993″, the Smithsonian Institution of Washington D.C. noted the sculpture was in dire need of refurbishing.
The Clare County Arts Council took on the task with a fundraiser benefit in September of 2012 to restore the magnificent stone statue which was part of the Depression Era program which paid artists to create art for public facilities.
The Clare high school students in 1936-38 were involved in choosing the subject matter for the statue. In March of 1937 Supt. Kennedy said “We are trying to develop the term “Pioneer” as the name for our athletic teams. This composition would help along that line and would carry plenty of local significance as this town was certainly a pioneer lumbering settlement.” Sketches were submitted by Samuel Cashwan and the students chose “The Pioneer Mother”, investing money from the senior class fund to help pay for the stone.
The first phase has begun. The initial cleaning and getting rid of the mold is done. It already looks a hundred per cent better. GOSEEIT. It is located in front of theClareMiddle School just three blocks from downtown Clare onState street. The process will work through the winter before the final phase and will be completed and sealed in the spring.
The response from the community has been tremendous. Just a few of the donors: former Clare City Schools superintendent Tom Moline and wife Dawn. Tom remembers looking up at the statue of the lady holding the child. Tom was five. He is now a grandfather. TheClareHigh Schoolclasses of 1951 and 1952 took money out of their slush funds to help. It is not too late to help. Donations are still being accepted by the Clare County Arts Council in a special fund for the statue. The CCAC will cover the cost not covered by donations. Call Carol Santini at989 482-8211or Jane Sartor Key at989 386-7107for more information and mail your donation to CCAC,P.O. Box 412,Clare,MI48617.