The ride back from Irving to the house takes me through Golden Gate Park. It is a great ride past trees, meadows and loads of statues. I have always meant to stop and check who they are and so today I did.

The first is the Prayer Book Cross. Erected in 1894, it celebrates the first christian service on the west coast of America. This apparently was held by Francis Flitcher, Chaplain of Drake’s Golden Hinde when she anchored in, er, Drake’s Bay just North of San Francisco. Read all about it in the 1894 New York Times article:

It is big

Next comes a war memorial mysteriously dedicated to ‘The Members of the San Francisco Parlors,  Native Sons of the Golden West….’ Is this some kind of secret society? Have been unable to track down any info.

Native Son of the Golden West

Cruise down the road until on the right a Pioneer Mother appears.

Thanks Mum

The statue was cast in 1915. The inscription on the pedestal was written by president Benjamin Ide Wheeler, of the University of California: “Over rude paths beset with hunger and risk she pressed onward toward the vision of a better country. To an assemblage of men busied with the perishable rewards of the day she brought the three-fold leaven of enduring society – Faith, Gentleness, and the Nuture of Children.”

Just in front of the De Young is a cider press statue apparently cast in 1894 as part of the San Francisco Midwinter Exposition

The kid has the right idea

Some Keats:

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 15
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Next up is a very worried looking Ulysses Grant. Perhaps guilty conscience.

United States Grant

Another soldier- General Pershing Commander of US Armies in World War One. Also on December 9, 1890, Pershing and the 6th Cavalry arrived at Sioux City, Iowa, where Pershing played a role in suppressing the last uprisings of the Lakota (Sioux)Indians. He participated as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Wounded Knee Massacre. Not so glorious.

Rocket Man

John McLaren was the Superintendent of Golden Gate Park for over 50 years. Where was he born? The glorious town of Bannockburn where in 1314 Robert the Bruce destroyed  proud Edward’s army. This is his pre match talk.

Scots wha’ hae’

Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed
Or to victorie!

Now’s the day, and now’s the hour:
See the front o’ battle lour,
See approach proud Edward’s power
Chains and slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn, and fleel
Wha for Scotland’s King and Law
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman fa’,
Let him follow me!
By Oppression’s woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains,
We will drain our dearest veins
But they shall be free!

John McLaren. Invented the Golden Gate Park

So we are now getting close to the end of the park and the start of the Panhandle where I live. One more statue. This is a baseball player by a Douglas Tilden, who was a famous sculptor in his day. Read more:

Go Giants

Interesting to note that the sculpture was cast in Paris by someone called Cruet.

All roads lead to Golden Gate Park

There a plenty more statues in the park but these are those that line my well ridden road to Irving St. Nice to know what and who they are.

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2 Responses to Statuary

  1. Humuhumu says:

    Fun Fact*: John McLaren didn’t like statues messing up “his” park, so he intentionally planted stuff all around them to obscure them.

    * May not be actual fact, but life is more fun if it is, so let’s say it is.

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