Elephant twins coming to Baraboo
Baraboo’s steel elephant family will double in size this year thanks to another gift from Lucille Henry.
In April, the Oak Park Place resident donated $12,000 to place a mother elephant next to the baby already on display at Myron Park along South Boulevard. Now she’s giving another $10,000 for baby twins to be designed by Larry Person, the metal artist who created the original baby.
“Our population will grow to four animals and a fifth one is on the drawing board,” Baraboo Public Art Association member Morgan McArthur said.
That group is raising money for a papa elephant to be designed by Lodi artist Dean Allen. It has worked since 2017 to bring aesthetic beauty to the park, a narrow strip of green space along one of Baraboo’s busiest streets. The first baby was installed that December, followed by the mama, named Lucy in honor of the donor, last August.
Henry is a Sauk City native who visited Baraboo’s historic circus grounds as a child. Her late husband Jim was a Great Circus Parade volunteer. Her latest gift will be administered by the Greater Sauk Community Foundation. The twins are to be named Noah and Norah.
“Mrs. Henry totally surprised us when she shared her new dream of sponsoring twin baby elephants for Lucy,” said Robin Whyte, the Community Foundation’s executive director. “We were honored to reprise our role as stewards of this gift while BPAA negotiates the details with the artist.”
In a meeting with McArthur and Whyte at Oak Park Place in October, Henry leaned forward in her wheelchair and said, “I’ve been thinking that someone should have the pleasure of creating a papa elephant … but I don’t think it should be me.”
She instead opted for baby twins to be created by Pearson, who accepted the commission and vowed to finish his work in time for Baraboo’s annual circus parade in July.
The BPAA already was working on adding a papa elephant to the family. It has received a design proposal from Allen, who has done sculpture work at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Now attention will turn to fundraising.
Meanwhile, the group will work with Pearson to coordinate Henry’s latest gift to what once was a little-used city park. McArthur said he was surprised to hear her offer, and pleased to have Pearson accept the job immediately.
“All of this has a magical feel to it,” he said.
“This is a wonderful community project, and we are proud and grateful to offer our services for this very generous gift,” Whyte said.