The Hiker (Kitson)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the statue of the same name by Allen George Newman, see The Hiker (Newman).
The original, at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, in 1906.

The Hiker is a statue created by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson. It commemorates the American soldiers who fought in the Spanish–American War, the Boxer Rebellion and the Philippine–American War. The first version of it was made for the University of Minnesota in 1906,[1] but at least 50 copies were made, and were erected very widely across the United States.

"The Hiker depicts a hero stripped of his parade uniform and shown as a soldier reacting to the challenges of the battlefield." [2]


When she created The Hiker, Kitson already had a reputation for sculpting war memorial statues. For the title of her work, Kitson used the term that American soldiers in both the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War gave themselves: "hikers". Leonard Sefing, Jr., a Spanish–American War veteran from Allentown, Pennsylvania, was selected as the model for the statue after a photograph of him was entered into a national contest.[3]

The original statue was unveiled at the University of Minnesota on Memorial Day, 1906.[4] The statue stands in front of the armory at 15 Church Street. Also known as the "Student Soldier Memorial", it is a monument to the 218 University of Minnesota students who served in the Spanish–American War.[5] The statue is 9 feet (2.7 m) tall and stands on a 6-foot (1.8 m) granite base, depicting a soldier clad in a period uniform with a campaign hat and a Krag-Jørgensen rifle. Today this statue, now missing its gun tip,[6] is popularly known as Iron Mike.[5]


Kitson's Hikers are attractive corrosion monitors because of their fixed geometry, reasonably consistent alloy chemistry, wide distribution, and long period of exposure.[6]

"Hiker Study - In Situ Measurement of Long-Term Monumental Bronze Corrosion", 2009

Kitson's work proved to be very popular,[4] largely because of its realism and historical accuracy.[7] In 1921, the Gorham Manufacturing Company, located in Providence, Rhode Island, bought the rights to the statue, and over the next 44 years Gorham cast at least 50 Hiker statues.[7] The earliest installations tended to be in the northeastern United States, with post-World War II statues installed mostly in the South and West.[6]

Because of the wide distribution of the statues, they have recently been used to study air pollution over the last century.[6]

Date Location City & state Coordinates Unique features Photo Reference
1906 In front of the University of Minnesota Armory, facing Church Street Minneapolis 44°58′37.9″N 93°13′57.82″W / 44.977194°N 93.2327278°W / 44.977194; -93.2327278 This is the original casting Hiker.jpg [8]
1911 Kennedy Plaza Providence, Rhode Island 41°49′30.66″N 71°24′40.68″W / 41.8251833°N 71.4113000°W / 41.8251833; -71.4113000 Hiker at Kennedy Plaza in Providence RI.JPG [9]
June 14, 1913 North Andover Police Department North Andover, Massachusetts,
May 30, 1921 Central Park located on Monument Hill east of Bradley Boulevard Schenectady, New York The Hiker statue overlooks Iroquois Lake.Dedicated under the auspices of General Eugene Griffin Camp No 11 United Spanish War Veterans and the Board of Supervisors of Schenectady County. The Hiker was rededicated June 15, 1996. Hiker at Central Park in Schenectady NY.JPG
May 30, 1923 Pine Grove Cemetery,145 Boston Street Lynn, Massachusetts
1923 Memorial Hall Dayton, Ohio MemorialHallDayton.jpg
May 17, 1924 Deering Oaks Portland, Maine Deering Oaks (Portland, ME) - IMG 8122.JPG
May 30, 1924 Billings Park, South Salina & South Warren & East Adams Street Syracuse, New York Erected by Onondaga County and Col. Butler Camp and Spanish War Veterans. Hiker at Billings Park in Syracuse NY.JPG
September 2, 1924 Moran Square Fitchburg, Massachusetts
1924 North-east corner of Bronson Park Kalamazoo, Michigan 42°17′25.93″N 85°35′6.24″W / 42.2905361°N 85.5850667°W / 42.2905361; -85.5850667 [10]
September 19, 1925 Russell Sage College located on college ground looking toward Congress Street Troy, New York Dedicated under the auspices of Marcus D. Russell Camp No. 2 United Spanish American War Veterans and the Board of Supervisors of Rensselaer County. Hiker at Russell Sage College in Troy NY.JPG
October 12, 1926 Located at Main and Common Street Wakefield, Massachusetts, Hiker Wakefield, MA.JPG
October 24, 1926 Gale Park, Kenoza Avenue & Mill Street Haverhill, Massachusetts
September 26, 1926 Inside Bohemian National Cemetery Chicago An additional plaque, in the ground at the base of the hiker, was dedicated May 17, 1964. The plaque, in the shape of a cross, was an honor roll of 147 names of comrades from American Camp No.30 United Spanish War Veterans dedicated by the last six members of the camp.
1927 Parlin Memorial Library at the corner of School street and Broadway Everett, Massachusetts,
September 5, 1927 Garfield Square Market at 5th Street Pottsville, Pennsylvania
October 12, 1927 Oak Grove Cemetery, 230 Playstead Road Medford, Massachusetts
1928 At the north end of Waltham Common Waltham, Massachusetts 42°22′33.49″N 71°14′10.52″W / 42.3759694°N 71.2362556°W / 42.3759694; -71.2362556 Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson - Monument in Waltham, MA - 1.JPG
1928 Located Foster Park, Bordered by State S.E., Cherry S.E., & Prospect S.E. Grand Rapids, Michigan Formerly located at Lookout Park from 1928-1957 [11]
May 27, 1928 Wichita Falls, Texas [12]
July 4, 1929 Bronstein Park facing Hanover Street Manchester, New Hampshire
1929 Wisner Park Elmira, New York This Hiker was featured in a Post Card for Wisner Park in Elmira, New York in 1937
1931 South End of Forsythe Park Savannah, Georgia
1934 Chelsea City Hall,500 Broadway Chelsea, Massachusetts
1934 Southeast corner of The Common Woburn, Massachusetts 42°28′45.75″N 71°9′7.44″W / 42.4793750°N 71.1520667°W / 42.4793750; -71.1520667 Hiker Woburn.jpg [13]
1937 West side of Taunton Green Taunton, Massachusetts 41°54′6.61″N 71°5′37.16″W / 41.9018361°N 71.0936556°W / 41.9018361; -71.0936556 Taunton Hiker.JPG
October 10, 1937 Allentown, Pennsylvania Leonard Sefing, Jr., a Spanish-American War veteran from Allentown, was the model for the statue.[3] [3]
1938 Traffic island at the intersection of Plymouth Avenue and Pleasant Street Fall River, Massachusetts 41°41′51″N 71°8′49″W / 41.69750°N 71.14694°W / 41.69750; -71.14694 The base upon which statue stands is formed from the top of a column from the demolished Fall River Customs House and Post Office set on a slab of Fall River granite. In 1983, the local and state historical commissions nominated the statue for the National Register of Historic Places, but the listing was rejected.[14] The Hiker FR.jpg [15]
August 13, 1938 Lincoln Street between Market & 8th Shamokin, Pennsylvania
November 20, 1938 Located Pleasant & Highland Streets Malden, Massachusetts
May 30, 1939 Loyola Avenue, facing north into the intersection with Poydras Street New Orleans 29°57′1.82″N 90°4′32.92″W / 29.9505056°N 90.0758111°W / 29.9505056; -90.0758111 Originally located at North Claiborne and Canal Street NOCBDSpanishWarStatue.jpg
1940 Located at the corner of Huntington and Santa Anita in Los Angeles County. Arcadia, California Dedicated to those who served in the war with Spain, the Philippine Insurrection and China Relief Expedition 1898-1902. Presented by the county of Los Angeles, the United Spanish American War Veterans of Southern California and Friends.
June 30, 1940 300 W. Main Street, Northside of courthouse lawn Knoxville, Tennessee The base of the monument is a boulder from taken from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Dedicated under the auspices of the Jack Bernard Camp, United Spanish War Veterans of Knoxville. The Hiker-Knoxville,TN
October 18, 1940 Alabama Department of Archives and History-Statuary Hall,624 Washington Avenue Montgomery, Alabama This monument is located inside Statuary Hall and may be the only Hiker monument to be on display inside a climate controlled building.
September 7, 1940 Intersection of South 10th Street & South 9th Street Lebanon, Pennsylvania
October 22, 1941 State House Grounds next to Gervais Street Columbia, South Carolina Erected by the State of South Carolina and her citizens to honor the memory of her sons who served in the War with Spain,The Philippine Insurrection and the China Relief Expedition 1898-1902.Dedicated October 22, 1941 by the Department of South Carolina United Spanish War Veterans. Another plaque lists the regiments from South Carolina and the names of the men who volunteered for the yellow fever test in Cuba.
November 23, 1941 437 Broad Street Meriden, Connecticut Erected by the Meriden City Council in 1941 for $3,000 and includes a plaque of 206 names os Spanish American War veterans. Hiker at Broad Street Memorial Boulevard in Meriden CT.JPG [16]
May 23, 1942 North Landing located at the intersection of North Street and Crawford Street Portsmouth City,Virginia Hiker at Crawford St. in Portsmouth VA.JPG
June 11, 1943 North Lakewood and East Fayette street Baltimore
September 15, 1946 Michigan State Capitol grounds on S. Capital Avenue Lansing, Michigan [17]
1947 Penn Valley Park Kansas City, Missouri, 39°4′35.71″N 94°35′15.64″W / 39.0765861°N 94.5876778°W / 39.0765861; -94.5876778
1947 Arsenal Square Cambridge, Massachusetts Hiker Cambridge - DSC00381.JPG
October 5, 1948 Elm St. & Morris Ave. Morristown, New Jersey 40°47′46.7″N 74°28′25.94″W / 40.796306°N 74.4738722°W / 40.796306; -74.4738722 On the back are carved the names of the Morristown men who died in service. Sp Am War statue Morristn jeh.jpg [18]
1949 Capitol Park Sacramento, California 38°34′34.18″N 121°29′33.86″W / 38.5761611°N 121.4927389°W / 38.5761611; -121.4927389
August 12, 1949 Howard Park located at the corner of Parker and Okeechobee Blvd West Palm Beach, Florida
1951 Texas State Capitol grounds, near the western corner of the Capitol building Austin, Texas 30°16′28.72″N 97°44′29.7″W / 30.2746444°N 97.741583°W / 30.2746444; -97.741583 The Hiker is the last war memorial to be added on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol. Spanish War Veterans monument in front of Texas State Capitol.JPG [19]
1956 Spanish War Park East Parkway & Central Avenue Memphis, Tennessee Inscription on plaque affixed to base reads: The Hiker Typifying the American Volunteer who fought Spain in Cuba, the Philippines, and Boxer Rebellion. Erected in 1956 with funds raised by Spanish War Veterans of Memphis under the leadership of Fred Bauer, Commander. Spanish War Memorial Park Central Ave Memphis TN 04.jpg
February 15, 1959 Armory Park Tucson, Arizona, Installed January 22, 1959 The Hiker by Kitson in Tucson AZ USA.jpg
July 24, 1965 Memorial Drive, just outside Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia 38°53′4.57″N 77°3′44.73″W / 38.8846028°N 77.0624250°W / 38.8846028; -77.0624250 The United Spanish War Veterans Memorial, consisting of a casting of the statue atop a granite plinth, is one of several monuments "not formally part of Arlington Cemetery."[20] The Hiker - looking SW - Arlington National Cemetery - 2011.JPG
Newburyport, Massachusetts


  1. ^ Rubenstein, Charlotte Streifer, American Women Sculptors: A History of Women Working in Three Dimensions, G. K. Hall and Co. Boston, 1990 pp. 103–104 ISBN 978-0-8161-8732-4
  2. ^ Little, Carol Morris, A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas 1996 p. 70
  3. ^ a b c "The Hiker, (sculpture)", Art Inventories Catalog (Smithsonian Institution), retrieved 2012-01-31, "Allentown native and Spanish American War veteran, Leonard Sefing, Jr., was the model for the final design of the original "Hiker" sculpture, of which this sculpture is a reproduction. Sefing's photograph was submitted by a local photographer to a national contest seeking the ideal Spanish American War soldier." 
  4. ^ a b Tucker, Spencer (2009), "Theodora Alice Ruggles Kitson, "The Hiker" war memorial, 1906", The encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars: a political, social, and military history (ABC-CLIO) 1: 988, ISBN 1-85109-951-4, retrieved 2012-01-31 
  5. ^ a b Brady, Tim (2007), Gopher Gold: Legendary Figures, Brilliant Blunders, and Amazing Feats at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Historical Society, p. 142, ISBN 0-87351-601-X, retrieved 2012-01-31 
  6. ^ a b c d "Hiker Study - In Situ Measurement of Long-Term Monumental Bronze Corrosion", The Effects of Air Pollution on Cultural Heritage (Springer), 2009: 89–96, ISBN 0-387-84892-4 
  7. ^ a b Little, Carol Morris (1996), A comprehensive guide to outdoor sculpture in Texas, University of Texas Press, pp. 70–71, ISBN 0-292-76036-1, retrieved 2012-01-31 
  8. ^ Harris, Moira A., Monumental Minnesota: A Guide to Outdoor Sculpture, Pogp Press Inc., 1992 p. 33
  9. ^ "The Hiker" Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian Museum
  10. ^ Hendry, Fay, photos by Balthazar Korab, Outdoor Sculpture of Kalamazoo, iota press, Okemos, MI, 1980 p. 22-23
  11. ^ Hendry, Fay, photos by Balthazar Korab, Outdoor Sculpture of Grand Rapids, iota press, Okemos, MI, 1980 p. 68-69
  12. ^ Little, Carol Morris, ‘’A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas’’, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas 1996 p. 71
  13. ^ Dedicated November 11, 1934, stated on marker
  14. ^ Giza, Patricia (1984). A Guide Book to Fall River's National Register Properties. Fall River, Massachusetts: The City. 
  15. ^ "LEST WE FORGET: Veterans of Spanish-American War honored", The Herald News, 2009-01-04, retrieved 2012-01-31 
  16. ^ Hiker” Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian Museum
  17. ^ Hendry, Fay, photos by Balthazar Korab, Outdoor Sculpture of Lansing, iota press, Okemos, Michigan, 1980 p. 18-19
  18. ^ Bostick, Virginia L., ‘’The Public Monuments & Sculpture of Morristown, New Jersey’’, New Jersey State Council of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, 1978, p. 13-14
  19. ^ Little, Carol Morris, ‘’A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas’’, University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas 1996 pp. 70-71
  20. ^ Monuments on Memorial Drive, National Park Service, Arlington National Cemetery, retrieved 2012-02-07, "Also located along Memorial Drive are several memorials and monuments not formally part of Arlington Cemetery. These include the Seabees Memorial, the Armored Memorial, the United Spanish War Veterans Memorial (the Hiker), monument to Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, the 101st Airborne Division Memorial, and the 4 Infantry (IVY) Division Monument." 

External links[edit]

Media related to The Hiker (Kitson) at Wikimedia Commons