Bronze statue of Leif Eriksson as "a man of physical beauty and vigor, in the costume of the ancient Scandinavian warrior," on a large marble pedestal, with on the sides two bronze relief. The statue was made in 1886, unveiled on 29 October 1887 and rededicated in 1989.
On the pedestal, back:
= LEIFR HIN HIBNI
At the left foot, the statue is signed:
SON OF ERIK
WHO SAILED FROM ICELAND
AND LANDED ON THIS CONTINENT
ANNE WHITNEY SC.
BOSTON - 1885.
At the right foot: (the name of the foundry)
On a bronze plaque (rededication 1989):
GENEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS BY
NORSEMEN MEMORIAL COMMITTEE,
S/N LODGES MORGENSOLEN #545
AND NORUMBEGA #506,
AND IN MEMORY OF
RICHARD ANDREW ASKILDSEN
HAVE PROVIDED FOR THE RESTORATION
AND PERMANENT MAINTENANCE OF
THE LEIF ERIKSON MEMORIAL
CITY OF BOSTON
RAYMOND L. FLYNN,
Eben Norton, Horsford, the discoverer of baking powder and amateur archeologist, was convinced that the Vikings had sailed up the Charles to found Vinland - the lost Viking colony on the North American mainland. He even claimed to have found evidence of Viking buildings in Cambridge and Watertown. So he commissioned in 1887 a statue created by artist Ann Whitney, to commemorate the landing spot and a tower in Waltham, with a large tablet including a summary of his theory.
More info on Horsford and his ideas:
Gloria Polizzotti Greis,
Vikings on the Charles or,
The Strange Saga of Dighton Rock, Norumbega, and
Rumford Double-Acting Baking Powder (on-line here)
Click on the thumbnail for an enlargement.
Sources & Information
- Horsford, Eben N. Discovery of America by Northmen. Address at the unveiling of the statue of Leif Eriksen, delivered in Faneuil hall, Oct. 29, 1887. Boston 1888. 13 s. Illustr.
- Janet A. Headley, Anne Whitney's Leif Eriksson: A Brahmin Response to Christopher Columbus. American Art, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Summer 2003).
- Photos: Peter van der Krogt, 13 June 2003.
- Bizarro Boston: History
- When Vikings walked the land
- Virtual American Biographies, Anne Whitney
Location (N 42°20'56" - W 71°5'28")
Item Code: usma11;
Photograph: 3 January 2007
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt