History in Bronze: Great Barrington’s Newsboy Statue and Fountain

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., (NEWS10)—The Newsboy has stood atop his marble plinth for 125 years, with his arm held out hawking a copy of the New York Daily News. It’s not the tabloid Daily News of today but a previous Daily News, the one co-owned by Great Barrington resident, Col. William L. Brown.

The boy holds a copy of the New York Daily News, which was 5 cents at the time in 1895.

Brown assembled a team of prominent Great Barrington residents to design the monument to the Newsboys. They commissioned New York sculptor David Richards. Richards was known for many famous works, including Black Hawk at Rock Island, IL, and The Confederate Soldier in Savannah, GA.

At the time of its unveiling, many important people of the time traveled from Washington, D.C., and New York City by private train cars to see it.

According to Gary Leveille of the Great Barrington Historical Commission, people talked more about the four fountains at the statue’s base then about the Newsboy.

Each fountain had a purpose, the devils head was for humans to drink from.

“They came up with the idea of having fountains for animals which Col. Brown loved,” said Leveille. “So they put in a statue of a dog, for dogs to get drinks, a cat fountain for cats, a big lion fountain for horses because the road used to come right up to the statue. With a strange sense of humor, the fountain for humans was in the shape of a devil’s head.”

In the 1930s, the devil’s and lion’s heads were stolen. The two heads did not get replaced until the 1960s.

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