Have you ever driven through the town of Glendale and noticed the squirrel statues on almost every corner? What about driving down Harrison Avenue in Cheviot and the sight of concrete sheep statues catches your eye? And who can miss the multitude of pig statues across Cincinnati, in sometimes hidden locations?
There are plenty of roadside attractions throughout the local area to keep you and your family entertained on any given day. Art and creativity are important in my family and we love to visit the various art museums in Cincinnati. Why not take a day, wander throughout the city, and see the creativity of our local residents?!
First, here’s a crash course in the history of some of the local areas and their statues:
GLENDALE – Northside
In the 1940’s, Thomas Carruthers III, a Glendale businessman, brought two pairs of black squirrels to the village from the resort town of Harbor Springs, Michigan. The squirrels weren’t in town even 2 weeks before someone shot one. Its hide was displayed on the wall of a local tavern. That left three black squirrels remaining, but they managed to populate Glendale’s tree-rich environment. Now Glendale is one of the few places that can claim a large population of these squirrels.
Over the years, Glendale has become well known for the black squirrels and to celebrate the village’s 150th birthday, the hand-painted, four-foot tall, fiberglass squirrels were placed throughout the town. There are a total of 25 statues located in the small village of Glendale, brightly painted and decorated in any way imaginable!
CHEVIOT – West Side
In 1814, a Scottish immigrant named John Craig purchased a half section of 320 acres of Green Township from Elias Boudinot. In 1818, Craig laid out a village which he named after the boundary hills between England and Scotland, the Cheviot Hills. The sheep statues are designed after the sheep found in the Cheviot Hills of Scotland.
The idea of decorating Cheviot with concrete sheep came about during preparations for the city’s Bicentennial Anniversary this year (2018). Statues are on display throughout the city and around the business district area up Harrison Avenue.
The idea to build statues of pigs recalled Cincinnati’s annual Flying Pig Marathon and the city’s nickname of “Porkopolis”. The nickname dates from the mid–19th century, when the Cincinnati meatpacking industry led the country. Pigs never flew in Cincinnati, but there was a time when wild hogs were free to run the city’s streets.
The various pigs were public art exhibits on display in Cincinnati in the summers of 2000 and 2012. Local artists and schools decorated hundreds of full-sized fiberglass pig statues. They were installed throughout the downtown area. The events were organized by ArtWorks.
Living in Cincinnati and the surrounding suburbs, you never know what kind of adventure you’re going to have. There are surprises around every corner, and if you’re lucky, it just might be one of these creative creatures that spark creativity in your own children! Print out our coloring sheets below and let your creativity flow!
Now, let’s see how many of the statues YOU can find! A quick internet search will reveal the locations but I want to see YOUR pictures of your adventure. Post your pictures below with your children or family with the various statues. I’ve included pictures of my 2 sons and some of the ones we have found as a family!