Lincoln statue by Samuel Cashwan

B. Nash and 'Mr. Lincoln.'

B. Nash and 'Mr. Lincoln.'

Lincoln by Samuel Cashwan

Lincoln by Samuel Cashwan

Back view

Back view

Lincoln profile

Lincoln profile

Full view

Full view

On a bright and sunny but cold day in December 2009, my wife and I set out to see and photograph the 13 foot tall limestone Lincoln statue on the grounds of the Lincoln Consolidated Schools area in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The statue was made by Samuel Cashwan and dedicated in 1938. From what I’ve heard, the students and faculty of the school at the time came up with the idea. It was actually dedicated on the 73rd anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s burial.
The statue itself looked pretty good for it’s age. I noticed that at some point it had apparently sustained some damage but had been repaired. It looked like a part of his nose had been cemented back on. There was also a square section that looked like it had been missing and put back on.  It was fairly clean. I think it has been sandblasted in the past to “clean it up.” I particularly liked Lincoln’s head. I thought the sculptor really captured the “Lincoln look.” It stands on a rectangular base. The front of the base has an inscription on it.  On each side of Lincoln are individuals who were obviously freed slaves as they are wearing shackles that have broken chains.  I hope you enjoy the pictures of this wonderful work of art and tribute to Mr. Lincoln.
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6 Responses to “Lincoln statue by Samuel Cashwan”

  1. Phillip Butcher says:

    I’m LHS class of 64. The statue needed extensive repairs and had to be moved a year or so ago. One of my esteemed classmates, Larry Darling, played a pivotal role in getting it all done!

  2. B. Nash says:

    Hi Judy! So pleased to hear from you. Thanks for the info you gave and the current status of the statue. Yes, feel free to use my blog! Please keeop me posted.

  3. Judy Smith Aldrich Class of 1961 says:

    The Class of 1961 just had their tour of Lincoln High School Ypsilanti, MI. That statue was a big part of our years spent at Lincoln. The murals are great and we are so happy that Lincoln did not touch them during their remolding. I did take a few pics if your are interested. The theme seems to be the Indians and this community. Do you mind if I use your article (blog) in our class newspaper? Poor Lincoln is starting to sink and needs a lift and since our class was the last to graduate from that building we are make an effort to be part of restoring him. Judy Smith Aldrich Class of 1961 Ypsilanti, MI

  4. Chris says:

    awesome pictures :)

  5. B. Nash says:

    Thanks for the added detail of the artist and his work. It looked to be in pretty good shape. You say he did some murals at the school. Were they Lincoln related? Ah, he used Sandburg as his inspiration- I knew there was something I REALLY liked about the statue.

  6. Dave Wiegers says:

    This is a very interesting piece and one of the few done in limestone instead of bronze, marble or granite. Also it is one of just a few Lincoln works that actually reference slavery in the statue itself. The project was initiated by the students and faculty of the Lincoln School. Mr Caswan had done some murals at the school through the WPA of Michigan, and he was asked to do this statue. He said that he used Carl Sandburg’s books on Lincoln as his inspiration.

    The State Superintendent of Schools spoke at the dedication and said, ” If this memorial can inspire the citzens of this community to be more sympathetic, more tolernat, more energetic and more spiritual, the spirit of the Great Emacipator will remain and abide with you.”
    Cashwan was a Russian immigrant that studied in Detroit and in Paris, France.

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