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How many statues of animals does Hall County have?
We can think of four notable statues: a chicken, a tiger, a rabbit and a mobile red elephant.
A 30-inch tall rooster statue perches atop a monument at Poultry Park, located at the corner of West Academy Street and Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville.
Local poultry leaders devised the idea for the park and monument to celebrate Gainesville as the “poultry capital of the world”.
A committee was appointed to oversee the project, and according to Georgia Poultry Federation members speaking to The Times in 2012, one of those committee members had bought his wife a ceramic rooster in Europe. The committee decided to copy it, also involving sculptor Abe Davidson, who was director of the art department at Brenau University at the time.
The project was dedicated in 1977.
The most recent animal addition in Gainesville is a large golden tiger named Lucile, who sits at Green and Academy streets.
The image of the Brenau University mascot was named Lucile for Lucile Townsend Pearce, wife of former Brenau president Haywood Jefferson Pearce. When her husband died in the 1940s, she took over and served as chairwoman of the committee that ran the college for two years.
The statue weighs 2,200 pounds and stands more than 7 feet tall. She was installed in 2013, a gift from North Carolina philanthropist Irwin “Ike” Belk.
Another local mascot, the Red Elephant of Gainesville High School fame, makes its way around town advertising birthdays and events.
The 12-foot tall elephant is owned by Pro Touch Landscapes and can be rented daily or weekly.
The elephant has had many owners through the years, and according to a February 2014 entry on Pro Touch’s website, the company got the elephant in the summer of 2013.
According to the company, restoration work began on the elephant that June and took a few months, including painting, rebuilding the marquee signs and acquiring a new trailer.
The largest local animal is likely the 20-foot-tall rabbit that welcomes visitors to the Rabbittown area on Old Cornelia Highway.
Sculptor Denny Walley created the monument after Rabbittown’s honorary mayor and councilmembers — Rabbittown isn’t an official city — dreamed up the idea and planned it, according to Times files.
The rabbit, in the parking lot of the Rabittown Cafe, was erected in 1993 and is made of Styrofoam with a thin coating of fiberglass mesh.