Dutchy - The Hated Confederate Statue | Elberton GA
Elberton GA is home to the most hated statue, Dutchy. The town of Elberton commissioned the statue in the late 1890s as a way to commemorate their Confederate dead. When it was unveiled in the town square in 1898, onlookers were appalled. The monument looked oddly cartoonish and appeared to be wearing a Union uniform. After only two years in the square, a mob of townspeople toppled the statue and buried him facedown. A new, more fitting monument replaced Dutchy. Dutchy was unearthed in 1982, cleaned and moved to the Elberton Granite Museum, where he is still on display today.
Come with us and learn a little more about Dutchy, the hated Confederate statue.
Fun Facts About the Dutchy Statue
1Dutchy was the first statue to be crafted out of Elberton Granite.
2Dutchy only stood in the Elberton town square for 2 years before residents of the town toppled and buried him facedown.
3Dutchy was dug up in 1982, washed in a car wash and now resides in the Elberton Granite Museum.
4Although reviled at the time, the publicity surrounding Dutchy helped launch the granite industry in Elberton GA, making it the Granite Capital of the World.
5Visit Dutchy in the Elberton Granite Museum. Admission is free.
Read the Transcript of This Stories, Secrets & Sagas Episode
Sometimes art is beautiful. Other times, well, it is not so beautiful. This is the case of Dutchy, the hated Confederate statue.
Commissioned by German immigrant, Arthur Beter, the statue was created for the people of Elberton in remembrance of their Confederate dead. It was also a great way to promote a new industry – Granite construction and sculpting.
Anticipation rose as the date of completion neared. Finally, in 1898 the statue was unveiled. This is purely speculation, but I bet there was a gasp as residents of Elberton saw the Frankenstein creation representing their Confederate dead.
The German immigrant had clearly never seen a Confederate soldier. It appears Dutchy is wearing a Union uniform. And if you look at other statues from that time period, well, they seemed to look more lifelike. This one looks just strange.
Squatty with bulging eyes and a cartoonish look, he was considered to be a cross between a Pennsylvania Dutchman and a hippopotamus; hence, his unaffectionate nickname “Dutchy.”
Under the cover of darkness on August 14, 1900, Dutchy was toppled by a group of Elberton citizens. The next day, he was buried in the town square, face down and erased from history. A new, much more fitting statue went up in Dutchy’s place and years passed.
By 1982, enough time had elapsed that Elberton citizens felt it was time to exhume old Dutchy. The Elberton Granite Association had him cleaned in a nearby carwash, and now he resides in the Elberton Granite Museum.
Now, Dutchy isn’t standing. He lost his legs when townspeople knocked him from his stand back in 1900, but he still has that same goofy look.
I think it’s best if he stays right here in the museum.