Forging History Installed, Bronze Marks New Beginning for Palestine
PALESTINE- It’s finally arrived! The epic bronze statue “Forging History”, and only the second bronze in Palestine history, has been installed outside the Palestine Visitor Center. Depicting scenes from Palestine’s rail history and pulling imagery of the railroad from across the country, artist Dale Montagne has captured the essence of trains and the people who built Palestine.
Mr. Montagne was on-hand to unveil his work and talked a little about where his inspiration came from. Pointing out various scenes on the swirl around the statues legs, Montagne showed those present the bridges and tracks that swept across the country from the east coast, the replica of the historic depot here in Palestine, on to the plains and mountains of the west. The figure that rises from the swirl is preparing to drive a spike into an artistic representation of railroad rails.
City Council Members Steve Presley, Vernon Denmon and Will Brule symbolically accepted the donation of the bronze on behalf of the City of Palestine. The bronze was approved by full council prior to installation. “We are looking forward to the impact this statue will have on our efforts to revitalize our town and build a better tomorrow,” said Steve Presley. “Our rail history runs deep and almost everyone in this town has some connection to it.”
The bronze is currently located at the Palestine Visitor Center and will remain in its current location until the development of a railroad park and outdoor activity area is completed. The railroad park, a vision of local non-profit Palestine Tomorrow, Inc., will incorporate the bronze statue, other rail related art, green spaces, entertainment venues and civic improvements aimed at enhancing the visual appeal and the quality of life for Palestine.
Jean Mollard, a driving force on the Palestine Tomorrow, Inc. board, was presented with a special gift from the artist. A hot air balloon pin was presented and symbolized that with determination and faith you can soar. “Without the support of the many donors, both individuals and businesses, we could not have come so far, or had so much to show for it,” said Jean Mollard, “I am honored to accept this on behalf of everyone who has worked on this project.”
Everyone is invited to stop and see the newest addition to Palestine. The Main Street department is asking people to post comments about the statue and memories of the railroad in Palestine on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/palestinemainstreet.
For more information, please call (903) 723-3014 or stop by the Palestine Main Street office located inside the Visitor Center at 825 W. Spring.