Thursday, July 15, 2021

Restoration of the Lincoln Statue

Pictured: The 1988 Lincoln Statue Restoration Project      

    Restoration has begun on the Lincoln Statue after delays last year due to COVID-19.  The company hired to do the restoration is Russell-Marti Conservation, Inc. from California, Mo.

    The last conservation treatment was in 1998.  At that time, the statue was cleaned of corrosion with glass beads, and then given a hot chemical patina, followed by successive applications of protective coatings. 

Pictured: Lincoln Statue Prior to the 1998 Restoration

    General treatment step this time will be:

1.)  Remove all loose, deteriorated coatings from the surface by cleaning with CO2 (carbon dioxide, or dry ice) blasting.  The CO2 cleaning method was used as part of recent conservation/maintenance treatments in St. Louis, including the Apotheosis of St. Louis (in front of the St. Louis Art Museum), the Meeting of the Waters (at Aloe Plaza, across from Union Station) and on sculptures at the St. Louis Art Museum.

2.)  Wash the bronze, using water and non-ionic surfactant, rinse and dry.

3.)  Apply a clear lacquer by spray, building up the coating in successive thin applications.

4.)  Apply a toning layer to adjust the patina as necessary

5.)  Apply a final clear lacquer.

    While conservation treatment will stabilize the sculpture and bring it to an appropriate and well cared for appearance, routing annual maintenance is important to preserve the effect of the treatment over the long term.

    The Lincoln Statue was donated to the City of Bunker Hill in 1904 by Capt. Charles Clinton.  Most of the men in Capt. Clinton's Civil War Unit were men from Bunker Hill.  He had such high regard for these men that he decided to donate a statue of Lincoln identical to the one which he donated to his hometown of Cincinnati, OH.  There are two other statues in Iowa, but they do not have the Lady Liberty.  These statues were donated by other individuals.  All of the statues were sculpted by William Granville Hastings.

Further information about the History of our Lincoln Statue can be found on our blog posting at

Pictured: The 1988 Lincoln Statue Restoration Project

Pictured: The 1988 Lincoln Statue Restoration Project

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette News, July 15, 2021.  

Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Bunker Hill Train Wreck of August 1857

    Pictured: Hotel and Big Four Railroad Station in Bunker Hill IL

From the Missouri Democrat, August 17, 1857

    Accident on the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad

    On Saturday evening, about eight o'clock, as the westward bound passenger train on the Terre Haute, Alton, and St. Louis railroad had reached a point about one mile from Bunker Hill, IL, the locomotive broke through a bridge, which was constructed over a small creek or ravine.  The baggage and express cars were, at the same time, precipitated beyond the engine and down a steep embankment.

    The car next to the emigrant car, containing a number of ladies and gentlemen, fell in after the engine and was turned up on its forward end.  At the time of the accident, a hard thunderstorm was prevailing, which added to the terror of the occasion.  Another thing which contributed to the dismay of the passengers was the communication of fire to a portion of the train by the explosion of the engine.  The flames, notwithstanding the rain, were spreading rapidly, but by the exertion of the passengers were subdued.

    Edward Warden, fireman, was instantly killed.  Mr. Wilcox, engineer was badly hurt and burned.  The baggage master of the train, whose name we were unable to obtain, and B. Deming, a brakeman, were hurt, but not seriously.

    As if the heavens had conspired to add terror and death to the scene, a little girl, daughter of Mr. Templer, was struck by lightning just after the explosion of the engine took place, and was instantly killed.

    Edward Warden died on August 16, 1857, and is buried in the Bunker Hill Cemetery.

...Read more about this and other Bunker Hill, IL historical stories at

--Cite this story: The Bunker Hill IL Historical Society. "A Look Back in Bunker Hill History." Bunker Hill Gazette-News, July 8, 2021.