The weathered and battered statute of Gen. Samuel R. Curtis returned to Keokuk this month, its bronze finish restored and all the pieces gradually lost to vandalism recast and replaced, thanks to Kalona’s MaxCast.
For the artisan foundry, restoring the late 19th century statue is just the newest addition to the company’s growing line of military facelifts and original commissions for soldier statues from the War of 1812, the Civil War and World War I.
While there were no problems moving the general from his Keokuk pedestal in December, a slight glitch occurred on the return trip when the alternator on the van pulling the trailer went out.
Convinced, “we could not make Keokuk on battery power alone,” Steve Max and crew turned around, got the van repaired and went back shortly after dawn July 12.
With the return and re-installation, the approximate 300-man-hour project was done.
Aside from totally repatinating the 120-year-old statue, the foundry replaced stirrups, reins, spurs and pieces of the sword and more. With the exception of the weathering that turns the bronze green, the damage was attributed to vandalism through the years.
It was the second project MaxCast had in Keokuk. The earlier one was refinishing the statue of Chief Keokuk. This time, they also took a little time to refinish a few other monuments, including the 1923 G.A.R. statue.