To the Editor;
Elizabeth Taber will light the way in Marion!
As we usher in the New Year, we make note of two important events in the Southcoast. Lighting the Way, a project centered at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the brainchild of Marion’s Christina Bascom, is honoring over fifty women through past history who made significant contributions to their Southcoast towns and were never recognized for their efforts. This will tie in with the coming summer’s nationwide celebration of the 100th year of the Nineteenth Amendment which gave women the right to vote.
As we all know, Marion has commissioned a life-sized bronze statue of our own remarkable citizen, Elizabeth Sprague Pitcher Taber (1791-1888) . Hence our statue project is coinciding with Lighting the Way and the 100th Celebration of the 19th Amendment.
Our chosen sculptor is Erik Durant, an accomplished artist from New Bedford. He has been creating Elizabeth now for almost a year, and will be sending the clay model off to a foundry in February to be cast in bronze. A committee is at work with landscapers to prepare the site for the statue immediately across from the Town Hall on the Bicentennial Park Corner. The statue unveiling will coincide with the Annual Town Party next August.
Elizabeth was an educator, philanthropist, visionary, and energetic activist. A true woman before her time.
Her legacy includes the Town Hall, Town Library, Music Hall, Union Hall, Tabor Hall, the Congregational Chapel, and her most expansive creation, Tabor Academy. Beyond this, Mrs. Taber left money for gardens, walkways, cemeteries, tree plantings, and endowment funds for future maintenance of her creations. And all of this in her eighties!
The Statue Committee is raising the money for this project so that no tax dollars will be used. Citizens of Marion are encouraged to contribute to the cost of the statue by mailing a check to the Sippican Historical Society, PO Box 541, Marion, MA 02738 (and please write ET Statue in the note line of your check.) All donations are tax deductible.
From now until her unveiling, there are plans to work with school children, Scouts, the Library and the Art Center, to educate our community about this extraordinary woman.
Elizabeth Taber will indeed be Lighting our Way through decades and hopefully centuries to come from her bench in the park, a book and her pipe in her hands when she returns next summer, this time forever more!
We owe her an extreme debt of gratitude and eagerly await her unveiling in August!
Tinker Saltonstall, for the Celebrate Elizabeth Taber Statue Committee
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