Wooly will soon have company. A new neighbor, Trusty Rusty, has arrived in Rice Lake and will be placed along Lakeshore Drive this fall as part of the city’s historic sculpture project.
Like “Wooly” the metal mammoth, “Rusty” is a sculpture made by Carl Vanderhyden and transported from the Green Bay area to Rice Lake with help from Rod Olson and other members of the Rice Lake’s historical sculpture committee.
Olson said “she” drew plenty of attention at rest stops, restaurants and gas stations along the way. The large draft horse’s first local appearance was Saturday at a downtown trick-or-treating event.
Olson said Rusty will continue to make appearances at schools and around town before being placed about 100 yards from Wooly on Lakeshore Drive along Hospital Bay in early December.
The statue was initially planned for FFA Park at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Hwy. 48, but the hassle of dealing with right-of-way issues led the organizers to find a different spot, said Olson.
The draft horse is the second of a trio of statues meant to illustrate the history of Rice Lake. Rusty represents the arrival of Europeans to the area, who used horses extensively for logging and farming—industries which largely shaped the area from the 1800s to present.
Wooly represents pre-historic times. The third statue will represent the middle chapter of the aborginal peoples who lived in the area.
Olson said the committee is communicating with the St. Croix and Lac Court Oreilles bands of the Ojibwe on the creation of the third statue.
Olson said Rusty was made possible by numerous donations from local civic organizations, businesses and individuals.
“It’s totally funded by community donations, and I want to thank everyone for that,” he said.