Whisper the Bull
Posted by: mja108
N 40° 51.511 W 073° 12.764
18T E 650636 N 4524588
Quick Description: Displayed proudly at the intersection of Routes 25 and 25A, the monument of Whisper represents a centuries-old local legend in Smithtown.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 3/26/2011 6:11:24 AM
Waymark Code: WMB287
Smithtown was established in 1665. Founder Richard Smythe reportedly circled the land he wanted while riding a bull. He was not granted the land, but instead acquired the land from his friend Lion Gardiner.
In 1903 Lawrence Smith Butler, a descendent of the Town founder Richard Smythe, proposed the idea of a bronze statue to his friend sculptor Charles Cary Rumsey. Butler believed that money could be raised to pay for the project and a price of $12,000 was agreed upon for the completed work. In 1923 the casting was complete and ready for shipment. However, the funds were not raised and the statue was not shipped to Smithtown. It sat instead in front of the Brooklyn Museum for a number of years before being placed into storage.
In 1941 Butler renewed his quest. He convinced the Town Board to build a concrete pedestal to hold the statue, raised the $1,750 needed to cover the cost of the move, and convinced Rumsey’s heirs to donate the statue to the Town.
First by truck, then via railroad, and then by truck once more, the fourteen-foot, five-ton bronze bull made its journey to Smithtown. On May 10, 1941, Mary Rumsey, daughter of the sculptor and wife of New York Governor W. Averill Harriman, presented the statue to the people of Smithtown.
As for the name "Whisper", Smythe's bull didn't have a name in the story that had been handed down for generations. "You didn't name your farm animals," said historian Noel Gish.
According to the historian, while the year is not known, students from an elementary school chose the name "Whisper" after a local newspaper ran a contest.
Type of Memorial: statue
Type of Animal: service, work animal
Proof of visit is required. The easiest proof is a gps photo of the memorial. GPS photos will always be acceptable proof. Individual waymarks may ask for an alternative type of proof of visit.