A new Byerly Baby and pedestal were erected recently in the Hartsville Museum’s Sculpture Courtyard between the museum and Center Theater to replace the historic statue that was destroyed by vandals in October 2009.
A three-foot-tall statue depicting a young boy with his hands behind his back and his right foot kicked up was originally placed in the Dr. William L. Byerly Sr. Memorial Rose Garden at the former Byerly Hospital as a tribute to Dr. Byerly who practiced medicine in Hartsville for 60 years and helped deliver some 12,000 babies during his career between 1915 and 1975.
The sculpture was moved to the Sculpture Courtyard in 2000 after Byerly Hospital, which was located on East Carolina Avenue, was sold and eventually torn down, reported Kathy Dunlap, executive director of the Hartsville Museum in an earlier article in The Messenger.
The new Byerly Baby was sculpted out of white Carrara marble to match as closely as possible the original statue that was carved out of the marble which derives its named from Carrara, Italy where it is found.
The total cost to replace the statue and pedestal was about $7,500. Insurance paid for part of the replacement and the remainder was paid for by the Hartsville Museum Commission. The Hartsville Community Center Building Commission paid for surveillance cameras to guard against more vandalism once the new statue was in place.
Blackmon Memorials was responsible for making the clay model and sending it to Italy to be sculpted out of Carrara marble.
During a June meeting of the Hartsville Museum Commission, board member Dr. Glenn Lawhon Jr. said, “We have a responsibility to (replace the statue).” Dr. Mac Chapman, president of the board, added, “That’s a good thing to do.”
Dunlap and the museum staff were glad to have a Byerly Baby replace so it could grace the Sculpture Courtyard once again.
The head from the original sculpture was saved and is on display inside the museum.