The statue of Collis Potter Huntington which stands at the restored Chesapeake & Ohio depot in Huntington, is the work of artist Gutzon Borglum, who is best-known for his sculpture of the heads of the four presidents carved in the face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Huntington (October 22, 1821-August 13, 1900) built the C&O Railway and founded the city of Huntington at its western terminus. The statue originally stood atop its granite base in front of the Chesapeake & Ohio’s mid-town station.
On October 23, 1924, while a huge crowd looked on, the eight-foot bronze statue was unveiled and presented to the city and to the C&O at the request of Mr. and Mrs. Henry E. Huntington (Henry was Collis’s nephew, and Mrs. Huntington was Collis’s second wife, who had married Henry after Collis’s death in 1900). Mrs. Huntington died just six weeks before the dedication.
The statue depicts Collis P. Huntington as a robust figure with a bald head, full beard, and mustache. He wears a buttoned, knee-length overcoat, and his right hand clasps the handle of a cane. The statue stood in front of the C&O depot until May 1977, when it was moved to Heritage Village in downtown Huntington. There it remained until the spring of 2000, when it was returned to its original site in front of a restored C&O depot that now is a CSX office building.
This Article was written by Joseph Platania