Monument to the Hog
The Monument to the Hog looks west toward the highway from a break in the tree line. The business in the nearest building seemed abandoned, though an old railroad track under the overpass was still in operation. When we stopped, the porcine scrap metal sculpture was wrapped in strings of Christmas tree lights.
Artist Larry Godwin told us the story behind the hog, which he designed in 1967: "Our father, Bob Godwin, owned a feed mill serving 300 dealers in three states. His artist sons [Larry and Ronald] could make art better than they could make feed, so we focused on his marketing and promotion through large-scale sculptures."
The Godwin brothers used steel sheets welded to solid round rods contoured as a pig, 26 feet long and about 13 feet high, mounted on a trailer. The hog's head was motorized and moved side to side. The original sign on the sculpture read: "Going Whole Hog for Bob's Feeds."
Dothan claims to be the Peanut Capital of the World, and the Godwin brothers began to create large animal sculptures in conjunction with the annual Peanut Festival. This included a 28-foot-long animated catfish, with swishing tail, moving eyes, and flapping gills; and a 24-foot-long steel bull with a hammered aluminum surface.
The Godwins also sculpted the gilded peanut at the Dothan Tourist Welcome Center.
The pig was labeled "Emfinger Steel," apparently a previous employer; we are informed by tipster Jennifer Roberts that "The land was sold by Ginger Emfinger Lucas to W. R. Strickland from Birmingham, AL - Emfinger Steel is not associated with Mr. Strickland or any business that he owns." The current sponsor is a metal recycling business.