Boy and the Boot Statue
Wallingford takes pride in its statue of the Boy With The Boot, one of a handful of Boy with the Boot statues of mysterious origin around the US and elsewhere.
The Boy is made out of cast iron, colorfully painted, eyes closed as if eternally sleepwalking through town. His right boot, held aloft, dribbles a stream of water into a circular pool.
The statue dates from the 19th century. The plaque reads: "Erected to the memory of Arnold Young by his children, April 3, 1898." Why? East of here in Cuttingsville, the equally obscure Mr. Bowman had a marble statue of himself made for people to remember him, and he wasn't even dead yet.
Would Mr. Young, who owned the Wallingford Inn from 1861-1871, have chosen a different memorial, rather than the one chosen for him by his children -- that of a boy holding aloft a leaking boot?
Some time around 1910, the Boy disappeared from the streets of Wallingford, and turned up ten years later in the Inn's attic. He has since stood on the main street (except when stored away for the winter), as the symbol of the town. The Official Home Page of Wallingford features an animated Boy and the Boot, water merrily arcing from the boot in an endless loop.
But all may not be peaceful in Wallingford. Next to the Boy With The Boot we saw "Fight The Power" anarchist peace signs sprayed on the town's new traffic light and crosswalk signals.
The Boy With The Boot, however, appears safe. He stands in clear view of the front porch of the Wallingford House hotel, where the old people who hang out on it can clearly shout an alarm if any young hooligans try to stop up the boot hole with gum, or stain the water blue by pouring Ty-Dee-Bowl into it.