Watkinsville, Georgia: The Iron HorseAbstract horse sculpture from University of Georgia dates to 1954. Moved to a farm field in 1959 to avoid pranksters and sophomoric humiliation.
- GA Hwy 15, Watkinsville, GA
- Take Hwy 129 out of Athens going SE until Watkinsville. Take Ga. 15 for 2 miles and horse is in pasture on the left near the road.
- Visible in field.
Visitor Tips and News About The Iron Horse
Use these directions: In Watkinsville, at the intersection of Hwy 129/441/15 (Jittery Joe's coffee house and Golden Pantry at intersection), take Hwy 15 south for 11.6 miles. After you cross Rose Creek Bridge, entering Greene County, it is 0.2 miles on your left.
For photographers: the sun comes up behind the horse, forcing you walk around to the back of it for a photo, which places the unattractive road in front of it. I was lucky and had morning fog on the day I saw it.[travlGirl, 01/13/2015]
While a student at UGA, I witnessed the placement of the Iron Horse close to Milledge Hall and Milledge Annex, the area where the athletes dormed. We watched the crew pour the concrete pad, a few days later placing the Iron Horse. It was not a horse that looked like Trigger, so you had to imagine quite a bit when you looked. The project was finally completed, and the parties began.
First, there was a huge bonfire built under and around the horse. It was made of iron so it could not be damaged. The principal thing damaged was the morale and spirit of the sculptor. When he heard about the fire and the image of his works being so degrading, he packed his bag and headed back home to Chicago. Eventually, the horse was moved because it became a focal point for pranksters. It was moved away from the campus, after a farm owner in Watkinsville offered a place in his pasture. A classmate of mine, Jack Curtis, now owns the farm and pasture, and takes care of the Iron Horse.
There are those who saw the events unfold, and have their own versions of how things happened. That was in either 1953 or 1954. We did not have very much couth back then.[Jim Pyle, 04/01/2011]
The Iron Horse was perhaps too artistically advanced for its time when it arrived in Spring 1954.
A friend and I went to look at the Iron Horse today because we thought that it would end up being pretty cool but it wasn't -- it was very small and not that exciting. We were fairly disappointed upon seeing this sculpture, and kind of mad that we drove out there. But there were some other interesting things on the way. All in all I would not go out of the way to go see this.[Melanie, 05/07/2010]
The Iron Horse is a abstract sculpture of a horse that was placed on the U. of Georgia campus in 1954. Students didn't like it (re: they tried to burn it even though it's made of iron. Duh.) The statue was removed and placed in hiding for awhile. It later surfaced in a pasture where it resides today.[Todd Crosby, 07/28/2003]
In the '50s a Chicago artist donated an Iron Horse sculpture to the University of Georgia. The University placed it in an open courtyard between some dorms. The students complained about the then 'modern art' sculpture and began to hold drunken parties around it and starting fires under it. The university removed it and contemplated what to do with it.
A farmer in nearby Watkinsville offered to take it in his corn field, where it still stands. He said he gauges the corn by how high to the horse it gets.
If you ask nicely and behave, he will let you get up close to the horse, but it is quite visible from the road.[Marion Campbell, 07/14/2002]