Sterling, Massachusetts: Mary's Little LambAmerica's only famous lamb, memorialized in the town where it lived.
- Meetinghouse Hill Rd, Sterling, MA
- Statue is on the north side of Main St., in a little park at the intersection of Meetinghouse Hill Rd. Lamb-size, so it's very small.
Visitor Tips and News About Mary's Little Lamb
Here is a photograph of the statue of Mary's little lamb.[W.G., 07/17/2009]
Mary's Little Lamb in Sterling, MA. Enough parking to park and walk the little common that is there. There is a War Memorial statue and a Firefighter Memorial statue to the firefighters of Sterling on the Common as well. Nice place to take a short stroll and see Mary's cute little lamb statue.[Donna Capozzi, 03/12/2009]
Mary's house in Sterling was destroyed by arson in August 2007. The suspects had lit several other fires in the area, including a shed near Hoosac Tunnel (Rowe) and a factory building in Erving. There is now a project to rebuild Mary's House.[E. J. Barnes, 09/26/2008]
Mary was nine when she took the lamb to raise, and it is determined that she was eleven when it followed her to school, and John Roulstone who was visiting school that day was twelve. He came back on horseback to the school a couple days later and gave Mary the poem. It was an easily remembered short twelve line poem and repeated over and over by many children, quickly spreading throughout the counties(Which Hale's and Sawyer's were next to each other).
The poem was shared in a local publication many years later, and determined to be printed as "author unknown."
A few years later, the poem was "FINISHED" by Mrs. Hale to be more of a teaching poem of morals for children on being kind to animals. You could tell, that out of respect for the author, whomever it was, she did not know, that she did not change the first twelve lines, only adding twelve more of her own.
You can find all the true accounts of how John Roulstone, who died at age 18 as the unknown author, wrote the first TWELVE lines of the poem. When you study the lines, you can clearly see the age difference in the writing. John calls the lamb "it" and she calls the lamb "he." It is all very obvious. It was not Miss Hale that snubbed Mary, and Sterling town over the rights to the poem, it was Miss Hale's own descendants. If she were alive, she would probably tell everyone that she used the first twelve lines as public domain, author unknown, which gave her every right to complete the poem and use it. The only problem is, she got all the royalties and John and Mary got nothing but the experience of it all.
Today, Mary is still slowly getting more of the credit she deserves. What started with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford (of the cars) is still being carried forth through a new Christian Children's Movement, dedicated to her.
You will find the book "The Story of Mary's Little Lamb" very interesting. Published by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford in 1928. They give the best facts on Mary Sawyer available today.[L Walch, Mary's Lamb Children's Ministry, 03/10/2007]
Two New England towns are gently squabbling over civic boasting rights to the children's poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Years ago, the town of Sterling, Massachusetts erected a lamb statue to celebrate the birthplace of Mary Sawyer. In 1815, young Mary was followed to Sterling's schoolhouse by her pet lamb.... [08/23/1998] Complete News Story