Boy and the Boot.

Boy and the Boot

Field review by the editors.

West Union, Iowa

This particular Boy and the Boot arrived in West Union around 1900, and for many years stood on the lawn of the Fayette County Courthouse. Vandals stole his boot, so in 1955 he was moved into the round "Floral Hall" barn on the Fayette County Fairgrounds. His caretaker, Henry Gross, took an old cowboy boot and rigged it so water poured out of its open top. After all these years, the Boy still holds that old boot, a unique configuration among Boy and the Boot statues.

The Boy's caretaker since the late 1970s has been Jim Frey of the Jim Frey Fish Hatchery. He re-cast the Boy's damaged foot, and then repainted him, giving him a tan to match the color of Jim's forearm, and turning the Boy's white shirt to blue. "No outdoor boy would have pale skin or a clean white shirt," Jim told us.

During the annual County Fair in late July the 3,000-gallon pool inside the hall is filled with fish and the Boy resumes his leaky Boot duties. He is, said Jim, the first stop for everyone when they come to the Fair.

Also see: Boy and the Boot Round-Up

Boy and the Boot

Fayette County Fairgrounds

504 S. Vine St., West Union, IA
The boy stands inside the white "Floral Hall" antique round barn on the Fayette County Fairgrounds. South edge of town, on the west side of S. Vine St.
Call ahead to ask if someone can open the barn. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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