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Bear Grass, North Carolina: Henry Cowan Sculptures

Henry Cowan created curious painted statues of concrete soldiers from America's various wars, as well as a bear and George Washington.

Bear Grass Rd, Bear Grass, NC
Bear Grass is just west of US Highway 17, south of Williamston. Henry has several sculptures around town, but his war memorial soldiers are on the corner of Green St. and Ayers Ave.
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Cowan sculpture.

Henry Cowan Military Sculptures

Three soldiers are still in Henry Cowan's back yard, ready for action! Created in the 1980s, they have stood the test of time. There are several memorial plaques honoring service members of various wars, and a newer plaque that lists the members of the Cowan family who served. A very fitting spot to visit on Memorial Day.

[Cindy Pealstrom, 06/05/2024]

Henry Cowan's sculptures.

Henry Cowan Sculptures

It feels like you're standing in someone's back yard; you probably are. But the statues are close enough to the road that you don't feel like you're trespassing!

[Steven Reis, 08/18/2021]

Henry Cowan sculptures

Henry Cowan Sculptures

Henry C. Cowan did most of these sculptures in the 1980s. They are all of painted concrete. The war memorial started with the confederate soldier and cannon on the corner behind Cowan's house. They feature stone memorials to neighborhood veterans.

He had earlier done a mascot bear in front of the local Bear Grass High School, one of the smallest high schools in North Carolina. Another early work was a falcon on the grounds of Bertie High School, about 30 minutes north on US Highway 13, between Ahoskie and Windsor.

The bear in on Main Street in front of the school. George Washington is across the street in front of a community building. The war monuments are about three blocks away on the corner of Green and Ayers streets. I have not seen Henry in some years, and no one was home the day I [visited]. I have no news of him, but the monuments are well tended.

[Ric Carter, 08/11/2005]
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Big Standing Bear with FangsBig Standing Bear with Fangs, Bear Grass, NC - < 1 mi.
Big Yogi BearBig Yogi Bear, Chocowinity, NC - 16 mi.
Marker: The Carawan GhostMarker: The Carawan Ghost, Washington, NC - 16 mi.
In the region:
Singing Cockatoo, Cave in Basement, Kinston, NC - 43 mi.

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