Laconia, New Hampshire: 36-Foot-Tall Indian Head (Gone)

One of artist Peter Toth's "Whispering Giants," Keewakwa Abenaki Keenabeh ("The Defiant One") was 36 feet tall, carved from red oak in 1984. In 2017 the head had to be propped up with a pole to keep it from falling over. On July 1, 2019, it collapsed.

Opechee Park

Directions:
On N. Main St. by the Opechee Park, surrounded by a running track.
Hours:
Collapsed July 1, 2019.
Status:
Gone

Visitor Tips and News About 36-Foot-Tall Indian Head

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Toth Whispering Giant.

Whispering Giant

Peter "Wolf" Toth's 36-foot-tall carved wooden Indian head sculpture, "The Defiant One," collapsed on July 1, 2019. Its demise was expected. According to a report in the Laconia Daily Sun the red oak head, carved in 1984 and visibly rotted, was "nudged" with a backhoe and then "came crashing down, breaking into a thousand pieces." The Winnipesaukee Muskrats, a local sports team, had hoped to salvage a scrap of wood and turn it into a ceremonial baseball bat, but none of the pieces were big enough. The scraps and sawdust were hauled away and later burned.

In April the sculpture was laser-scanned, and the city hopes to 3D-print and erect an exact copy of The Defiant One made of something "better than wood," according to the news story.

Toth carved over 70 giant Indian heads in cities across North America from the 1970s to the 1990s. The Laconia Daily Sun states that most of the heads "have fallen into disrepair," but that's a little harsh; many of the heads out west -- not subject to New Hampshire weather -- have survived quite well.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 07/03/2019]

Toth Whispering Giant.

Whispering Giant

The New Hampshire version of artist Peter Toth's Whispering Giant statue series is located in a running track by the Opechee Park in Laconia, on North Main Street.

[Tyler Salls, 11/04/2017]

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