HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – In Troy, Indiana there is a statue of Christ that overlooks the Ohio River.
According to the city of Troy’s website and library materials from 1957, Dr. and Mrs. N.A. James of Tell City erected a statue of Christ on the highest point of their land overlooking the Ohio River at their summer home at Troy. Casey Stutsman, Executive Director of the Perry County Convention and Visitors Bureau, says the statue is on Fulton Hill. The website says Herbert Jogerst sculpted the statue.
Officials say the Jameses had done the service of “lamp-lighters” for those who worked on the Ohio River. The website says at the time the Jameses were alive, their property above Troy was an official U.S. Coastguard navigation light, which guided the traffic along the navigable channel.
Town officials say the family, who was Catholic, wanted “to set up a heroic figure of Christ in enduring stone as a guide for all who would pass by on the river.”
Stutsman says the statue was carved and erected in 1954. According to documents provided to us by the Perry County Public Library, the statue was completed in 1956, with some repairs to surface cracks, mortar joints, a rebuilt sandstone wall and the creation of a small walkout deck done in 2013. Documents say Jogerst was a German prisoner of war from WWII, and a priest from St. Meinrad gave him the opportunity to get out of the Kentucky coal mines he had been working in and work on the statue.
Stutsman says there was a time when Dr. N.A. James donated the statue and at the time he did so, he owned a house on the site. Documents from the Perry County Public Library state the Christ of the Ohio statue and three acres of land were donated to Camp Koch on December 17, 1974.
According to library materials, the statue is made out of synthetic terrazatine dust and white cement poured into a plaster mold for a clay model, all to make the statue more durable. Some materials say the statue was carved out of pink limestone. Documents say the statue is eleven feet tall and stands upon a nine-foot sandstone and concrete base. Materials indicate that in 1999, cracks with an unknown cause were present on the statue, but with some community fundraising officials could afford the repairs, with work being completed in 2013.
Christ of the Ohio is located at 800 Market Street in Troy. The statue is above Highway 66 south of Troy and can still be viewed from the Ohio River. Materials say the statue is illuminated by a spotlight at night. Stutsman says seating is available for visitors and the area provides a beautiful view of the Ohio River.
This is the third of a weekly twenty-one-part series that will help educate about some roadside attractions in the Eyewitness News viewing area. Check in every Sunday at 8 a.m. for the next one! Last week’s installment can be found here.