The Great Barrington Newsboy Statue, the oldest newsboy monument in the world, now has a place where folks can relax while enjoying this picturesque statue. A beautiful park bench was purchased by the New England Association of Circulation Executives and recently installed by the Great Barrington Parks Department within the park located on Newsboy Monument Lane. NEACE will hold a dedication ceremony from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 13, in honor of Barrie J. Hughes. Hughes, a former Connecticut circulation executive, was instrumental in organizing fundraising for the statue’s first restoration effort in 1970. His tireless pursuit over the years focused attention toward the care of this important historical monument. The general public is encouraged to attend the ceremony.
The Newsboy Statue was given to the town of Great Barrington by Col. William Lee Brown, a local summer resident and part-time owner of a New York City newspaper. It was unveiled Oct. 10, 1895.
The working fountains at that time served as a watering trough for horses offering cool fresh water from the mouth of a bronze lion’s head. By 1990, the statue was in need of further restoration.
In 1992, a significant fundraising effort spearheaded by NEACE raised $15,000 to have the ailing Newsboy nursed back to health. This restoration project was coordinated and supervised by members of Great Barrington Historical Society.
In 2016, the society, under the leadership of Paul Ivory, pledged annual inspections of the monument in hopes of staving off another restoration two decades from now. Details about this statue appear in a book written by local resident and historian Gary T. Leveille, titled “The Mystery and History of the Great Barrington Newsboy Statue.”