Friday, August 25, 2017

The Confederate statue at the Manatee County Courthouse was accidentally broken in half last night

Posted By on Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 5:29 PM

  • Screengrab via Manatee County Government
Until last night, a nearly 100-year-old Confederate statue has stood just outside the Manatee County Courthouse in Bradenton, Florida. But now it rests in pieces. Literally.

According to the Bradenton Herald, the planned removal, which occurred at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, saw the controversial monument strapped up by crane and lifted onto a large flatbed truck, but not before its unattached upper spire fell to the ground and cracked in two.

"It's a clean crack, so it should be pretty easy to repair," said County Administrator Ed Hunzeke to the paper. That repair, the county recommends, would not take place until the statue finds a new home.

The removal of the statue, which featured Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, was overseen by Woodruff & Sons, a Bradenton-area company with "extensive experience with moving heavy objects," according to a press release.

Woodruff & Sons has previously completed work at MacDill Air Force Base, and is soon to begin work on renovating the 63rd Avenue Bridge.

Speaking at a county chair meeting last Thursday, chairwoman Betsy Benac speculated that a previous removal of the statue could have weakened the stone, leading to last night's cracking. The statue was temporarily relocated in the past to make way for a new landscaping project.

However, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller Angelina Colonneso contested the speculation, arguing in a statement that the county's video footage of the removal proves the placement of the crane's straps were the source of the break. Speaking about Manatee County's former Clerk, R.B. "Chipps" Shore, Colonneso said, "He took great care in moving the Confederate Monument as part of the landscape project."

Orlando's own Confederate monument, the "Johnny Reb" statue at Lake Eola Park, was removed in June of this year. Its planned relocation to the Greenwood Cemetery is on schedule to be done by October, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

However, as for Manatee's monument, its new placement remains uncertain.

County chairpersons suggested multiple possibilities, including Bradenton, Palmetto, and the historic Gamble Mansion. Both Shirley Groover Bryant, mayor of Palmetto, and Wayne Poston, mayor of Bradenton, have stated they will likely not take any action without a formal request from the county.

Tags: , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 3, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation