World War I Memorial, 1921, Nashville

nashville ga the spirit of the american doughboy wwi statue photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2010

“The Spirit of the American Doughboy” statue was designed by Ernest Moore Viquesney (who was living in Americus at the time) in 1921; the impetus for the monument was the death of about 25 Berrien County men during the collision of the Otranto with the Kashmir off the Isle of Islay in 1918. This was the first of hundreds of such memorials placed in public spaces around the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. An alternate nickname for the statue is “Iron Mike”.

6 Comments

Filed under --BERRIEN COUNTY GA--, Nashville GA

6 responses to “World War I Memorial, 1921, Nashville

  1. Davy Davis, Tifton, Ga.

    I love this statue. It’s very rare to see any World ar One monuments of any kind. Reminds me of one of a German soldier holding a wounded comrade I saw in downtown Shlangen, Germany. The “Great War” should not be forgotten.

    • There’s one on the courthouse lawn in Quitman, and another really great one at Forsyth Park in Savannah.

      • Bryan Shaw

        There is one in Waycross as well. There are about 150 of these across the United States. Many have been vandalized. This one in Nashville is very unique as it was the very first one that Viquesney produced. He took it all around the country to promote it and communites ordered their copy of it. Nashville claims it as “America’s First Doughboy”. By the way, you may wish to come back and photograph it with the restored building in the background. Much nicer backdrop now.

  2. Glenn Hodges

    The statue sits very close to the spot where the old bandstand sat underneath giant oaks which offered visitors a cooling shade when visiting Nashville. Hundreds could be found around the square on Saturday afternoon visiting each other to share local gossip and the local merchants for their wares. During the summer months young boys selling boiled peanuts and adults selling shaved ice snowballs flavored treats offered their products around the square. The bandstand was used by visiting politicians seeking votes, preachers seeking souls, and a resting place for tired shoppers.

  3. Silver Salmon

    This was the first of its type. In 1918, about 25 Berrien County men perished when the ship Otranto collided with the Kashmir off the Isle of Islay.

    I don’t know who contacted sculptor E.M. Viquesney or how they did it, but he made this statue in 1920. He had it on display in Americus before getting it to Nashville.

    Until the 1940s or 1950s, we had this rascal sitting right in the middle of Marion Avenue.

    Here’s a picture from when it was in the middle of the street. Hopefully, the link works:
    http://berriencounty.smugmug.com/County-History/Landmarks/Landmarks/1451081_vTath#162653970_sqa2g-L-LB

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