By Dave Maxwell
A new bronze statue of a bighorn sheep standing by a rock next to a welcome to Hawthorne sign has been set up on property near the McDonald’s restaurant in town.
Robert Mathias, chairman of the Mineral County Sportsman’s Club, said the statue was cast last year by the Art of Bronze company in Thousand Oaks, California. “We installed the sheep last Friday.”
He added, “There’s going to be more work done at the site in partnership with the local Lion’s Club. They took on the landscaping that will include some more rock and native grass. I have also challenged the community, business and organizations to maybe donate and purchase another sheep to put down there which would really enhance it a lot.”
NDOT put the sign up through a grant with the name HAWTHORNE in metal letters on the cross arm. Below hangs a small sign proclaiming Hawthorne as “America’s Patriotic Home.”
Mathias said Hawthorne, “is a patriotic home as we have a number of veterans living here and put on a significant Armed Forces Day celebration in late May.”
The observance had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 shutdown.
Mathias said the choice of a bighorn sheep for the statue is based on the fact that Mineral County is known as one of the best hunting areas for bighorn sheep. “The Sportsman’s group and Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and through the work they have done, Mineral County has become the most populated area for bighorn sheep, which is our state animal.”
Mathias said the rock which the statue stands next to is one he found on a recent hunting trip, “and if you look at it closely, the face of it looks a lot like an outline of the state of Nevada. It was on Army property, but the County was given permission to have the rock.”