Last week we visited the only permanent Sherlock Holmes statue in North America – and it has the face of Elzie “E.C.” Segar, the cartoonist best known for creating the immortal spinach-eating sailor Popeye.
The granite statue standing in a residential neighborhood in Segar’s hometown of Chester, IL, was the brainchild of Mike McClure, BSI, founder of the Chester Baskerville Society. It celebrates Segar’s affection for Holmes, which shows up repeatedly in his cartoons.
On the wall behind the statue, those who not only see but observe will notice the word “RACHE” in red from A Study in Scarlet, four crosses from The Sign of the Four, and the symbol tattooed on the Scrowrers The Valley of Fear. At the base of the statue are “the footprints of a gigantic hound.”
Encircling the statue are a series of granite blocks, each bearing the name of two Sherlock Holmes adventures and the sponsor of the block. From above, these form the lens of a magnifying glass, with the path being the handle.
McClure, a mortician by trade, was also the creator of the Popeye & Friends Character Trail, celebrating the fact that Wimpy, Olive Oyl, and Popeye’s other friends were based on residents of Chester in Segar’s boyhood. And many of these statues are embedded with Sherlockian Easter eggs. We didn’t have a chance to catch up with Mike on our visit, but he sent me these photos:
|Cole Oyl|Caster Oyl
|Cole Oyl's Hound of the Baskervilles|
To learn much more about all of Mike’s fun and fascinating enterprises and hear his March 2019 interview with the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere podcast, click here.