Iconic downtown Frederick statue in need of repairs

I-270

Charity, the dog statue outside of the Federated Charities building, is 162 years old and beginning to show.

FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — An ionic statue in historic downtown Frederick is looking to get a makeover. 

Just outside the door of Federated Charities along North Market Street stands Charity, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

“The dog is an iconic piece of the streetscape in Downtown Frederick. It is a Victorian-era statue so it has a unique antiquities perspective,” explained director of Federated Charities, Elin Ross. 

The non-profit organization, that helps other nonprofits with discounted office space, has occupied the building since 1911.

It was formally the Williams family home and was constructed in 1820. 

And with the historic building, the organization also adopted Charity.

“It’s a part of our identity and it’s a part of our identity that we’ve really chosen to embrace in the last few years,” Ross explained, “Everybody in Frederick walks past this dog, everybody brings their kids over here to take pictures. So this dog really, just like the federated charities building, belongs to everybody in frederick.”

The zinc and pewter statue has stood outside the mansion for the last 162 years.

“This dog has been standing in downtown Frederick [since] secession, the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Great Depression,” explained Emily Huebner with Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, “Any historic event that took place since 1858, the dog has been standing sentinel there the whole time,”

Charity may have stood the waves of history but it’s time and weather that have begun to really dig into the statue’s paws and foundation, leaving behind cracks and damages that call in for the need for repairs.

The total cost of repairs is estimated at $12,000.

Federated Charities is applying to the Maryland Historic Trust for funding, but dozens of community members have already pitched in at least $3,400 with a goal of raising $5,000.

“[Donors] want to honor the fact that they came past here with school groups, or their father or mother brought them to downtown frederick and they always felt like it was their dog,” Ross said, “That’s exactly the case- this is the community’s dog.”

The repairs are expected to take the statue through the next one hundred years.

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