Niagara Gazette

War of 1812

March 10, 2013

Lewiston's Tuscarora Heroes Monument work continuing as collector's piece is revealed

Lewiston's Tuscarora Heroes Monument work continuing as collector's piece is revealed

Niagara Gazette — Sculptor Sue Geissler is hard at work in her Youngstown studio. She's affixing clay to massive molds which will eventually turn into a constant reminder of the past Lewiston will never be able to forget.

As the creator of the Tuscarora Heroes monument, which will be unveiled mid-December commemorating the 200th anniversary of the village's destruction at the hands of the British empire, she's responsible for taking the ideas of Lee Simonson and turning them into reality.

For her, it's an easy job.

"He and I know each other from school," she said. "To me, he's just Lee."

Their creation depicts two Tuscarora tribesmen rescuing a fleeing woman holding a baby, seemingly running from the carnage unfolding behind her.

Since the monument will be bigger than life, it will require an attention to detail Geissler said she's been able to achieve with a little help from her friends. Geissler, who previously designed the Freedom Crossing memorial statue which rests at Lewiston Landing, said she's gotten input from some of the area's reenactors, who've been around Lewiston quite a lot in the last 24 months. She said they've given her insights into detail levels she never would have gotten without them.

For instance, she said, the hair and clothing the two heroes will be depicted with were checked and adjusted during model creation. She said input about the native appearance was invaluable, as was what she was told about the muskets they will be holding in their hands.

"The detail of this is very accurate," she said. "We had some nice input from some of the reenactors. They told me what the hair would look like, what the tomahawks look like. We got the flint for the muskets. All the assistance saves me time doing the weapons."

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