Category Archives: All About Turtle Boy

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This is Turtle Boy

The fountain/statue was a gift to the city of Worcester given by Harriet Pamela Foster Burnside. It was meant as a tribute to her father, a prominent Worcester attorney.Turtle Boy Statue
6.19.10

  1. Turtle Boy’s “real” name is the Burnside Fountain.
  2. The Burnside Fountain was originally a watering trough for dogs and horses (see pictures in gallery – you’ll note the basins up front for horses, small ‘dog bowl’ on the back).
  3. The fountain/statue was a gift to the city of Worcester given by Harriet Pamela Foster Burnside. It was meant as a tribute to her father, a prominent Worcester attorney.
  4. The original gift was $5,000, given around 1905 (Worcester Telegram & Gazette site says 1905 / Smithsonian says April 6, 1904). The statue was finally unveiled in 1912.
  5. The original location was across the street at Salem Square but it was moved in 1969 to make way for construction.
  6. Artist, Daniel Chester French, was commissioned to create the statue. He assigned the job to Charles Harvey, his protege.
  7. Work on the pedestal was started by Lincoln Memorial architect, Henry Bacon, but was completed by his assistant, Sherry Fry, after his death.
  8. The statue is made of bronze; the pedestal is pink granite.

Here’s some more Turtle Boy Information

City of Worcester Department of Public Works and Parks web site
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Turtle Boy, Worcester MA

Turtle Boy Statue

Everybody loves Turtle Boy


Turtle Boy Statue, originally uploaded by Claudia Snell.

Alright all you naughty minded people – and you know who you are…. haha! This is the famed Turtle Boy statue of Worcester, MA.

It seems that a lot of people are into checking this thing out (if my stats and image views are any indication).

Turtle Boy StatueFor those who are not from Worcester, MA, this is a statue that used to be a fountain. It’s located in downtown Worcester, Salem Square, at the edge of the Common. It’s also a bit of a conversation piece. I think you can see why people would be talking about this thing, and giggling a bit too.

If you’ve stumbled here and are wondering what this thing really is:
It’s real name is the Burnside Fountain – not “Turtle Boy” or “Boy doing it with a Turtle” (although those names certainly are more descriptive)

It was a gift to the city by Harriet Burnside. Poking around I found info stating that she gave the city $5000 in 1905 to have a fountain built.

It’s original purpose was a water trough for dogs and horses but now it’s just a monument, no water. It’s not a big deal since nobody rides horses around in Worcester anymore.

Turtle Boy StatueThe fountain was designed by Charles Harvey and Sherry Fry and was completed around 1912.

I know – boring stuff compared to what people usually say about the statue – it doesn’t take much of an imagination to guess what sorts of comments are made so I don’t need to go there. I’m sure Harriet Burnside and the designers didn’t have anything naughty in mind when they first created this.

Turtle Boy StatueAnyway – it’s a great landmark. If you are in Worcester, make sure you visit Turtle Boy

More information about the statue is available on the Worcester DPW site and also on Art Inventories Catalog site. There’s also a good piece here.


Here’s some more stuff around Worcester
Bancroft Tower – This is a monument that also has some naughty things said about it.Hurstwic – Viking Age Living History Society – Not at all naughty but very interesting folks.Higgins Armory Museum & the Higgins Armory Sword Guild – also not naughty, sorry.. but they do have cool swords.My HUGE flickr.com collection of Worcester, MA pictures. It’s got all sorts of places, festivals and other stuff. This post was picked up by Worcester Magazine’s Blog Log. Check it out, see what the Worcester Blogosphere is talking about @ Worcester Magazine. The “Blog Log” is under “Opinion”.