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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Otway Burns, Jr. Statue, Swansboro

  • Type

    Statue

  • Subjects

    War of 1812

    Historic Political Figures

    Historic Civic Figures

  • Creator

    Janos Farkas, Sculptor

    M. Stephen Warner, Architect

    Robert N. Shuller, Architect

    Duane Creech, Builder

    Richard Fennell, Builder

  • City

    Swansboro

  • County

    Onslow

  • Description

    The approximately 12-foot-tall statue is located in Bicentennial Park, which is on Swansboro’s waterfront along the White Oak River at the base of the NC Highway 24 bridge. The life-sized figure is dressed in the military garb of a privateer in the navy. The figure is holding a rolled up document and pointing in the direction of his place of birth, approximately 2 miles away. The statue is near another monument in the same park, the Theophilus Weeks Marker.

  • Inscription

    Plaque on Base, Front: CAPT. OTWAY BURNS, JR. / 1775-1850 / PRIVATEER, LEGISLATOR, SHIPBUILDER / AND MERCHANT. BORN 2 MILES FROM HERE / ON QUEEN'S CREEK. COMMANDER OF THE / "SNAPDRAGON" AND A HERO IN THE WAR OF 1812. / BUILT STEAMBOAT "PROMETHEUS" HERE IN / 1818. CAST THE DECIDING VOTE FOR / CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OF 1835 / INTERRED IN OLD BURYING GROUND, / BEAUFORT. / JANOS FARKAS, SCULPTOR / ERECTED BY / SWANSBORO'S 200TH ANNIVERSARY / CELEBRATION COMMITTEE / MAY 6, 1983

    On Base, Left: IN MEMORIAM / RANDY WADE SINCLAIR / CLARA PITTMAN BAKER LESEM / ANNA WEBB SERMONS / M. N. LISK, MAYOR 1944-1961 / IN CONSIDERATION OF THOUSAND-DOLLAR / MEMORIAL DONATIONS

    On Base, Right: FUNDING FOR THIS STATUE / MAJOR FUNDING: / STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA / THOUSAND-DOLLAR DONORS: / CAROLINA TELEPHONE / AND / TELEGRAPH COMPANY / GAITHER AND JEANNINE JONES / ONSLOW COUNTY / MARY WARD SMITH / JOHN AND MARY WOOD / AND MANY OTHER FRIENDS OF SWANSBORO

  • Custodian

    Town of Swansboro

  • Dedication Date

    May 6, 1983

  • Decade

    1980s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    34.687760 , -77.116880 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Capt. Otway Burns, Jr.," Waymarking.com, (accessed June 9, 2014) Link

      "Otway Burns, (sculpture)," Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museum, (accessed June 9, 2014) Link

      "Swansboro, North Carolina History, a Small Colonial Village by the Sea," (accessed June 15, 2014) Link

      Mcculloh Lemmon, Sarah and Tucker Reed Littleton, 1979. "Burns, Otway, Jr.," NCpedia.org, (accessed June 15, 2014) Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze statue, Ballast stone base

  • Sponsors

    The Friends of Otway Burns contributed $18,000 toward the cost of the statue.

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    Unveiling Ceremony / Swansboro Bicentennial Park / 10:00 A.M. / Drum Roll—Swanboro High School Band / Introduction of Master of Ceremonies, Gary Dean—Tucker R. Littleton, Chairman Swansboro’s 200th Anniversary Celebration Committee/ Invocation—The Rev. Clyde Baucom / Flag Presentation—Jerry L. Higging, President of The Society of the War of 1812 in North Carolina / Flag Raising—Color Guard, United States Marine Corps: Camp Lejeune/ Pledge of Allegiance—Audience/ The Star-Spangled Banner-- Audience and Jean Rowe Hiott, with the Swansboro Bicentennial Choral Society, and Swansboro High School Band/ Welcome—The Hon. Andrew D. Ennet III: Mayor of Swansboro/ Recognition of Honored Guests—Tucker R. Littleton/ “BCM” (composed for the Swansboro Bicentennial)—Director Daniel Farina and the Swansboro High School Band/ Introduction of the Governor’s Representative—The Hon. Bruce Ethridge/ Greeting—The Hon. Joseph W. Grimsley, Secretary North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development / Introduction of Speaker—Gary Dean/ Address on the Life of Captain Otway Burns, Jr.—Ruth Peeling Barbour/ Introduction of Sculptor—Gary Dean/ Introduction of Burns Descendant—Tucker R. Littleton/ Unveiling—Janos Farkas and Otway Burns IV/ “This is My Country”—Al Jacobs: Swansboro Bicentennial Choral Society, and Louis James Darmo/ “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”—Henry Carey: Audience and Jean Rowe Hiott, with the Swansboro Bicentennial Choral Society

  • Subject Notes

    Otway Burns was a veteran of the War of 1812 as a privateer. Later in life he became a well-known ship builder and legislator.

    See Otway Burns Statue in Burnsville, Yancey County.

  • Location

    The statue is located in Bicentennial Park on the Swansboro waterfront along the White Oak River at the base of the NC Highway 24 bridge into town.

  • Landscape

    The statue is in the center of a small city park, set against the backdrop of the waterfront.

  • Post Dedication Use

    The status is an attraction and feature of Bicentennial Park along White Oak River.

  • Approval Process

    Commissioned Jan. 1, 1982

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