A steering committee met April 16 at the Olde Main Street Museum to discuss a project celebrating Newcomerstown’s history with a statue of Chief Netawatees, head of the Delaware Indian nation when the village was formed
Attendees at the meeting included members of the Newcomerstown Historical Society, Newcomerstown Mayor Pat Cadle, Rena Dennison with the American Indian Culture Center and Sculptor Alan Cottrill.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a proposal made by Cottrill, who is a well known sculptor with studios in Zanesville. He has proposed a 7-foot statue of Chief Netawatees be built for exhibit in Newcomerstown.
Cottrill is the seventh great-grandson of Chief Netawatees and has agreed to build the statue for $25,000. The typical cost for this type of statue is $85,000. The goal of the committee is to raise the $25,000 through the assistance of organizations in Newcomerstown and around the area as part of the contribution to the cost.
It was decided that the Historical Society should involve the Delaware of Canada on any sculpture designs of Chief Netawatees. A trip to visit two tribes is planned and members of the group will visit based on Rena Dennison contact and arrangement for visit. Another meeting will take place after this visit.
Historical Society members will be looking for volunteers with experience in writing grants, planning events, promoting educational experiences with the Leni Lenape, and fund raising.
On the table is a development of a Leni Lenape Cultural Center in Newcomerstown. This is a long term, possibly a 10 year plan, to increase awareness and promote Newcomertown. A committee will be created to further explore this endeavor.
Anyone interested in assisting with this project should contact Harley Dakin, vice president of the Newcomerstown Historical Society, 740-498-5636.