In keeping with the “lion” theme in Alderson, a quilt square featuring a lion was installed on the Renaissance Building at the stop sign just before the July 4th festivities. Look up to see his kindly eyes following you through town.
Sponsored by Alderson Main Street, coordinated by Judy Lewallen with color advice from Vivian Pranulis, and hung by the crew of Bowyer’s Tree Trimming, Removal and Stump Grinding Service, the lion is perched high to watch over the town. Workers Junior Bostic, Edgar Tincher and Jamie Yates used the bucket truck to lift the sign and secure it to the side of the building.
Alderson Main Street President Betty Thomas said, “We really want to thank Leonard Bowyer for donating his crew’s time and equipment to hang this square.”
The lion complements several others that have joined the three installed earlier by Alderson Main Street. Individuals have been adding lions to their gardens, porches and lawn displays. If the original Alderson lion was still around, he would find lots of company.
Alderson’s lion leash law dates to 1890, according to one account, when a travelling circus, “French’s Great Railroad Show,” came to Alderson along with an expectant lioness. She delivered two live cubs and the circus manager intended to drown them. Mrs. Beabout, wife of the town’s blacksmith, rescued them and one thrived. Leo, or “French” in some accounts, was well known and accepted around town. However, a visiting salesman was so frightened by Leo padding across the bridge behind him that he jumped into the Greenbrier River prompting the city council to pass an ordinance requiring that lions be kept on a leash!
Mayor Travis Copenhaver said, “It is great to see so many people getting into the spirit and adding lions to their yards. I noticed that some of them are sporting red, white, and blue leashes so they are in compliance with the law!”