WHITEHALL — In a certain sunlight, it looks like a real silverback Bigfoot, at least that’s what we’re told from people who know about these things. But it’s only a sculpture that’s nearly 12-feet tall, made out of steel that looks like it’s on the verge of crossing Route 4 in Whitehall.
“Well it, s a little larger perhaps than the actual creature. The creature is usually described between six and eight feet tall,” said Whitehall resident Paul Bartholomew.
Paul Thompson, the owner of Marble, Granite, Slate and Soapstone Co. commissioned the sculpture from Steven Mestyan, an artist out of Hampton, NY.
“I said please make him ready to run across the street. That’s exactly what he produced for me,” Thompson said.
Thompson embraces the idea of the legend in his stone business with t-shirts, mugs and pizza stones carved with the image of Bigfoot. The sculpture was an attempt to create a landmark for his business. But he seems to be getting a lot more than that. Cars slow down to take a look. Some drivers pull over and pull out their cell phones for pictures.
“I love it. I’m going to take a picture of it. I’ll probably get thumped. Which will be fine. But I’m going to blame it on my husband,” Whitehall resident Grace Sheldrick said.
Bigfoot is part of the culture in Whitehall. The village even has an ordinance on the books to protect the creature. No one is allowed to hurt them within the borders of the village. Some believe Bigfoot lives in the mountains in the Whitehall area. It’s been spotted from time to time by locals.
“This is part of our heritage and our history. It goes back to the Algonquin and the Iroquois right up to modern times,” Bartholomew said.
Whitehall’s been featured in documentaries about Bigfoot and Bartholomew’s been at the forefront of it all. He even wrote a book on the subject.
“The closest thing I’ve seen would be the Patterson film, the famous film of the creature walking,” he added.
Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, Bartholomew said this statue of Bigfoot in Whitehall supports the idea that the legendary creature lives.
“I think what’s happening here is a chance for Whitehall sort of embrace this phenomena and sort of adopt this creature for what it is,” he said.