If current fundraising efforts are successful, the Taylor Home complex could again host the marble monument that once stood in front of the original Taylor Orphan Asylum.
Elmwood Park residents Brad Jaeck and Carol Hansen are leading the fundraising effort to move the marble piece from the Racine Heritage Museum to the Taylor Home property sometime this fall. The monument measures about 11 feet tall, five feet wide and around five inches thick and weighs 2,200 pounds.
“When the building was razed, someone had the foresight to save the monument,” Hansen said. “We’re excited by the response we’ve gotten when people find out what we’re doing.”
Jaeck said the folks working to move the monument is a loose group that includes a grant writer who has been sending out applications to a variety of organizations who might provide funding. A goal hasn’t been set, primarily because bids haven’t yet been returned for how much it will cost to move and set the monument.
“We don’t have an actual target we’re aiming to hit,” Jaeck said. “At this point, we’re saying, ‘as much as possible.'”
Hansen said there’s a fundraiser scheduled for June 17 at the Masonic Lodge, and bricks are for sale that will be placed in front of the monument. She and Jaeck said there are potentially 50 people still alive who were associated with the old Taylor Home, including author Dave Rozelle who wrote The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree about the six years he spent at the orphanage.
“We’re hoping to get as many of them at the dedication as possible,” Jaeck stated.
Bricks can be purchased for $100, $500 or $1,000 by sending checks marked “Taylor Home Monument” and a note with the inscription to the Racine Heritage Museum, 701 Main Street, Racine, WI, 53403. We will update this story with additional details about the June fundraiser.