Posted by: groundsforsculpture | June 14, 2010

True Tales of Grounds For Sculpture: Part 2

By Meredith Neubeck, Admission Staff

Rumor has it that there was an elephant or a horse buried on the Grounds For Sculpture site way back in the day. Well, I do not know anything about an elephant, but as far as the horse goes… Her name was Goldsmith Maid.

Born in 1857 in Sussex, New Jersey, Goldsmith Maid was a well known and well accomplished harness racing horse. In 1874, Goldsmith Maid broke the harness racing world record by doing 1 mile in 2 minutes 14 seconds. In 1871, a portion of the fairground was sold to Henry W. Smith who started Fashion Stud Farm. In 1874, Goldsmith Maid was bought by Henry W. Smith and moved to Fashion Stud Farm to live out her retirement where she became a local attraction. At the time of her death, she held the world record for money earned by a harness racing horse during her career. Her record earnings totaled $364,200 and would stand unmatched until the 1950s. Henry W. Smith had her buried on the property of the Fashion Stud Farm.

In 1926, John L. Kuser had a headstone erected in Goldsmith Maid’s honor and placed on the location where she had been buried. In the 1940s the land started getting sectioned off and sold. The headstone was moved to Kuser Farm park in 1946, where it continues to be to this day.

Goldsmith Maid headstone

So where exactly is Goldsmith Maid buried? Somewhere between Nottingham Way, the train tracks, the Domestic Arts building, and the GFS Visitors Center. Is it for certain that it is even on the grounds? Well, no. It could be under the Digital Stone Project. It might have been paved over when Sculptors Way was put in. It could possibly be beneath the helipad behind the Johnson Atelier. But I bet if I keep digging I can find where it is…

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