by Dottie Smith
by Dottie Smith
The Lady of Justice statue was first placed atop the Shasta County Courthouse in 1889. There she proudly stood for 74 years until 1956 when she was moved to the lawn in front of the present courthouse. From that time on she was vandalized many times - her sword was stolen three times, an axe was used on her neck in an attempt to cut off her head, her back was beaten out, and all of her fingers except for the thumb on her left hand were beaten away.
To preserve her historical value and to protect her from further damage, she was placed in "protective custody" in the old unused county jail behind the courthouse by Sheriff Tom Bosenko.
When I visited the old county jail in early 2009 to get information for a newspaper story, I was shocked when I saw her standing in the corner of the jail lobby. I was being given a tour of the jail by Sheriff Bosenko, County Supervisor Les Baugh, and Shasta County Supervising Crafts Worker Patrick Karch. Before we left the jail that day, all four of us had decided we would find a way to restore the Lady of Justice.
And we did! We held a fundraiser inside the old jail on May 13, 2009 and raised enough money to pay for all of her restoration needs.
The fun fundraiser began as guests entered the front entrance of the jail. There they were greeted by Shasta County District Attorney Jerry "Law Dog" Benito and escorted before Judge Kent "Hang-um-High" Dagg, who pronounced each and every guest guilty and tossed them in jail. The Lady of Justice (and Dottie) stood by to observe as the sentence was passed.
The jailbirds were eventually freed from jail and allowed to tour the Old Jail dayroom filled with law and justice memorabilia supplied by retired Shasta County Marshal Dennis Boatner. Dinner was provided by the Crystal Creek Boys Camp. Following dinner, the guests continued their tour and were treated to the musical stylings of the Lou White "Jailbird" Band.
Throughout the evening, the ever-nefarious duo of Sheriff Tom "Book-um" Bosenko and Supervisor Les "Baby Face" Baugh were on hand to harass absolutely everyone.
To see the May 13, 2009 fundraiser, click on the Grindstone Cigar Club logo below.
To see the March 23, 2010 restoration presentation, click on the Grindstone Cigar Club logo below.
Thank you Grindstone Cigar Club for providing the link.
1889. Standing on the courthouse dome
1956. Moved to the ground in front ofthe present courthouse.
Vandalism has begun. Scales and swordhave been stolen and both hands broken.
Even her back has been beaten out.
2010. Completely restored including the fabrication and manufacture of a newsword and scales of justice.