Gold Star Village of Torrington, Alberta

Gopher (Clem T. GoFur)

Gopher Thumb
Designer: Peter Soehn (Kelowna, BC)

When Built: June 15, 1991

Dimensions:
Total Height: 12 Feet (3.7 Metres)
Sculpture Height: 6 Feet (1.8 Metres)
Base length: 7 Feet (2.1 Metres)
Base height: 5 Feet (1.5 Metres)
Base width: 6 Feet (1.8 Metres)

Construction Materials:
Base : Concrete, rebar and stone
Statue : Fibreglass and rebar

Location:
West end of town, just off of Highway #27

Reason for Building:

"To draw tourists off the highway and into town."

Additional Information:

The Village expanded this theme in 1992 by painting all 11 fire hydrants in the Village to look like Clem's kin (see expanded picture). In 1996, the "World Famous" Gopher Hole Museum was opened. It features taxidermied gophers (actually Richardson's ground squirrels) dressed in costumes (i.e. musicians, preachers) and placed in dioramas. In three summers it has drawn 28,000 people to this village of less than 200 people.

Peter Soehn also designed the Sammy and Samantha Potato in Vauxhall, Squirt the Skunk in Beiseker, and Pinto MacBean in Bow Island.

Information Source: Torrington Tourism Action Society

Picture Source: Brian Wilson, Torrington Rec Board

BACK TO BIG THINGS IN ALBERTA


Created By DMY on October 1, 1998
Last Updated: November 9, 2002