E Fayette Street & N Lakewood Avenue (Street View)
GPS: 39° 17′ 40.57″ N 76° 34′ 45.60″ W
Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson is a Massachusetts born sculptor known for her dignified realist style. The student and husband of artist Henry Hudson Kitson, Theo studied in Paris and was recognized for her work by the age of nineteen. Her most famous work is The Hiker, a monument to soldiers who fought in the Spanish-American War. The conflict occurred at the end of the 19th century, and was waged in Cuba, the Philippines and Guam. Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were crucial in the Cuban campaign, fighting in the important Battle of San Juan Hill. The engagements ended in four months with the United States winning easily. The side-by-side fighting of Northerners and Southerners helped heal the wounds opened during the American Civil War. Mrs. Kitson was commissioned to create over fifty Hiker statues during her lifetime, memorializing the common soldier throughout the country. She passed away in 1932.
Unveiled in June of 1943, the monument stands in the median between eastbound and westbound Fayette Street. A cannon rests just outside the small fence surrounding the statue. The hiker is carrying a musket in both hands, a bag over his right shoulder and canteen over his other. It appears the dedication plaques are missing from the base of the structure. Patterson Park is two blocks south.