There is a statue in downtown Ashevill NC that is well-known by the locals. However, I doubt that you know a lot about the statue, so here is what I found. If I am wrong about anything, please comment and tell me!

The statue, named Childhood, that stands on the back side of Pack Square is much loved in the Asheville community and is the creation of Betty and Perry Bartsch. They wanted to help the Urban Trail through Asheville, a self-guided tour that shows visitors some of Asheville’s statues and unique places, because their friend, Grace Plass, was chairman of the Urban Trail committee. 

I can’t find when she was made, but Childhood is modeled after the Bartsch’s two daughters and was sculpted by Jim Barnhill of Greensboro.  The girl is drinking from a horse head shaped fountain attached to a lamppost.

“Postcards of the early 1900’s showed a lamppost and horsehead fountain on the square,” Grace Pless said. “The girl’s presence commemorates that memory of the square. Also, the trail is about the past and the child is symbolic of the future.”

Recently a writer for Asheville Citizen Times wrote this:

“I have heard many people talking about the girl, whose name is “Childhood,” and just for the heck of it, I asked a dozen people which statue they liked best – the girl, the one across the street from her, or the “tree” at the new federal building.

All 12 chose Childhood.

“I think she has captivated the public,” one woman said. “I wish we could have others at various places downtown. Wouldn’t that make it more interesting to go downtown?””

The writer also writes:

“One of the dozen I asked about the statues said she thought the girl was best because, “She has caught the town’s fancy. She’s a charming girl,” the woman said. “I feel as if I know her.””

In conclusion, while the girl is loved by Asheville and always has been, she is not well-known outside of Asheville, but will always be a fond memory to the citizens of Asheville.


The writer’s article can be found on

One Comment

  1. I’ve lived a half-hour away from Asheville for all of my life, and I didn’t know about this!

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