Little-Known Facts About Grand Junction’s William Moyer Statue
There are plenty of things to see in downtown Grand Junction, but some of those have a significance many people don't realize. Here are five things you may not know about this statue on 5th Street.
One of a Series, the William H. Moyer Statue Recognizes People Who Made Significant Contributions to Grand Junction
This statue is one of five included in the original Grand Junction Legends series. Moyer is said to have been the inspiration for the main character in the book 'Eclipse' who's author, Dalton Trumbo also a part of the series, has a statue in front of the Avalon Theater.
The Location of the Statue is Significant
The placement of Moyer's Statue outside the Alpine Bank building is important because the location was originally home to the Grand Junction YMCA. The construction of the building in 1908 was funded by Moyer.
The building was demolished in 1969 to make way for construction of the Valley Federal (now Alpine Bank) building.
The Girl in the Swimming Suit and Float Ring Represent One of Moyer's Most Important Contributions
This part of the statue is also part of Moyer's best-known legacy. He is responsible for the construction of the first public swimming pool in Grand Junction, the Moyer Natatorium.
The pool was located in Lincoln Park in the general area where the water slide is today. Look closely at the float ring and you find the pool name and its opening year, 1922.
The Boy Hanging on to Moyer Motivated Him to Build a Public Swimming Pool
It was common for children to drown in the Colorado River, including a young boy, which motivated Moyer to construct the first public swimming pool, providing children a safe place to swim. To some, the boy's face appears fearful, while others see him as happy that other children will be spared.
Another story about the boy is that he represents 12-year-old Alfred Gallupe, who was killed by falling debris from the YMCA building during a freak storm in 1913.
Moyer's Clothing Recognizes Him as a Successful Local Businessman
The suit and hat worn by Moyer are typical of the type of clothing worn by Grand Junction businessmen in the 1920s. In addition to being a philanthropist, Moyer was a businessman who opened the Fair Store which grew into a successful mercantile. He was also one of the organizers of Grand Valley Bank.
Sadly, the Great Depression and possibly some bad investments wiped out all of Moyer's financial success. The great philanthropist and businessman died pennilessly.