The Dog Sculptures
The beloved black dog sculptures that guard the museum today have a long history that traverses the country. This pair is one of only five sets that were cast from iron at the Hayward, Bartlett & Company foundry in Baltimore, Maryland in about 1850, and were modeled after the foundry owner’s own Newfoundland dogs. This pair was purchased by a family in San Francisco in the early 1900’s. The dogs were both damaged in the 1906 earthquake, so they were sent to a foundry owned by William James Yandle in Santa Rosa for repair. Evidently after the repairs were made, the San Francisco owners never claimed them, so they became the property of the Yandles and were installed in the front of their home. In 1941, the United States entered World War II, and there was a shortage of metal due to wartime production. The government called for scrap metal drives. Communities melted down statues and wrought iron fences, sacrificing their history for their future. Mrs. Yandle, afraid that her dog sculptures would be stolen and turned into tanks, offered to loan them to Santa Rosa Junior College in 1943. Here the dogs have remained ever since, guarding the entrance to the museum, under the care of our Grounds Department.