The legend of the Iron Horse - CBS46 News


The legend of the Iron Horse

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
Adam Murphy on the Iron Horse in the 90s. Adam Murphy on the Iron Horse in the 90s.

An hour and a half up the road from Atlanta is Bulldog Country.

The city of Athens is home to the University of Georgia and everything red and black.

“It’s kind of been one of those destination spots,” UGA student Ryan Williams said.

And when students come to the school, they quickly learn it’s not all about the Dawgs.

“We drove past it and I was like, 'Oh, what is that?'” UGA student Olivia Meza asked.

It’s a massive iron horse in the middle of nowhere. 

“All hours of the night, people are out here,” farmer Josh Griffin said.   

You see, there’s a tradition standing tall for more than 60 years on a farm in Watkinsville near campus. 

Josh Griffin manages the farm.

“There’s a thousand different stories of how it happened, why it’s here and how it got made, and everybody just has their own way about it, and they found it unique like that,” Griffin said.

Here’s what most people have heard.

The sculpture was initially placed at Reed Hall on campus back in the 1950’s, but after being vandalized, it was moved to a nearby farm.

“When it first came out, people hated it and now everyone loves it. It’s just becoming a new tradition here at UGA,” student Olivia Meza said.

“If you want to go see something cool, that’s not necessarily mainstream, maybe you’ll go to the iron horse,” student Ryan Williams said.

Now the iron horse is bringing people together. The University purchased the farm it sits on allowing it to make its mark on the lives of so many.

“I feel like it’s a way to tie the old UGA to the new UGA.”

Even I made a special trip to see it back in the 90’s, and again last week, some 20 years later. 

“I’ve never seen anything with that abstract that’s got that much draw to it,” Griffin said.

And as it stands the test of time, perhaps the lesson here is love trumps hate.

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