Susquehanna Lady Liberty

Replica Statue of Liberty
Susquehanna River
(near) Dauphin, Pennsylvania

Traveling along Routes 22/322 on the eastern shore of the Susquehanna River north of Harrisburg (or along Routes 11/15 on the western shore) … you have to stay alert or you might miss a very cool roadside wonder. Standing proudly atop a platform (remaining from a bridge that has been gone for over 100 years) is a 25-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty!

George Stilp, a well-known name in Pennsylvania political activism, built an 18-foot Lady Liberty in the mid 1980s. It turned heads and made headlines because of its location and the materials from which it was built. His original creation was fabricated from venetian blinds! A few years later, the statue was in serious need of repair due to storms. Stilp and a group of volunteers rebuilt the statue (using more robust materials) and raised the size to its present size of 25 feet.

Taking pictures of the statue creates a challenge. Since the redesign of the Dauphin-area stretch of Rts. 22/322, there is only a narrow and fairly dangerous breakdown lane on the side of the road — and a large amount of vegetation that obstructs the view. I’m going to take some additional photos later this year from the western shore (maybe adding a little “zing” to the view with autumn foliage?).  Update: click here for the west shore view!

Peeking through the trees to catch a glimpse of Liberty

View further east — with a conspicuous amount of South Central PA smog 🙁
The highway visible along the base of the mountain is Rts 11/15

13 thoughts on “Susquehanna Lady Liberty

  1. I see this “roadside wonder” everyday while riding my cycle to work into the ‘burg!!! It is a beautiful sight especially when the sun is burning off the fog that is lying over the river in the morning. You’re right…photographing this wonder from the small berm along Rts 22/322 E is a dangerous challenge. Thanks for posting the photos..and will look forward to more to come.

    1. Someone local! 🙂

      Yep, I got over and took these pretty quickly … I kept envisioning getting crushed between my motorcycle and the retaining wall by some errant driver!

  2. This is not a bridge that has disappeared…it’s a bridge that was never built! It’s part of the right-of-way of the South Penn Railroad that was designed to be a competitor to the Pennsylvania Railroad in the late 1800s.

    The South Penn was never completed, but much of its prepared path became the basis for the Pennsylvania Turnpike (including the tunnels) in 1940.

    You’ll notice that the piers of this bride are in varying states of construction. Some are complete, and some aren’t even close. That’s because the project was shut down during the construction of the bridge…which was never finished.

    I’ve loved the statue ever since it was built. Thanks for the snaps!

  3. Haha, I love this statue of liberty! Every time I drive down that road with my kids, it’s like that scene in National Lampoon’s European Vacation where they are driving around the circle and Clark keeps saying, “Big Ben, Parliament.”

    I usually just point the camera without looking in the direction of the statue while I drive and hope I’m pointing at the right place. I’ve actually gotten a couple decent shots for a crappy camera and a 60mph vehicle!

  4. I work in the Labor and Industry Building, and used to be on the 15th floor where I could see a long way the river. Two notes; A) from above you can plainly see that the “smog” you mention is in fact a mist that forms over the river most mornings. It gets particularly thick in the area of the bend below Marysville and continues that way well to the north, often progressing into a heavy, pea soup type fog. It also lays amongst the base of the hills on either side of the river and, B) Unless I am wrong, the statue is a bit north of Dauphin on the east shore. Marysville is well south of Dauphin on the west shore. Not quite certain how this could be the “Marysville Bridge?”

  5. Dave- Lady Liberty is actually not north of Dauphin but a tad south by less than a quarter mile I’m guessing. It is in the same location as one would exit off RTS 22/322 W to enter the Borough of Dauphin. There is a Norfolk/Sulfolk RR bridge that crosses over the highway at the very same spot. Did you see the news in the past month about a tractor trailer loaded with strawberry pop tarts that went over the concrete barrier and down into the Susquehanna River? It was at that same area.

  6. Thanks everyone for all this great information. We are on our way to see our son at Susquehanna University and decided to look up the question of Lady Liberty. We wondered about her every trip to SU!

  7. Traveling to Niagra Falls with grand kids from Maryland, one of the grands said “Oh is that the Statue of Liberty in the river?” I was driving and assured them we were going to another part of New York. They insisted they saw the statue. Thanks to three grands with smart phones, on the way home we all caught a glims of lady liberty in the river. Pretty cool!

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