The Golden Bison Wall & Memorial -
Surely anyone with an interest in those things near and dear to the hearts of
CHS Alums is familiar with our wall and memorial, adjacent to the Shaw
Library and at the site of the " Old High School ".
Standing behind the fountain and the Memorial Wall, the most recognizable
feature is the Golden Bison himself.
When the Memorial was first constructed and before today's permanent statue took up residence, a temporary Bison was in place for a time ~
Click thumbnails to enlarge . . .
For some time the only reference on this site to the Bison statue had been the small photo on the
home page and another was on the "Golden Bison and Alumni Association's" page. Then a while
back we got an e-mail from Peg Porter, CHS '62. They would be celebrating their 50th reunion soon
after, and Mrs. Porter wanted to sign the 62'ers up for inclusion on this site and also to remind us
that the Bison statue was a gift to the Association and the Community by their class.
( See the Class of 1962's Home Page )
And just a few days after that we got an e-mail from Denny Karchner, CHS '70. Denny had
noticed the picture on the home page and offered some additional photos and history of the
statue to include on the site. After bouncng e-mails back and forth for a day or so, Denny
called to explain that there was just too much stuff to e-mail and that he would send it to me by
good old U.S. Mail so I could sift throught it all.
Denny explains ~
At the time that the idea for the statue first surfaced, around 1992, Denny still lived in the
area and was working away at his trade at his company "Design-To-Print" on West 2nd Avenue
and a chance encounter with Ray Walker led to a discussion how the Memorial was in need of a
suitable Bison statue, appropriate and worthy of his surroundings. And, Mr. Walker's son Alan
was a member of the Class of '62 which had already decided to underwrite just such a project.
I'll let the pictures help tell the rest of the story ~
Denny began by finding himself an honest-to-goodness Bison ranch somewhere
right here in Pennsylvania and took these photos for reference and authenticity . . .
Then, with the efforts of Jeff McDowell, Mark Mc Dowell and Sawzall Sculptor Tom O' Connell
( all CHS Grads) , the team rendered the Bison in Styrofoam to make a pattern for casting in metal . . .
The Styrofoam Bison was then off to Clearfield Machine Company to be transformed into reality . . .
After completion, the big fellow was transported to the site and mounted on his
pedestal by Gearhart Excavating ( Pete Gearhart is also a '62 Alum ) . . .
Before being introduced to the public, Clearfield's newest celebrity allowed himself to be
photographed with some of the folks instrumental in his creation . . .
Then the Big Day. July 22, 1995 ~
The Bison is formally dedicated with pomp, cirmcumstance & dignitaries . . .
With the exception of the one small Bison statue picture at the very top left of this page, all the photos and Progress clippings reproduced here are from the personal collection of and are used courtesy of Denny Karchner, CHS '70.
Since the events pictured here in the 1990's, Denny and his family have moved from the Clearfield area and maintain residences in Florida and Wyoming. He has gone a long way from his former T-Shirt emporium over by the Bowling Alley to now being a world renowned Western artist and he also maintains close affiliaton with the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and Art Rooney, Jr. in particular. We at clearfieldreunions are much in Denny's debt for the use of all of this material.
While he has moved physically far from Clearfield, the fact the he has maintained and is eager to share all of this information shows that he will always be a Clearfield Bison.
More information regarding Denny's career and accomplishments can be viewed at any of his various websites:
ArtWanted ~ Western Art ~ Western Decor ~ Ask Art
We would welcome any more information about the "Bison" Statue or any other CHS related topic for inclusion here on the site - just contact us .
clearfieldreunions.com is neither affiliated with nor endorsed
by the Clearfield Area School District
All of the following clippings are from various
Progress editions of the day and, we hope, are
used with permission.