I read with interest the articles in the July 12th issue of the Gloucester City News asking the
question "Who's that Lady?" statue found in Proprietor's Park at the river on King Street.
Back in the late 1940s and early 1950s when we were pre-teens, my brother John Durkin and I, along with Chucky Barber, Ray and Bill Friedhoff, Fred Bokar, Tom Mc Govern, Gordy Thomas and others, played in that park after school and on weekends.
We all lived in the neighborhood bordered by Cumberland Street to Market Street and along King Street. The park at the time, known as Camden County Park, was our playground where we had monkey bars, swings, seesaws and of course the county pool.
The statue in question was surrounded by high shrubs and from King Street. It appeared as though a woman was changing her clothes behind the bushes. We always referred to her as "Diana."
I visited Proprietor's Park recently and noticed that the statue was still there, although her “privacy”' is gone now that all the shrubs were removed.
I am surprised that the statue has survived all these years and not been knocked down or taken for scrap. She must be well grounded! There also was an interesting monument and plaque at the sea wall describing the remains of the old Augusta ship (reported to have been beached there during the Revolutionary War), but that has long since been destroyed – unfortunately! I wonder if any of the “boys” I mentioned in the first paragraph are still around and have similar recollections of “Diana” and the fun we had in the park back in those days!
(Rev) James J. Durkin, Cherry Hill
ENGLISH CHANNEL SWIMMER
In reference to the statue of the lady in Proprietor’s Park, as a child I was always told it represented the woman who swam across the English Channel.
Joanne Keck, Gloucester City