Owensboro’s Bronze Buffalo Statues Hold Historic Significance

Owensboro is a well-renowned arts city, and one of the best gifts we give to our visitors are our amazing displays of public art. Most of these are spread throughout downtown Owensboro (and some beyond) and all are free to the public. 


One of our most famous public art displays features three different bronze sculptures that include two bronze buffalo statues and one Native American hunter. We like to call the three-piece display the “Bronze Buffalo Statues” and, together, they tell a historic story about Owensboro’s roots. 


Located at Frederica and 10th Streets in the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art’s Sculpture Park, these sculptures reflect our city’s history as a buffalo trace for early settlers. In fact, what is now Frederica Street was traveled by buffalo many years ago. 


Buffalo herds opened the first road in the wilderness to present the site of Owensboro (called Yellow Banks during that time). In 1797, Bill Smothers followed the trail from Rough Creek to the Ohio River and built a cabin at the end of the road near where the sculptures are located today. Old court records even say that the “Buffalo Road” was a place of “great resort for that kind of game.” 


The three statues located at the outdoor park include “Strength of the Maker,” “Meadowlands Pair” and “Into the Wind.” Together, they tell an incredible story about Owensboro’s origins and are available to be viewed publicly throughout the entire year.