There’s a lone statue with a mistaken identity hidden on a bluff along the Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park. It stands high above the creekbed, gazing westward. Hikers and bikers cruising along the nearby trails may not even know it’s there, as it’s not only high above the paths, but also secluded behind rocks and trees.
Though many people assume this concealed statue is of William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, it’s actually of an unnamed Quaker man. The statue, officially titled “Toleration,” was sculpted in 1883 by Herman Kirn and is a tribute to religious and political tolerance. It was gifted to Philadelphia by John Welsh, a noted citizen of the city and one of the park’s former commissioners.
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