Most of us in the Capital Region have visited or at least driven by Washington Park in Albany. I find it to be a beautiful piece of property with the Lake House, Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the grounds but why is there a statue of Moses?

Turns out there was a guy who wanted to memorialize his dad, the President of the Albany Savings Bank in Albany, with a statue. He chose Moses because, like Moses, he felt his dad's great success in life made it possible for a large number of others to have water as well. In other words he created opportunity and wealth for those in the Capital Region and beyond.

I did some research that hurt my head and I don't want yours to hurt so I will simplify it for both of us. I got most of this from All Over Albany in case you want more info but this is what I get from it.

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There was a guy from Connecticut named Rufus Henry King. Rufus and his brother in-law moved to Albany in 1814 and opened a store. He eventually went into banking where he became the President of the Albany Savings Bank, married and had 4 kids (3 boys/1 girl) The oldest son is Henry King.

On Henry's deathbed, at age 53, Henry left $20K to use in a public memorial to his father. $20 Grand? You know how much that would cost today? Washington Park is the place and the statue of Moses is the memorial, which was to commemorate the Rock of Horeb.

Horeb - YouTube

That is the rock that Moses struck and water flowed. 15 years after Henry died, his brother was able to have the statue made. The rocks that Moses stands on are taken from Storm King Mountain near Newburgh.

Washington Park - Karolyi

The Moses statue was modeled from a Hungarian man about fifty years old. As for the remaining figures surrounding Moses. One represents youth, another infancy, manhood, and old age. Each of them are there to get some of that water coming out of the rocks.

Washington Park - Albany
Photo - Karolyi
Photo Karolyi

Sometimes we see statues, buildings and parks but don't take the time to ask, for example, why is there a statue of Moses in Washington Park. Now you know.


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