By Margaret Bashour, Monitor
If you’ve ever been down Main Street, then you’ve seen it. The stoic figure was hard to miss, watching over the streets of Monroe. It’s become an icon, a landmark, and the star of many photos, and was even mentioned in a book. Before it was almost kidnapped, the dinosaur perched above the sign for Dr. Raymond Maxwell, Orthodontics was a popular destination for visitors and residents, whether dental patients or not.
Now, only a curled wire remains where the dinosaur stood because sometime at the end of August, an attempted theft left it damaged so badly that it has taken down and sent away for repairs.
Erin Kingery at Dr. Maxwell’s office said the office has received calls and inquiries from both patients and concerned citizens since the sculpture was taken down.
“He is an icon in Monroe, and is apparently missed,” she said.
The would-be thief damaged more than just a dinosaur figurine. A great deal of work went into putting up the statue.
Maxwell dreamed up the sign himself, hoping to add a little character to Main Street and a landmark for the community. Design sketches were fine-tuned to city codes, and the dinosaur was built and shipped from a firm in Canada before it found purchase on a rock three years ago.
“It’s a shame that those who would do damage to it don’t appreciate it,” Maxwell said.
The orthodontic office has been overwhelmed by sentiments from those who do appreciate it, however. Among the many phone calls and well wishes, one pint-sized visitor made a particularly touching gesture. A little girl stopped in to give a handmade card reading “get well dinosaur” and enclosed a band aid. Her picture and card are waiting on the bulletin board for the dinosaur’s return.
The dinosaur is back across the border for reconstruction now. It is expected to return in a month or two.
Maxwell is consulting with a new security company and the police as to how to protect the dinosaur when it returns, as well as planning a welcome home celebration.
The office is currently having a contest to name the dinosaur. The contest is open to the public.