RAVENDEN, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 town is hoping to give an upgrade to a well-known icon in the area.
The Raven statue has been a monument for over 25 years in the town of Ravenden.
And one community member, who has been there since the beginning, is hoping to see some improvements made to the town’s famous bird.
Jack Dail has lived in Ravenden for most of his life.
“Somebody asked me where I was from and I said, ‘it’s too little a town you wouldn’t know this,’ said Dail, "And I said, ‘it’s a little place called Ravenden.’ 'Oh, that’s where the big black bird is, see we remember that.”
He remembers when the town decided to build the raven.
“It was finished in 1991, it was stood up here for a year and a half,” said Dail.
But the first statue's luck was short lived. After that first year, someone set fire to the bird, destroying it.
“We redone it, and it didn’t last very long, and they re-burned it again,” said Dail.
After the second time, the town wasn't going to rebuild the statue, until they got a push from outside the community.
“A lady out of Jonesboro called and said they thought they’d like to see it rebuilt,” said Dail.
So, the raven was rebuilt, and has become a symbol for the town over the last 27 years.
“It means a whole lot, it’s quite a tourist thing and you see a lot of people stop here and take pictures,” said Dail.
But, aside from the occasional coat of paint, the raven hasn’t seen a lot of upkeep.
Ravenden Mayor James Larry Gibbens has also noticed the wear and tear on the Raven over the years.
“It’s in kind of bad condition now and we’d like to get it repaired,” said Gibbens.
Dail decided that it was time to take care of the town’s well-known statue and is raising money to help save the Raven.
“If it’s not taken care of, it’s going to fall apart, I believe,” said Gibbens.
Dail said the statue needs to be stripped all the way down, because the material has started to deteriorate.
His goal is to raise enough money to completely rebuild the Raven, so it can be enjoyed for generations to come.
“It’s part of Ravenden and we enjoy it being here,” said Dail.
Dail had a Go Fund Me page set up to help raise money for the restoration. You can donate to that here.
You can also make a donation at Dail’s Body Shop in Ravenden, or at any First National Bank in Lawrence County by asking to contribute to the Save The Raven Fund.
Dail hopes to raise enough money to start working on the Raven by spring of next year.