Vandals hit beloved Browne's Addition statue

SPOKANE, Wash. - Vandals struck in Browne's Addition Tuesday night, removing the head from an iconic statue of Mrs. J.J. Browne and her daughter.

"I went out and looked at it and it looked like it was just ripped off," Resident Louie Flores said. "Like you take a coat hanger and keep bending it until it breaks apart."

The life sized piece was made by well-renowned artist, Sister Paula Mary Turnbull. She's the same woman that brought Spokane its beloved Garbage-Eating Goat in Riverfront Park.

The piece in Browne's Addition is much newer and features Anna Browne holding her daughter Alta's hand.

"It's just a great reflection of the neighborhood and its origin, so we want her back," Flores said.

It's a scene straight out the popular cartoon, The Simpsons. However, instead of Bart stealing the head on the statue of Jebediah Springfield, it's the wife of the founder of Browne's Addition.

"Her husband J.J. Browne actually bought the land and developed Browne's Addition, but she was his partner," Resident MaryLou Sproul said.

The statue was placed at its current location on First and Riverside Avenue's back in 2005. Having been there almost 10 years, it's no surprise that when her head went missing, the community was outraged.

"She was a person with a lot of elegance and a lot of personality, so that embraces Browne's Addition," Sproul said. "So having that type of vandalism is really painful for all of us who live here."

The topic was a hot item at Wednesday night's neighborhood council meeting. Most residents are taking matters into their own hands by spreading the word of the vandalism in hopes of tracking down the culprit.

"We just want it back," Neighborhood Council Chair Rick Biggerstaff said. "It means a lot to us and to a lot of people."

Anyone with information should call Crime Check at 456-2233.