Cherry Hill Township's first public sculpture speaks to the history and heritage of the Croft Farm as both the site of a successful milling industry and a "station" along the Underground Railroad. The water wheel symbolizes the progress and motion of both processing grist and helping slaves to freedom.
Mayor Bernard A. Platt, Town Council, artist Peter Trout Gard and proud members of the Sculpture Committee dedicated Free Wheel on October 26, 2003. It stands as an enduring reminder of the significance of Cherry Hill's history.
Created entirely of steel, the sculpture stands over 10' high and weighs more than 6,500 lbs. It is made of fabricated steel and has a natural rust finish.
Sketch of Free Wheel by Peter Trout Gard.
With one side of the wheel flat on a table created specifically to accommodate the wheel, the paddles were inserted. At each step of the process the edges were grinded and smoothed to create a seamless final effect.
Creating the sculpture was only half of the battle - transporting and installing the piece represented an entirely different challenge. Using a crane to position the sculpture above its final resting place, Peter and his dedicated crew pushed the multi-ton piece into place.