Laura Smith Haviland Statue – Adrian, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

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Laura Smith Haviland Statue

Adrian, Michigan

This life-sized effigy commemorates the dedicated abolitionist and social reformer. 


Sitting outside the Lenawee County Historical Museum is a determined-looking woman made from granite. She is dressed in Quaker attire and keeps vigil while holding her autobiography, A Woman’s Life-Work: Labors and Experiences of Laura S. Haviland.

This life-sized statue depicts Laura Smith Haviland. The Canadian-born “Aunt Laura” led a life dedicated to social reform in her adopted land. She was instrumental in founding the first anti-slavery society in the Michigan territory. She also began, along with her family, the first integrated school, the Raisin Institute, and her home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. At one point there was a $3,000 bounty on Haviland’s head due to her tireless work against slavery. After the Civil War, “Aunt Laura” helped refugees and orphans, fought for women’s suffrage, and was an organizer for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

This statue was originally erected by the local chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in 1909 in front of the Adrian City Hall and served as a water fountain in memory of her temperance work. Sadly, the water fountain no longer works, but you can still see this impressive work of art designed by H. Barnicoat of Quincy, Massachusetts.

Know Before You Go

There is a parking lot available next to the museum.

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December 26, 2019

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