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Auburn, California

The Statues of Ken Fox

Dentist's hated concrete colossi are now beloved icons of the community. 

Dentist Ken Fox’s huge concrete statues in the gold rush town of Auburn are giants in motion. 

Beginning in the 1960’s Fox began creating his huge cement works in front of his dental practice. One of the first works, a nude male, was so shocking to the community that they began rerouting the school buses away from his office to avoid children gazing upon the statue.

Other works include two massive amazon women, one with a bow the other with a spear, and a towering Chinese “Coolie” figure working on the transcontinental railroad. His largest work reached a massive height of 42 feet of solid concrete, weighing over 100 tons. Fox has compared his works to other roadside oddities saying they are poorly constructed, while his are built to last, like the highways. 

Despite the initial outrage at the giant statues, the city eventually warmed to Fox’s creations and even commissioned an original work based on gold prospector Claud Chana who first discovered gold in the area. Fox’s gold prospector now sits just outside of the Auburn courthouse.

Know Before You Go

Most statues are at his office: from I-80, take the Hwy. 49 toward Grass Valley, and turn right after two lights at Palm Avenue. Continue past Auburn Ravine. The Coolie statue: Between Hwy 49 and Harrison Avenue, on Lincoln Way at the Gold Rush Museum (old Auburn Depot).Gold Miner: Old Town Auburn, near the I-80 East off-ramp.

Contributed by
leiris
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