Alex Palkovich’s statue of Francis Marion marks the location where General Francis Marion, also known as the Swamp Fox, took charge of the Williamsburg Militia in 1780. What was then Witherspoon’s Ferry is now known as Odell Venters Landing in Johnsonville. General Francis Marion rides his horse Ball, captured from John Cumming Ball, a Tory from Charleston, at Black Mingo Creek. The piece was commissioned by Pee Dee Historical Society and the City of Johnsonville.
This statue stands at 3.5x actual size, and Ball’s head is 7′ long. Palkovich chose to not sculpt the bodies in full. Mounted on a special concrete base, the two separate characters, Francis Marion and Ball, are cropped in a place that the mind can imagine the continuity. Local business leaders modeled for the facial features, and business leader Pete Mazzaroni was the hand model.
Two smaller versions of this statue (1/2 actual size) may be found at the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation Florence County Library and the Lake City Public Library.
General Francis Marion
Odell Venters Landing
Alex Palkovich Sculpture Trail map