Rendezvous Days and Bill Williams Monument Park began with only a dream, a dream of a statue to honor the trapper for which Williams derives its name. Today, the park and statue remain landmarks in the city.
his dreams walk about the city where he persists
~ William Carlos Williams, Paterson (1946). Book 1
Built of clay and plastex, the eight and one-half foot statue took hundreds of hours to complete.
When completed, the statue was erected at Monument Park, and since then, it has been speculated that with the estimated thousands of photographs being taken of it each year, it has become one of the most photographed landmarks in the Williams area.
Williams-Grand Canyon News-For the people of Williams, Arizona, one constant reminder of the past is the Bill Williams statue at Monument Park.
Created by local artist, Bill Pettit, the statue was a longtime dream of his fulfilled. Over 14 months in the making, the statue was completed in 10 separate stages, all of his time on the project donated.
"I'd always wanted to build a statue of William Sherley Williams, to help honor the famous trapper and mountain man who this city is named after," said Pettit.
Funding for the project was slow at first, but when the Bill Williams Mountain Men donated $500 which was followed by the City of Williams and Williams Rotary Club donations, "well, it just got the ball rolling," he added.
One of the largest crowds to ever gather in Williams showed up for the first Rendezvous Days and the unveiling of the Bill Williams Monument in 1980.
Among the guests gathered were 30 descendants of Bill Williams, some of whom had traveled across the country to be here for the event.
The unveiling was done by former Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, Pettit and Lillian Matthews, a great-great-granddaughter of Bill Williams.
The Bill Williams Rendezvous Days is now an annual event that attracts many visitors to Williams and is a source of pride to the community. Each year, the Bill Williams Buckskinners host their Annual Black Powder Shoot and Traders's Row, which brings black powder enthusiastics from all over the United States, and the Bill Williams Mountain Men make their celebrated trek to Phoenix on horseback for a rendezvous.
Williams-Grand Canyon News, May 25, 1995
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A Collection of Quotes Based on the Name William