Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Picture this. You’re driving along Route 322, through the town of Dauphin, Pennsylvania. As you’re looking at the beautiful Susquehanna River, you notice an all-white figure in the distance. It’s perched atop an overgrown, grey-brick pedestal — if you can even call it that. You squint, trying to see what exactly you’re looking at. “Is- is that The Statue of Liberty?” you mutter to yourself. You keep driving, getting closer to the mysterious structure. “It IS The Statue of Liberty!” you exclaim.

Are you seeing things? This can’t be real, right?

A white statue, surrounded by water on all sides. Lady Liberty in Pennsylvania? What? It can’t possibly be true, but it is. It is more than true, in fact.

You’re not seeing things. You didn’t hallucinate her on your long drive across the Keystone State. No. There is a replica Statue of Liberty overseeing a section of the Susquehanna River in Dauphin. She stands 25 feet tall on top of an old railroad piling in the near center of the water. This oddity has left motorists confused for decades. Especially those motorists with no time to stop and get a closer look, or to pull out their phones and search her up.

Some History

The Susquehanna River runs through three states, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. It is also generally known as one of the oldest rivers in the world.

Now back to the statue, many have seen her, just brushing her off as a town-sponsored attraction, a forgettable roadside oddity, or above all, just some weird thing in some river. Others, though, are drawn in by her charm and obscurity. Her existence is shrouded in mystery. Or is it?

Undoubtedly, we have answers, people. We know why she’s there. Lady Liberty does reside on the river. And we’re here to impart that information so that you can better understand why there is a Statue of Liberty on the Susquehanna River.

  • The Origin Of The Mystery

    Initially, no one knew how, or why, she showed up in 1986. That piling is intriguingly hard to get to. The water is rocky, and without proper equipment, how in the world are you to scale that brick wall and erect a giant statue? For years, the statue, made of plywood and venetian blinds, stood as a mystery. In the 90s, though, tragedy struck. The odd, puzzling figure that locals had grown to love, was destroyed by bad weather. The residents of Dauphin raised money to put up a new one. This time, she was sturdier, larger, and securely fastened to her pedestal. A helicopter put her in place, this time.

  • The Truth Comes Out

    Statue Of Liberty Stands In New York Harbor On Eve Of July 4th

    Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    Her truth remained a mystery for years. That is, until one Gene Stlip, a local lawyer, came forward as the statue originator. He, in 1986, gathered a group of friends to help him build an homage to Lady Liberty. You know, the giant copper one that lives in New York Harbor. The one in New York came to be in 1886, so Stlip wanted to celebrate her 100th birthday in a big way. He and his friends used a small boat and erected his creation in the middle of the night. Stlip came forward after the statute of limitations for prosecution of illegal statue placement had passed. Being a lawyer and all, he played it smart.

  • How To Visit Her

    Well, unfortunately, this patriotic prank-turned town icon is not an easy site to view. She is visible from Route 322, north of Harrisburg, but there isn’t exactly a good place to stop your car and see her. The Dauphin Narrows Statue of Liberty sits on a piling in the river between Maryville and Dauphin. You can spot an aerial view of her from nearby Second Mountain. You can also try to use a boat to see her, but exercise EXTREME caution!

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