Cambridge Fire Department receives $3K from sale of Hopalong Cassidy statue

Money will be used to purchase new helmets for firefighters

Rick Stillion
The Daily Jeffersonian
The Cambridge Fire Department received a $3,000 donation from local collector Laura Bates after she sold a 6-foot statue of William Boyd on Saturday. The donation will be used to purchase new helmets for fighters. Pictured, from left, are firefighter Jerry Kerns, Chief Jeff Deeks, Bates, firefighter Brian Vorhies and Assistant Chief Dave Duhamel at the Cambridge department.

A 6-foot statue of William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy was recently sold at auction by local collector Laura Bates, raising $3,000 for the Cambridge Fire Department.

Bates donated all of the proceeds from the sale of the paper mache' statue to the department after city firefighters saved her from a fire at the former Hopalong Cassidy Museum in 2016.

"I think it went very well," said Bates, who has been collecting Hopalong Cassidy items for more than 30 years.

After the fire on Sept. 3, 2016, Bates pledged to donate the proceeds if she ever sold the status to the fire department.

That day came on Saturday when Dover resident Roger Ramsey purchased him during the sale at the Carol Goff Auction House in Cambridge. He is also a collector of Hopalong Cassidy memorabilia.

"We are very fortunate and thankful that Laura chose to do that," said Cambridge Fire Chief Jeff Deeks.

A 6-foot statue of William Boyd, a former Cambridge resident who played as Hopalong Cassidy in western movies, was sold at auction Saturday with the $3,000 in proceeds going to the Cambridge Fire Department. Pictured at the sale are, from left, Engineer Josh Hatfield, buyer Roger Ramsey of Dover, firefighters Brian Vorhies and Jerry Kerns, Capt. Louie Province, Cheif Jeff Deeks, collector/seller Laura Bates and Engineer Tim Johnson.

The fire department plans to use the $3,000 to purchase new helmets.

"They say you should recycle or replace turnout gear and helmets every 10 years," said Deeks. "We have some guys with helmets that are over the 10-year period, so we want to get those replaced."

The average cost of a helmet is $300 apiece, according to Deeks.

More than two dozen people attended the auction with buyers coming from as far away as New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, Virginia and Missouri.

One of the country's premier Hopalong Cassidy collectors, a resident of the St. Louis area, was also in attendance, according to Bates.

Boyd was born at Hendrysburg in western Belmont County in 1895. He moved to Cambridge as a child and attended Park School for seven years.

Boyd would later become the actor who played Hopalong Cassidy in western movies.

The statue of Boyd was created by Red Moore of Arkansas and brought to the 1998 Hopalong Cassidy festival where it and a similar figure of Roy Rogers were sold to a Cambridge collector.

The Hoppy statue was later purchased by Bates for the museum.

More:Museum founder selling Hopalong Cassidy memorabilia at auction

Bates previously said she decided to sell her collection for two reasons.

"I will be 88 in December and I'm blessed to have most of my mind, so I thought it's time to start downsizing a little," said Bates. "And, I need to share what I have with the rest of the world."

Bates is credited with being the founder of the Hopalong Cassidy Museum, local fan club and the festival, which started in 1991 and continued for 25 years.

A Hopalong Cassidy Fan Club newsletter was also started by Bates with the first edition being printed by The Daily Jeffersonian in March 1991.

Each newsletter would reach more than 500 readers at its maximum, said Bates.