Where to Find Glendale’s Famous Black Squirrels and Painted Squirrel Statues

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Stroll through the Cincinnati suburb of Glendale, and you might notice its rambunctious mascot scurrying up trees or across lawns. And we’re not talking about a human in a costume; the black squirrel, a color morph of the species Sciurus carolinensis, aka the eastern gray squirrel, is a unique inhabitant of the village.

As the legend goes, businessman Thomas Carruthers III brought back two black squirrels from Harbor Springs, Michigan in the 1940s. The population grew in the following decades, says glendaleohioarchive.org.

And to pay tribute to this local quirk, 5-foot-tall fiberglass squirrel statues dot Glendale’s streets and yards. Twenty-five squirrel statues were revealed in 2005 as part of the village’s sesquicentennial celebration. Of those, 13 can still be viewed today; the others have been moved to private property or were sold.

Glendale is a 22-minute drive north of downtown Cincinnati, making squirrel-statue hunting the perfect afternoon romp. Need a guide? Glendale’s website has a map pinpointing the remaining statues and the various routes you can take to see them.

Decorated by local artists and placed outside businesses and community spaces, the statues depict everything from an apron-wearing, rolling-pin-wielding squirrel outside of Bluebird Bakery to “Scrappy Fritz Kloth,” a fire-fighter squirrel guarding the fire station.

Some squirrels have been repainted since their initial installation. For example, once covered in sports balls, the squirrel on the upstairs deck of The Cock & Bull Pub now appears as a British Beefeater. And outside of Glendale Family Chiropractic, formerly the Wolff Vision Center, the squirrel has ditched its glasses to become a skeleton, making it the spookiest critter of all.

Read a full feature about Glendale's famous black squirrels and find a map to the statue locations at CityBeat.com.

| Photos by Mackenzie Manley