Historic Buford statue to be unveiled

From staff reports

BUFORD - A bronze statue depicting a piece of forgotten Buford history will finally be unveiled Sunday.

State and local politicians will be among those on hand to see the statue, a memorial to former Bona Allen saddlemaker John Johnson, dedicated at 2 p.m. Sunday. The public statue will sit in a park across the street from the Tannery Row Artist Colony, the former home of Bona Allen Co.

Buford sculptor Vic McCallum created the life-sized bronze piece, which depicts Johnson holding a saddle for Roy Rogers and his horse, Trigger. The Buford-based Bona Allen Co. was known for making custom saddles for Hollywood cowboys like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

The statue has had a long journey. McCallum originally sculpted the statue in clay at his Tannery Row studio. Next, the clay statue was transported to Ward Sculptural Metal in Canton to be cast in bronze. There, the statue was broken into smaller sections, bronzed, cleaned, then welded back together and smoothed out. It has been sitting in Buford, under wraps, for about a week now.