Former Roadside America statues damaged by arson in Lebanon County
The giant statues of an Amish couple that were long seen by motorists passing Roadside America Miniature Village on Interstate 78 in Berks County were set on fire at their new Lebanon County home, officials said.
On Tuesday night one or more people intentionally set the well-known Amos and Anna statues ablaze in the parking lot of Creative Crafts novelty store in Heidelberg Township between Myerstown and Schaefferstown, state police Fire Marshal Janssen Herb said.
The owner of the 10-foot-high statues is Andrew King, whose parents own the store. He paid $5,000 for the statues in February when they and other contents of the Upper Bern Township attraction were auctioned after its closure.
King, 24, lives up the street from the store at Route 501 and Reistville Road.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday someone told him the statues were on fire and he ran to the store, where he and others used a garden hose to put out the flames until firefighters arrived shortly afterward.
The head and both arms of Amos were mostly destroyed, he said, and Anna sustained lesser damage.
The statues of Amos and Anna as they appeared at Roadside America Miniature Village in Upper Bern Township before the attraction closed.
Herb said while it’s clearly a case of arson, it’s unclear if whoever committed the crime drove or walked there. It’s also still undetermined if they used an accelerant or if the materials the statues were made out of were flammable enough to be lit on their own.
There were no injuries.
The investigation continues, Herb said.
In the meantime, King said he’s trying to figure out how to repair the statues. The Amos statue in particular will take some major rebuilding, he said, and he’s going to need help.
Several people have already offered assistance, and any others willing to do so should call his parents’ store at 717-949-8377, he said.
The reason King wants to see them restored is the same reason he bought them in the first place, he said.
He enjoyed seeing the statues when he visited Roadside America as a boy, and later when he’d pass them driving to and from work. He knows a lot of others are sentimental about them as well, as shown by the support he’s received since the fire, he said.
“I wanted them to have a good home in the area,” he said. “I just couldn’t stand to let them go.”
The giant statues of an Amish couple that were long seen by motorists passing Roadside America Miniature Village on Interstate 78 in Berks County were set on fire at their new Lebanon County home, officials said. On Tuesday night one or more people intentionally set the well-known Amos and Anna statues ablaze in the parking…