MOUNT MORRIS – The carver who created the once-vandalized ‘Welcome Home’ bear has restored his sign and put him back on his feet.
A Facebook post by Town Councilman David Provo cheered the return of the distinctive sculpture.
“The Bear is happy now thanks to James And Kathryn Link,” posted Provo. “Let’s enjoy this beautiful homecoming weekend and come together and celebrate our community.”
Vandals apparently unscrewed the sign and toppled the sculpture Thursday night. Police recovered the sign lying next to the bear the next morning.
The bear is certainly an outstanding sight on Main Street. Many strangers have been seen taking photos and selfies with the bear. The students of Mount Morris Central School will officially name him at the conclusion of this weekend, homecoming weekend. Four names are considered: Francis, for Francis Bellamy, who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance and was born in Mount Morris; Jemison, for Mary Jemison, the legendary ‘white woman of the Genesee;’ Seymour, for Mary Seymour, prominent women’s suffrage activist who was born in Mount Morris; or Morris, for Robert Morris, financier of the American Revolution and the town’s namesake.
The Mount Morris Police Department and Livingston County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the vandalism. Anyone believes that they have information about the incident is encouraged to call Mount Morris Police at (585)658-2155 or the Sheriff’s Office at (585)243-7100.
A security camera now watches over the bear.
“We’ll get to the bottom of it,” said Kathy Link, who owns and operates Carvings & More on Main Street. “Neighbors have told me that it’s been a bad year for bears around here. First Geneseo’s bear gets run over, now this!”