Statue of Isis
Considering Herbert Hoover's Quaker upbringing, you might be wondering why there is a statue of Isis, "the Egyptian goddess of Life", sitting on the grounds of his birthplace. This bronze, seven and a half foot tall statue is the work of Belgian sculptor Auguste Puttemans, and was a gift from the children, refugees, and soldiers of Belgium in gratitude for Hoover's famine relief efforts on their behalf during the First World War.
Look closely, and you'll notice that her veil, a symbol of the mysteries of life, cannot hide the strength of her features. Her right hand carries the torch of life-its three flames represent the past, present, and future-while her left hand holds the key of life.
An Egyptian goddess and an American President. It's an unlikely pairing, but one that provides a powerful visual link between Hoover's childhood and his life's dedication to the welfare of others. Find out more about Hoover's dedication to children's causes »
Did You Know?
The West Branch Schoolhouse was built in 1853 making it the oldest building at Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The town's Quakers also used the one-room building as their first meetinghouse. More...