Neighbors News

Elverta’s Mowasaurus Has Retired to Arizona

I got a nice email from Janeen Scharf last week and I’d been waiting to get some time to write when the funniest thing happened.

There was discussion of the effort to bring a piece of custom metal art to Troy Park, and community activist Wendy Whitehouse happened to reference our past history of local scrap-metal art. She even posted a picture of the Mowasaurus and wondered… Where is it now?

James McGrew’s Mowasaurus has been safety relocated from 8120 Rio Linda Boulevard in Elverta where it was the “guardian of the gates” for more than 20 years.  Janeen and sister Loretta sold the Elverta property and held an estate sale on Mothers’ Day week-end.

Janeen says “We’d like to thank everyone in the community that dropped in to share stories of Dad and Mom and to give new homes to so many of the things that were special to them.  Lots of people asked about the fate of “Mowie”. I know he makes people of all ages smile and that people will miss seeing him as they drive by his old home.

Janeen’s family kept the Mowasauras, and he has arrived safely in Bullhead City, AZ.  where he rules the El Torro Grande neighborhood. They plan to paint him desert camouflage over the next few weeks as wind and heat allow.

The 12-foot tall Mowasaurus was James McGrew’s first and largest sculpture.

“It had to be brought down in two pieces from Elverta, California. It’s been in our yard since then. Dad was a farmer and hay and straw dealer. He knew how to weld from fixing farm machinery. After he retired, he caught the iron sculpting bug from a nephew on the east coast … Mowie was his first piece and his largest.”

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Sculpture by James McGrew. Photo by Wendy Whitehouse.
Sculpture by James McGrew. Photo by Wendy Whitehouse.

Mr. McGrew, having spent LOTS of hours in a tractor’s seat mowing hay and straw, called him a “Mow-A-Sore-Ass.”  The missus, Laline McGrew, disapproved and the name morphed into Mowasaurus.

James McGrew used obsolete machinery parts to create more than 100 sculptures between 1990 and 2010. Five old hay-mowing machines gave the Mowasaurus its name. Janeen has kept about a dozen of her dad’s sculptures.

James and Laline were married 71 years before they passed away 5 months apart in 2013.

They had lived at the same address in Elverta since 1948.

Thank you to Janeen for sharing this great piece of RL/E history, and thanks also to the Mohave Daily News and Wendy Whitehouse.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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