Carter County elementary school mascot found in lake, will go back to school

John Thompson • Sep 5, 2012 at 9:53 AM

BUTLER — Now that the school’s mascot has been found, Little Milligan Elementary Principal J.R. Campbell was in a lighthearted mood on Tuesday.

“We have had a lot of good fun talking about our wandering buffalo,” Campbell said with another laugh.

“You see, we are a rural school and we get a lot of these pranks.” Campbell said Marshall, the school mascot, has been the target of the pranks before, being tipped over and suffering other indignities.

Campbell said Marshall disappeared in June.

“It was back when they were having Bible schools,” Campbell remembered. He said he did not get upset over the theft of the mascot.

“I told everyone Marshall will resurface. That seems kind of funny now that he has been found on an island in the middle of Watauga Lake,” Campbell said.

Campbell’s confidence was rewarded when boaters recently discovered the concrete statue on a small island near Cove Ridge Marina.

“We got him from some donors who lived near Cove Ridge, so maybe he was just trying to find his way home again,” Campbell laughed.

Campbell said the concrete statue was one of about 40 that were made to represent another school’s mascot: Marshall University’s Thundering Herd. The statue donated to Little Milligan was named Marshall in honor of his connection to the West Virginia university.

Now that Marshall has been found, the next step is to get him off the island and back to his place of honor in front of the elementary school. Campbell said Ernie Reece of Cove Ridge Marina has offered to help with some lifting equipment used at the boat dock.

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