The Story Behind Vermont's Middle Finger Monument

The Story Behind Vermont's Middle Finger Monument

You've heard of disgruntled citizens giving a figurative middle finger to their city through an act of rebellion. Well, one Vermont man decided to create a literal middle finger aimed at the town of Westford!

Ted Pelkey was embroiled in a long-running feud with the town's Development Review Board when he erected the sculpture last year.

The board denied to issue Pelkey a permit to build an 8,000-square-foot garage on his 11-acre property.

"We've been trying to put a business there for the past 10 years," Pelkey told The Burlington Free Press. "It's just never-ending. They're railroading us really good."

According to Pelkey, his Swanton business where he cleans spools for a monofilament line company and does truck repair on the side was running out of space, which is why he applied for a permit to build on his Westford property.

"It's a low impact thing," Pelkey said of his business. "We have such little traffic you'd wonder if we were open."

The selectboard listed a variety of reasons why they denied the building permit, including that the application did not describe the proposed use of the structure, and that it did not include the necessary information about lighting that will "likely be needed for security purposes."

In response, Pelkey commissioned the $4,000 middle finger monument from a local artisan named Charlie O'Brien who typically carves rustic wildlife sculptures at his woodshop. 

O'Brien has since been commissioned to create yet another statue of "The Bird" for singer, Kid Rock.

The seven-foot-tall sculpture was carved from a 700-pound block of pine and sits atop a 16-foot pole on Pelkey's property. Best of all? It lights up at night!

Apparently there is nothing the town can do to about the literal "F*** You" Pelkey has aimed at them. The sculpture complies with zoning regulations, and falls under the category of public artwork.

So if you find yourself driving down Route 128 between Westford and Fairfax, Vermont, don't be offended. The monument is not meant for you - but you may just get a good chuckle out of it!


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