Brownie Today

Final funds for Brownie the Town Dog Memorial approved. Ground breaking as early as January 2018.

At last night’s Daytona Beach city commission meeting, the final bit of funds was approved for the Brownie the Town Dog Memorial.

Commissioner Kelly White graciously gave the bulk of her Bike Week Sponsorship funds to this memorial.

Each year, each commissioner is given a couple thousand dollars from Bike Week generated funds to use for small projects within their districts. Thank you Commissioner White for this gracious contribution.

Approved: Final Funds for Brownie the Town Dog Project
Approved: Final Funds for Brownie the Town Dog Project

The Brownie the Town Dog Memorial is an official city project and is being steered, designed, and funded by various departments and employees of the City of Daytona Beach.

I, Eddie James, am not involved in the funding of this project. Full disclosure: roughly $300 has been raised via GoFundMe and cash donations in Brownie’s Dog Boutique. These funds will go toward a few odds and ends that will spring up as the memorial is built out.

I have been included in the review of designs for the park and my ideas are being incorporated into the final design. Now that the funding is in place, the ground breaking for the project could happen as early as January 2018.

The current design was reviewed by Eddie James, the Beatification Board, and various city departments.

Although I had originally wanted the entire South end of Riverfront Park devoted to Brownie, it was decided, for various reasons, to keep the memorial in the area where his grave is located. I agree with this decision.

The memorial will consist of 3 parts:

  1. The grave
  2. The memorial bench area
  3. The statue

Pavers and various plantings will make this area a quaint pocket park within Riverfront Park and highlight Brownie’s life and the people who loved him.

There will be signage telling Brownie’s story and each bench with memorialize someone from Brownie’s life (Example: Ed Budgen, who owned the Daytona Cab Company and oversaw Brownie’s day-to-day needs).

Note that after the memorial is in place, there is nothing stopping the city from creating a larger area for Brownie. There are plans to redo all of Riverfront Park, so it’s definitely possible that as Riverfront Park is redeveloped that Brownie could be included further. I would love to see a small area devoted to the Post Office Brownie.

Brownie the Town Dog Memorial design drawing
The city of Daytona Beach design of Brownie the Town Dog Memorial.
Brownie Grave today with overlays showing how it relates to future memorial site.
The Brownie Grave today with overlays showing how it relates to the future memorial.

As the project moves towards groundbreaking, we will post updates on various decisions.

What is great about this project is that the various departments within the city are very excited and have offered their time and resources to help make it happen. I have been very impressed with how well the various groups worked together and came up with a plan that is both simple, and super cost-effective, yet truly memorializes Brownie.

Once completed, this memorial will be the only dog memorial in the world where the statue and grave are in the same location. It’s also one of the few dog memorials located where the historic dog actually lived.

Even cooler: This memorial is on the very spot chosen in 1954 for Brownie so he could watch over his beloved Beach Street.

It’s also the first historic site you encounter along the Sweetheart Trail. Brownie’s tag was always Number 1. Coincidence? I think not.