Statue of Dirty Dan Harris
Located at Fairhaven Village Green
Corner of 10th Avenue and Mill Streets

Artist:  Robert McDermott

"If you’re interested in Fairhaven, you’ve got to know about Dirty Dan”, says Brian Griffin, who spearheaded the efforts to build the Fairahven Green.   Brian was behind the Dirty Dan sculpture (as well as the bust of C.X. Larrabee and the soon-to-be completed statue of J.J. Donovan.)  Local artist, Robert McDermott took on the challenge of making a sculpture of a man who is known only by a single blurry photograph and written physical descriptions.  "I decided to depict him in his youth, as a relaxed guy looking over his city,” says McDermott, a Blaine sculptor who completed the statue in 2003.

Daniel J. Harris, born in 1833, was the founder of Fairhaven.  Known for his unkempt appearance and crude manners, he is remembered best as "Dirty Dan".    Harris filed the plat for the Town of Fairhaven on January 2, 1883 which consisted of eighty-five blocks 200 feet square, each divided into eight lots measuring 50 feet by 100 feet.  It is reported that with $16,000 of the proceeds he built a three-story hotel and a deep-water dock at 4th and Harris.  Any unsold lots were purchased by Nelson Bennett for $70,000 in 1889--just before the Fairhaven "Boom".

In 1885, Dan Harris, age 52,  married 28 year old Bertha Wasmer and they spent much of their time in Los Angeles.   Bertha died there in 1888, Dan in 1890.  


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