Jack Paten has been fascinated by Maitland's Jocko Graves statue ever since he was a child.
The historian has written a book on the statue's long history, and visited Maitland this week to hand over a transcript to council as an historic record.
The book, titled Maitland Black Boy, is the result of years of research, trawling through newspaper clippings and interviewing people with knowledge of the statue.
The statue first arrived in Maitland as a gift to AD McDonald the tobacconist in 1892, and Mr Paten has spoken to Mr McDonald's great grandson as part of his research.
While Mr Paten lives on the south coast, he has deep roots in Maitland, his family being here for 160 years.
His fascination with the statue began with his grandmother, who collected research about it over the years. "I always was interested since I was a young kid," Mr Paten said.
"My grandmother the late Mary Lantry from Morpeth used to collect a lot of black boy memorabilia and clippings from newspapers, and it just grew from there."
The statue is of a 12-year-old African American boy named Jocko Graves.
It's a replica of the lawn jockey statues seen in the United States, and depicts a boy who, legend has it, froze to death holding tethered horses while George Washington's army crossed the Delaware River in 1776.
Mr Paten said something interesting he's found is confirmation that the current statue is not the original.
"It's original from perhaps 1953, there was an accident and the original seemed to have been knocked over when they did renovations to the shop, and because it was cast iron it smashed."
In July, Maitland councillors voted to make the statue a heritage item under the Maitland local environment plan, and to introduce signage alongside it, explaining its context.
Maitland mayor Philip Penfold said council will be glad to make a copy of the book available to anyone who wants to read it.
"Council is supportive of any efforts to promote and record the history of this important monument," he said.
"We'd be more than happy to produce it for anyone that would have an interest in a hard copy."
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