The Neptune statue that sits on the south east lawn on the Elkhart County Courthouse highlights the story of immigration to Goshen and the building of a successful business. Across Main Street from the statue is the Olympia Candy Kitchen. It was established in 1912 by James Polezoes. Polezoes was born in Sparta, Greece in 1887; he came to the United States in 1903. Living in Ohio with his brother Peter, James shined shoes as he learned about confectionery, the art of candy making. Coming to Goshen in 1910, James took his savings of $800 and $600 he borrowed from his brother and converted a vacant saloon into his candy kitchen. By 1912, the Olympia Candy Kitchen was a success. Polezoes, rather than investing in his own business, used his money to invest in Goshen’s cultural capital.
The idea for the statue stemmed from Polezoes’ business trip to Chicago. During the trip, he saw a statue of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea. Polezoes was inspired to find a way to thank Goshen for his success. Bringing a statue to Goshen was a perfect way to express his thanks. The statue was dedicated in a ceremony on August 27, 1912. The newly-installed fountain was decorated with lights, and Greek and American flags were spread around the basin of the fountain. The dedication included speeches from the mayor and other prominent citizens. The last speaker on the schedule was Polezoes, but when introduced he was unable to speak due to the tears rolling down his face. Anthony Deahl, a local banker, read remarks on behalf of Polezoes that stated “he appreciated the courtesies and patronage extended to him since his arrival in Goshen, and that he wished to present the fountain to the citizens of Goshen as a token of the appreciation he felt.”