War Memorial, East Hampton

East Hampton honors veterans of World War I and earlier conflicts with plaques on a boulder in its historic village center.

The undated war memorial, at the intersection of Main Street and Summit Street (Route 196), honors veterans of World War I, the Spanish-American War, the Civil War, the War of 1812 and the American Revolution with plaques mounted on a large boulder.

The south face of the monument bears a plaque with a dedication reading, “In honor of East Hampton men and women who served their country in the World War 1917-1918.”

Below the dedication, the plaque lists about 141 names, and indicates four who were killed in the war.

On the monument’s west face, a plaque honoring Civil War veterans bears a dedication reading, “To perpetuate the memory of the men from this township in the Civil War 1861-1865 fought to preserve the Union.”

The plaque further lists about 109 residents who served in the war.

The monument’s north face honors a dozen residents who served in the Spanish-American War.

The east face of the monument honors veterans of the American Revolution and the War of 1812 with a plaque reading, “To the memory of the patriot men of Chatham who bravely bore their part in the War of the American Revolution and the War of 1812 to establish firmly the foundations of our republic and to preserve the liberties which we have inherited.”

The reference to Chatham reflects East Hampton’s former name. The town separated from Middletown in 1767, and was known as Chatham from then until it adopted the East Hampton name in 1915.

The fact that the Civil War and Spanish-American War plaques refer to “this township” probably reflects the name change in the intervening years.

The monument stands in East Hampton’s Belltown Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

East Hampton was a leading center for the manufacture of bells during the 19th Century and the early 20th. According to the 1860 census, nearly half of East Hampton’s 1,766 residents, many of whom were Irish immigrants, worked for one of the town’s 30 bell factories.

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