Harrub Pilgrim Memorial, Waterbury

A granite memorial in Waterbury’s Chase Park honors the wife of the monument’s donor as well as the Pilgrims who landed in Massachusetts.

The Harrub Pilgrim Memorial, near the corner of Highland and Sunnyside avenues, was dedicated in 1930 to honor the Pilgrims as well as Rhoby Harrub, the wife of the monument’s donor Charles Harrub.

Harrub Pilgrim Monument, Waterbury, CT

The monument, carved from French granite, stands 24 feet tall with 10-foot figures depicting Pilgrim settlers and Native Americans on the monument’s southwest face.

A dedication on the monument’s northeast face reads:

Plymouth Rock does not mark a beginning or an end. It marks a revelation of that which is without beginning and without end. A purpose shining through eternity with a resplendent light undimmed even by the imperfections of men and a response an answering purpose from those who oblivious disdainful of all else sailed hither seeking only for an avenue for the immortal soul. – Calvin Coolidge

A dedication on the monument’s northwest face reads:

Moved by the illustrious record of the Pilgrim Fathers, the donor Charles Harrub in loving memory of his wife Rhoby S. Harrub and of her sympathetic accord, dedicates this monument to the townspeople of Waterbury to keep ever in mind the conquest of hardship and adversity through virile Christian character and unflinching loyalty to almighty God on which was reared the structure of New England.

The monument was created by sculptor Herman A. MacNeil, whose other works include several statues on the Connecticut State Capitol building.

Charles H. Harrub, a Massachusetts native and Navy veteran during the Civil War, served for many years as the chief engineer of the Waterbury Brass Company. Among his inventions was a lubricator for milling machines.

After his wife Rhoby passed in 1921, Harrub donated $100,000 (nearly $1.5 million in 2020 dollars) fund a memorial to honor Rhoby and the Pilgrims. At the time, just after the 300th anniversary of their Plymouth Rock landing, the Pilgrims and the Colonial era were regarded highly.

Harrub, for instance, wanted to highlight the virtues of courage, character and the capacity for leadership.

The monument was moved to its current location to accommodate the construction of Interstate 84. At the time of its dedication, it stood on Riverside Street near Freight Street.

Harrub donated his considerable estate to Waterbury to create a trust that still benefits the community. His wife was also honored by a performing arts facility in Library Park.

Near the Harrub monument, a granite monument dedicated in 1935 honors the original settlement of Waterbury in 1675.

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