Barkhamsted honors its Civil War veterans with a granite obelisk that also commemorates the service of residents in later wars.
The Soldier’s Monument, located near the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road (Route 318) and Beach Rock Road, was first dedicated in 1897 to honor veterans of the American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War and the Civil War.
In recent years, bronze plaques attached to the monument’s base honor veterans of the Spanish-American War, the two World Wars, Korea and Vietnam.
A dedication on the monument’s front (north) face reads, “The tribute of the people of Barkhamsted to the memory of her sons and daughters who fought to establish, defend and preserve the nation, erected 1897.”
The north face also bears a decorative trophy with two crossed rifles in front of a wreath, and a plaque attached to the north base honors veterans of World War II and Korea.
The west face has a plaque honoring Barkhamsted’s American Revolution veterans, and the base honors Korea and Vietnam veterans.
The south face commemorates residents who served in the Wars of 1812 and Mexico, and the base has a plaque (probably from 1939) listing names omitted from the 1897 plaques.
The east face honors veterans of the Civil War, called the War of the Rebellion. The base honors Spanish-American War veterans as well as residents who served in World War I.
The monument was donated by Walter S. Carter, a Barkhamsted native who headed a New York law firm. Carter had previously practiced in Milwaukee and Chicago, where his firm was destroyed in the fire of 1871.
In addition to the monument, Carter donated land and money to establish a cemetery in Barkhamsted.
The monument, like many of the graves in Center Cemetery to the south of the monument, was originally in the Barkhamsted Hollow section of town. The hollow was flooded in the 1930s when Saville Dam was built to create Barkhamsted Reservoir, which contributes to Hartford’s water supply.
Two Barkhamsted cemeteries and the monument were relocated in 1939 and Center Cemetery was established. A section at the southern end of the cemetery honors residents whose remains could not be identified when they were moved.
To the east of the Soldiers’ Monument, the bell from the former Hollow Church has been mounted on large granite blocks that originally formed part of the Saville Dam spillway.
More details about the flooding of Barkhamsted Hollow are available in an article from CT Explored magazine.