Civil War Monuments of Connecticut – Buy the Book!

Civil War Monuments of ConnecticutWe’re pleased to announce the publication of Civil War Monuments of Connecticut, a 234-page guidebook highlighting 135 of the state’s Civil War monuments and memorials.

Most people who think of New England Civil War monument picture a granite solider standing on a pillar, but Connecticut’s monuments feature considerable design variations. In addition to infantrymen, you also see flag bearers, obelisks, archways, allegorical figures, domes and even simple plaques mounted on boulders.

Connecticut’s Civil War monuments were made of different materials — granite, marble, bronze and even zinc – and were dedicated at dates as early as 1863 (in Kensington) and as recently as 2011 (in Bristol and Hebron).

Regardless of the form, the intent of these monuments is the same – to honor the sacrifice of the residents killed in the war, show appreciation for those who served to defend the Union, and inspire future generations.

With detailed descriptions of the monuments, and information about each monument’s location, artist and history, Civil War Monuments of Connecticut is a helpful resource (and a great holiday gift) for Civil War and public art enthusiasts.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, StratfordCivil War Monuments of Connecticut also highlights monuments honoring veterans of the American Revolution, the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts.

Civil War Monuments of Connecticut is available in paperback and Kindle editions from


Moor’s Charity School, Columbia

Moor’s Charity School, ColumbiaDartmouth College traces its roots to an 18th Century school for Native Americans in a section of Lebanon that later became the town of Columbia.

Moor’s Charity School was founded in 1754 by Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock to provide a Christian education to Native Americans and to English students who would serve Native American tribes as teachers and missionaries. The school was named after donor Joshua Moor of Mansfield.

Classes moved from Wheelock’s home a year later to a schoolhouse that was remodeled in the 1850s, and today stands a short distance from the church and Columbia’s town hall. The schoolhouse was moved several times, and was placed in its current location in 1948.

Moor’s Charity School, ColumbiaMoor’s School had difficulty recruiting students in its Connecticut location, and moved to New Hampshire in 1769.

A plaque near the schoolhouse entrance reads, “Moor’s Charity School, 1755-1769, Columbia, Connecticut. Proudly remembered for 200 years by generations of Dartmouth men as seeding ground for Dartmouth College and and faithful steward of Eleazar Wheelock’s generous and crusading spirit. May 17, 1969.”

The school is also honored with a granite monument in front of the Congregational Church on Route 87. An inscription on the monument reads, “In 1755, Eleazar Wheelock, DD, minister at Lebanon Crank (now Columbia) founded near this spot Moor’s Indian Charity School. In 1769 the school was removed to Hanover, New Hampshire. From this beginning arose Dartmouth College, Eleazar Wheelock, president 1769-1779. Erected by the Connecticut Society of the Colonial Dames of America, 1949.”

Moor’s Charity School, Columbia








Moor’s Charity School, Columbia








Moor’s Charity School, Columbia








Congregational Church, Columbia












Frog Bridge, Willimantic

Frog Bridge, WillimanticThe Frog Bridge in the Willimantic section of Windham provides a quirky look at the town’s history.

Officially named the Tread City Crossing, the bridge connects Main Street (Route 66) and Pleasant Street (Route 32), and crosses the Willimantic River.

But the bridge, which opened in 2000, is more commonly known for its decorative elements, including the 11-foot bronze frogs at the bridge’s northern and southern ends and the large thread spools lining the bridge.

Frog Bridge, WillimanticThe spools symbolize Willimantic’s historic importance as a thread production center, and several former mill buildings (since converted to other uses) can be seen from the bridge’s sidewalks.

The frogs symbolize the 1754 Frog Fight, a curious incident from Willimantic’s history. According to local legend, Willimantic residents, concerned about attacks from French forces or Native Americans, were awakened during a hot June night by loud, strange noises coming from the woods. Residents grabbed muskets and waited all night for an attack that didn’t come.

The next morning, the noises were attributed to thousands of frogs fighting over the last remnants of water in a nearly dried-out millpond. Residents were initially embarrassed about the incident, but later adopted frogs an unofficial mascot of Willimantic.

Frog Bridge, Willimantic








Frog Bridge, Willimantic








Frog Bridge, Willimantic








Frog Bridge, Willimantic












Workers’ Memorial, Hartford

Workers’ Memorial, HartfordConnecticut employees killed or injured in workplace accidents are honored with a memorial in Hartford’s Bushnell Park.

The Workers’ Memorial, in a small plaza along the west side of Trinity Street, was dedicated in 2010. A curved wall features a small bench, and an inscription on a medallion in the plaza bears a quote from Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, a labor organizer: “Mourn for the dead; fight for the living.”

The April 28, 2010, dedication date also marked the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Occupational Safety & Health Act.

Unions have also designated April 28 as Workers Memorial Day, with many holding ceremonies to remember injured or killed workers.

Workers’ Memorial, HartfordThe workers’ memorial, not far from the park’s Israel Putnam monument, was designed by Smith Edwards Architects of Hartford.






Workers’ Memorial, Hartford










War Memorial, Windsor

War Memorial, Windsor

Thanks to reader Brian Festa, we’re taking another look at the War Memorial on the Town Green in Windsor.

The Windsor War Memorial, dedicated in 1929, was created by noted sculptor and Windsor resident Evelyn Beatrice Longman.

The monument features a five-foot bronze eagle atop a stone cairn. The monument’s front (west) face includes a bronze wreath and a dedication “To the patriots of Windsor.”

The monument stands at the southern end of the town green on Broad Street (Route 159).

Photo courtesy of Brian Festa.



Andersonville Boy Memorial, Hartford

Connecticut honors Civil War veterans held in Confederate prisoner of war camps with a statue on the grounds of the state capitol.

The “Andersonville Boy” statue, dedicated in 1907, honors the state’s Civil War POWs. A dedication on the monument’s east face reads, “In memory of the men of Connecticut who suffered in Southern military prisons, 1861-1865.”

The monument depicts a young soldier wearing a simple frock coat and holding a hat in his left hand.

The monument was created by sculptor Bela Pratt, whose other works include a notable statue of Nathan Hale on the Yale campus in New Haven.

The Hartford statue is a copy of a monument dedicated at the same time at the site of the Andersonville prison camp in Georgia. During the war, nearly 13,000 of the 45,000 Union prisoners held at the camp died from disease and malnutrition. The camp was known for overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions.

The illustrations depicting the prison camp are from the Library of Congress.

A monument in Norwich’s Yantic Cemetery honors Civil War veterans from the city who died at Andersonville.

Next to the Andersonville Boy monument is a statue honoring Clarence Ransom Edwards, an Ohio native who commanded a World War I division comprised of National Guard troops from New England states. The Edwards memorial, dedicated in 1942, was created by sculptor George H. Snowden.




































National Cemetery, Gettysburg

…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…




























































Samuel Colt Monument, Hartford

Samuel Colt is honored with a memorial statue in a park on the grounds of his former estate.

The Samuel Colt monument, near the Wethersfield Avenue entrance to Colt Park, was commissioned by Colt’s wife Elizabeth and dedicated in 1906 to honor the industrialist.

The monument depicts Colt at two stages in his life. The smaller statue, near the front of the monument, depicts a young Colt whittling a revolver chamber while serving as a sailor. The larger figure, standing atop the monument, depicts Colt as a successful manufacturer.

Samuel Colt Monument, HartfordA dedication on the center panel of the monument’s west face reads, “Samuel Colt 1814-1862. On the grounds on which his taste beautified by the home he loved, this memorial stands to speak of his genius, his enterprise, and of his great and loyal heart.”

The monument also features two bronze panels illustrating scenes from Colt’s life. In the panel on the left, Colt is pictured meeting with the Russian Tsar, but the plaque’s staining make it tough to identify Colt or to figure out what’s going on.

In the right, panel, Colt is seen demonstrating a revolver to the British House of Commons. That plaque is also stained and faded, but you can see Colt holding a gun.

The monument was created by sculptor John Massey Rhind, whose works include the allegorical figures outside the New Haven County Courthouse.

After Colt’s death, Elizabeth ran the manufacturing business until she sold it in 1901. In addition to donating the family estate as a park after her 1905 death, she also sponsored the construction of Hartford’s Church of the Good Shepherd and a building at the Wadsworth Atheneum.






































Keney Memorial Tower, Hartford

Keney Memorial Tower, HartfordHartford’s Keney Memorial Clock Tower and the small park surrounding it were donated by the Keney brothers in the late 19th century to honor their mother.

The tower, 130 feet tall, stands near the intersection of Albany Avenue with Main and Ely streets.

The tower was dedicated in 1898 to honor Rebecca Turner Keney, the mother of Walter and Henry Keney. The brothers ran the family’s wholesale grocery business, which, along with the family home, stood on the site of the tower.

Walter Keney died in 1889, and Henry died in 1894. In Henry’s will, money was set aside for Keney Park, to benefit a number of Hartford charities and to build the memorial tower.

According to the tower’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places, a dedication plaque inside the tower’s interior reads, “This tower, erected to the memory of my mother, is designed to preserve from other occupancy the ground sacred to me as her home and to stand in perpetual honor to the wisdom, goodness and womanly nobility of her to whose guidance I owe my success in life and its chief joy – Henry Keney.”

The tower was designed by architect Charles C. Haight, whose other works include a number of buildings on Yale’s Old Campus.

The neighborhood surrounding the tower has changed considerably over the year. In the black-and-white image of the tower, taken around 1905, you can see homes on the other side of Ely Street.

In the background of the black-and-white image of the gate, a commercial building stood on Ely Street, on a now-vacant lot.

By the early 1990s, the park surrounding the tower was overgrown and the tower had been sprayed with graffiti. A restoration by the City of Hartford included replacing gold leaf on the clock face, site improvements and the installation of computerized chimes in the tower.











Keney Memorial Tower, Hartford















Keney Memorial Tower, 1905











Keney Memorial Tower Gate, 1977











Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial, Meriden

Connecticut honors law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty with a monument in Meriden.

The Connecticut Law Enforcement Memorial, on the grounds of the state’s police academy on Preston Drive, honors 135 officers, dating back to 1855, who have been killed on duty.

A black granite obelisk in the center of the memorial bears a dedication reading, “Dedicated to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.” Names of fallen officers are inscribed on the obelisk as well as on the memorial’s granite columns.

An eternal light, inscribed with the words “Never forget” on its base, stands in front of the memorial.

The memorial, spearheaded by the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association, was dedicated in 1989.

Every May, a memorial ceremony is held at the site. The 2011 ceremony is scheduled on May 18.