Becket, Massachusetts, honors its war veterans with a collection of monuments in an historic park.
Ballou Park, located at the intersection of Main Street (Route 8) and Prentice Place, features three large monuments honoring the town’s war veterans as well as a number of historic markers.
An undated monument honoring Becket’s World War I veterans bears the names of 35 residents.
A similar monument lists about 78 Becket residents who served in World War II, and denotes three residents who died during their WWII service.
Becket’s three World War II heroes are further honored with replica headstones located between the two World War memorials.
Another monument honors Becket’s Korea and Vietnam war veterans. The Korea section lists 26 names. The Vietnam section lists 41 names, and highlights one veteran who died during his Vietnam service.
The park, part of the North Becket Historic District, was the former site of the Ballou family homestead and grist mill. The home and mill were destroyed by a flood in 1927, and the site was deeded to the town in 1935 for use as a park.
Historic markers on the site describe nearby buildings, and commemorate the arrival of local railroad service in 1842.
A stone cairn in western Massachusetts honors the construction of a local road that bypassed a dangerous hill.
The Monument to the Automobile Age in Becket, Mass., was dedicated in 1910 to mark the opening of a bypass road that helped early motorists avoid the dangerous Jacob’s Ladder hill. Stones bearing the names of towns from throughout the northeast and eastern New York were added to the cairn, which stands today near the intersection of Route 20 and Johnson Road.
A 2010 stone on the upper left side of the cairn highlights the 100th anniversary of the opening of the bypass, and a wayside marker to the right of the cairn provides a brief history.
In the 1930s, the loose cairn was moved across the road. The cairn was shifted again in 1946, and its stones were cemented in place.
Historic images on the wayside marker indicate several stones were placed in new positions. For instance, the green plaque with three names on the left side was originally in the center of the cairn, and the eagle plaque was shifted from the middle to the lower right.
The cairn has apparently been a popular graffiti target, and a number of loose stones at the site bear the names and hometowns of recent visitors.
A cement deer stands a short distance to the west of the cairn, near the corner of Johnson Road. Because, hey, why not? If you’re going to have a large cairn on your road, you may as well add a cement deer.
Two English judges who fled a royal death sentence are honored at their hiding place high above New Haven.
Judges Cave, at the summit of West Rock State Park, is a large rock formation that, to be fair, stretches the common idea of what a cave looks like.
New Haven’s quasi-cave was the hiding place of Edward Whalley and William Goffe, who were among 59 members of Parliament who signed the warrant condemning King Charles I to death in 1649.
That probably seemed like a good idea until the monarchy was restored in 1660 and Charles II ordered the execution of the judges who had had his father beheaded.
The west face of the rock formation bears a marker reading, “Here May Fifteenth 1661 and for some weeks thereafter Edward Whalley and his son-in-law William Goffe, members of the Parliament General, officers in the army of the Commonwealth and signers of the death warrant of King Charles First, found shelter and concealment from the officers of the Crown after the Restoration. ‘Opposition to tyrants is obedience to God.'”
The marker on the west face is a replacement for a bronze plaque on the east face that was dedicated in 1896 and later stolen. (The original plaque can be seen in the black-and-white image, which was taken in 1900).
After fleeing England, Whalley and Goffe stayed briefly in Massachusetts before learning that agents of the Crown were looking for them. In New Haven, they were sheltered by Rev. John Davenport (the city would name streets after all three gentlemen) before hiding atop West Rock.
Their stay at the rock formation lasted about a month before Whalley and Goffe were chased from the cave by a panther. They moved again and resettled in Hadley, Mass.
The site today can be reached by car, or hikers can find it along the Regicides Trail (the excellent Connecticut Museum Quest site offers a good description of a Judges Cave hike). An overlook area a short drive from the cave provides nice views of downtown New Haven and the harbor.
Bridgeport honors aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead with a memorial fountain in the city’s west end.
The fountain was dedicated in May 2012 to honor Whitehead, who reportedly flew an early airplane in 1901 not far from the fountain’s location at the intersection of Fairfield Avenue and State Street Extension.
The memorial features a replica of Whitehead’s No. 21 flyer above a granite base and four fountains. The fountain’s base proudly proclaims Whitehead to be “First in Flight,” and the plane shifts and its propellers rotate in the wind.
According to articles in the Bridgeport Herald and Scientific American, Whitehead successfully flew in Fairfield, Bridgeport and Stratford in 1901, two years before the Wright Brothers flight in North Carolina.
Whitehead supporters cite poor record keeping, a lack of photographic evidence, and an agreement between the Wright Brothers’ descendants and the Smithsonian Institution regarding the display of the Wright Flyer at the National Air and Space Museums as reasons Whitehead’s earlier flights aren’t recognized or investigated by aviation historians.
The fountain was designed by Theodore L. Grabarz, Bridgeport’s deputy director of public works and the designer of the city’s 2009 World War II monument, and the Whitehead plane was designed by Fairfield sculptor Ron Cavalier.
150 years ago, members of four Connecticut regiments, many of them in their first Civil War fighting, were among the 23,000 who lost their lives during the Battle of Antietam. Today, we visit the CTMonuments.net archives to honor the state residents who fought in these Maryland cornfields and helped turn the tide toward reuniting the United States.
Brewster, Massachusetts, honors its local war veterans and heroes with a collection of monuments on Main Street.
The war memorials stand in front of the town’s Council on Aging, a Victorian building on Main Street (Route 6A) that was built in 1893 as Town Hall.
The westernmost of the monuments (on your left as you face the memorials) honors Brewster’s World War I veterans. The monument features a plaque on its south face reading, “Memorial to those who served in the World War. Presented to the Town of Brewster by the Brewster Grange 1919.”
The monument lists the names of 43 residents who served in the conflict, and highlights three who died during their wartime service. Among the dead is Roland C. Nickerson, a member of the prominent Brewster family whose land provided the basis for Roland C. Nickerson State Park.
To the right of the World War I monument, a bronze plaque on a boulder honors Brewster’s World War II veterans. The monument’s dedication reads, “Proudly we pay tribute to the men and women of Brewster who answered their country’s call in World War II.”
The monument also bears the names of about 120 residents, and honors four who died during the war.
Next to the World War II monument, a smaller memorial honors Brewster residents who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
To the right of the World War II monument, a memorial honors Brewster’s veterans of the Korea and Vietnam wars. The plaque lists 57 veterans.
At the far right of the memorial collection, a monument honors “veterans from Brewster who served in foreign campaigns.” The memorial doesn’t list any names, but will likely do so in the future.
Chatham, Massachusetts, honors its Civil War heroes with a marble monument on a Main Street green.
The marble obelisk, on a green near the triangular intersection of Main and Seaview streets, bears a dedication on its southwest face reading, “Erected by the town of Chatham in memory of those that fell in the Rebellion of 1861 to 1865.”
The southwest face also bears a decorative trophy depicting crossed rifles and flags.
The southeast face lists the name, affiliation, ages and details about the wounding and death of six local veterans who perished during their Civil War service. The men ranged in age from 19 to 36, and the listing for Benjamin F. Bassett appears to have a correction for his age (an uncommon occurrence for a marble war monument).
The northwest face lists seven names of war heroes who ranged in age from 18 to 56.
The monument has been attributed to sculptor James H. Jenks.
The monument is not dated, but its similarity to other monuments from the late 1860s (including the 1865 Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Wellfleet) would suggest the Chatham monument was dedicated during that general period.
Wellfleet, Massachusetts, honors its Civil War veterans with a marble monument in the historic Duck Creek Cemetery.
The Civil War monument was dedicated in 1866 to honor the 221 residents who served in the conflict.
A dedication on the monument’s west face reads, “Erected to the memory of Wellfleet’s heroes by the Ladies Soldiers Aid Society, assisted by the subscribers to the war fund.”
The west face also features a decorative trophy displaying crossed cannons and muskets, the U.S. shield and a flag.
The monument’s south face bears an inscription reading, “Bright hopes on freedom’s altar laid,” and honors three residents who died during their service by listing their names, ages, regimental affiliations, and dates and places of death.
The north face bears an inscription reading, “Died for our country in naval service,” and lists details about five residents who died during their service.
Among the five are John D. Langly, 49, who died while serving in New Orleans in July of 1862. His death came shortly after the death of his son, John N. Langly, 22, who died at Cairo, Illinois in May of 1862. The younger John Langly was the third of 10 children the older John Langly would have with Hannah A Baker.
The monument is topped with a decorative funereal urn topped with a representation of an eternal flame.