Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, West Haven

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West HavenThe Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in West Haven’s Oak Grove Cemetery was dedicated in 1890, when West Haven was still part of Orange. (West Haven was split off from Orange in 1921, and was incorporated as a city in 1961.)

The monument sits in a round traffic island near the center of the cemetery. Inscriptions on the front (south) face bear the years of the Civil War, along with a dedication “erected in honor of our loyal soldiers and sailors.”

The obelisk is topped by a polished granite sphere, and a carved stars-and-stripes motif surrounds the monument just below the polished sphere. The front face also features a three-dimensional bronze sculpture of an eagle surrounded by flags, cannons, crossed swords and oak leaves. 

A smaller granite marker at the base of the monument was dedicated in 1964 by a local VFW post. The inscription reads “In grateful tribute to the living and the dead who through their valiant effort and supreme sacrifice have helped to preserve us a free nation.”

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West HavenThe curbing around the monument bears of the names of several Civil War veterans who were originally buried near the monument, but who were moved in subsequent years. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Armistice Monument, West Haven

Armistice Monument, West HavenThe armistice monument on West Haven’s green was dedicated in 1928 to honor local residents who died in World War I. Over the years, the monument and its surroundings have been revamped and rededicated to honor heroes of later conflicts, including the current war in Iraq. 

The monument, on the Main Street (north) side of the green, is topped by an 11-foot bronze statue of a doughboy solider, who stands atop a granite base holding a rifle in one hand and a helmet in the other, outstretched, arm.  (The origins of the term “doughboy” vary, but it apparently referred to infantry troops during the Civil War. During the first world war, U.S. troops adopted it as a nickname for themselves and its meaning expanded to all branches of the service.)

The West Haven doughboy was sculpted by Anton Schaff, who also created a number of war memorials in New York and New Jersey, as well as several Confederate busts at Vicksburg (MS) National Military Park. 

Armistice Monument, West HavenA plaque on the front face of the West Haven’s monument’s base features four military figures (soldiers, an airman and a sailor) gathering with four civilians laborers and a dedication “to the memory of those who gave their lives in the great war 1917-1918.” 

Beneath the dedication is the American’s Creed, a pledge, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, that was adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives in 1917. 

The other three faces of the monument’s base bear bronze plaques listing the names of 29 West Haven residents who died in World War I. Over the years, additional plaques were added to honor the residents who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and smaller plaques reading “for those who gave their lives – World War I” were affixed to the bottom of the original plaques. 

Near the base of the monument, a separate granite marker has been dedicated to the memory of Thomas E. Vitagliano, 33, an Army staff sergeant who grew up in West Haven and Orange. Vitagliano and another soldier were killed Jan. 17, 2005 by an improvised vehicle explosive device in Iraq.

West Haven’s firefighters are honored by a bell-topped monument not far from the doughboy statue.  

Armistice Monument, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armistice Monument, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armistice Monument, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firefighters Monument, West Haven


Uncas Monument, Norwich

Uncas MonumentA monument to Uncas, the first Sachem of the Mohegan tribe, marks his burial in what remains of a Native American cemetery in Norwich. 

Uncas, who died in 1683, led the Mohegans after they split from the Pequot tribe over issues including strategies for responding to the arrival of English settlers and tribal succession planning. Uncas favored collaborating with the settlers, while a faction of Pequots led by Sachem (head chief) Sassacus preferring fighting over land and control of the local fur trade. 

The Uncas monument sits in a small burial ground on Sachem Street. The square base of the monument was dedicated in 1833, with President Andrew Jackson participating in the dedication ceremonies. The granite column was dedicated nine years later in 1842, after organizers had resolved several problems with the monument, including quarrying granite that met their specifications and reaching a consensus on the proper spelling of “Uncas.”

Uncas MonumentThe dedication ceremony was marked by several speeches praising Uncas for his cooperation with the settlers, but for some reason, no Mohegans were invited to participate. Organizers apparently assumed the tribe was extinct, and didn’t know that survivors were living in nearby Montville. 

“Buffalo Bill” Cody laid a wreath at the Uncas monument in 1907 when his Wild West stunt show visited Norwich. 

The Mohegan’s burial ground may have covered as many as 16 acres over what is now a well-developed residential neighborhood. Today, a sixteenth of an acre remains. 

In 2008, the Mohegans dedicated a memorial to ancestors whose graves were lost to redevelopment of the burial ground on the site of a former Masonic lodge near the Uncas monument. 

 


Uncas Monument marker
Uncas Monument, 1906 postcard
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Swamp Fight monuments, Fairfield

Swamp Fight Monument, FairfieldTwo monuments in Fairfield commemorate the Great Swamp Fight, during which English settlers defeated Native Americans on July 13, 1637.  

The Swamp Fight was the last major action in a series of battles between the Pequot tribe and English settlers over land and trade in southern New England and Long Island Sound. 

During a massacre in Mystic on May 26, 1637, an estimated 600 Pequots died after settlers and allied Mohegans (who had separated from the Pequots earlier in the century) burned an occupied fort and shot people trying to escape the fire. 

A group of Pequot survivors who had occupied another fort traveled west after the massacre and sought sanctuary in marshlands in today’s Fairfield. The last 100 warriors within that group were defeated on July 13 after 180 noncombatants were allowed to surrender. By September of 1638, a treaty had divided the surviving Pequots among rival tribes and settlers who used them as slaves. 

Swamp Fight Monument, FairfieldThe Swamp Fight Monument, dedicated in 1904 by the Connecticut Society of Colonial Wars, today sits on a small triangle of land along the Post Road, near a Peoples’ United Bank branch and a popular Dunkin’ Donuts outlet. A large stone monument bears the simple inscription on its east face that “the great Swamp Fight here ended the Pequot War.” 

This inscription is much more sedate than some of the historical texts written during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which tended to describe the Native Americans with less-than-glowing terms. 

The only other marking on the stone lists its dedication date. 

Much of the land where the Swamp Fight took place has been lost to development, including the construction of Interstate 95. Driving along the interstate just past exit 19, you can see marsh plants rising above the small surviving portions of the swamp. 

Researchers from the Mashantucket Pequot Museum plan to survey the Southport area over the next couple of years to try to identify locations or relics from the areas where the battle took place. 

Swamp Fight fountain, SouthportThe Swamp Fight is also commemorated by a fountain, dedicated in 1903 by the Daughters of the American Revolution, that sits at the intersection of Main Street and Harbor road in the Southport section of Fairfield. The fountain, topped by a light fixture, features water-spigot lions on the north and south faces. Since we visited this monument in mid-February, we’re not sure if it has been converted into a planter, as many commemorative fountains from that era have been.

The water trough on the north side of the monument bears the inscription “This fountain commemorates the valor and victory of the colonist forefathers at the Pequot Swamp,” which is a slightly more strident message in praise of the settlers than the matter-of-fact listing found on the other Swamp Fight monument.  

Swamp Fight fountain, SouthportSitting in a T-shaped intersection, the fountain is an example of the middle-of-the-roadway sculpture dreaded by monument bloggers, who generally prefer to take pictures while standing on the safety of a town green. 

 

 

 

 

Swamp Fight fountain, Southport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fairfield Museum and History Center

Veterans’ Monument, Naugatuck

Veterans' Monument, NaugatuckWe conclude this week’s look at the monuments around the Naugatuck Town Green with the impressive Veterans’ Monument located at the northeast corner of the green, not far from the Civil War-era Soldiers’ Monument.

The monument features a central slab dominated by an eagle, the emblems (in stone and bronze) of the armed services and the inscription “Naugatuck honors the men and women who served their country in time of need.” The center column is flanked by four smaller slabs listing military conflicts since World War II, along with the names of local residents who died in those conflicts. 

The two columns listing residents lost in World War II carry 71 names. The Korea section lists five names, and the Vietnam section lists six names. 

Veterans' Monument, NaugatuckThe Lebanon section recognizes Dwayne W. Wigglesworth, who died in the 1983 Marine barracks bombing, and the Iraq section recognizes David T. Friedrich, an Army reservist who was killed in a 2003 mortar attack on his base. 

The monument also lists conflicts that aren’t commonly mentioned on local monuments, such as Grenada, Panama and Kosovo. 

Kudos to the Naugatuck Veterans Committee for recognizing the military contributions made on the nation’s behalf, regardless of the size or scope of the conflict. 

 

 

 

 

 

Veterans' and Soldiers' monuments, Naugatuck Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


World War Monument, Naugatuck

The front (east) face of Naugatuck's World War Monument

Naugatuck’s World War Monument is located on Meadow Street, northwest of the Soliders’ Monument in the center of the Town Green. The monument, which was dedicated in 1921, features a large marble rectangular flagpole base that sits in a small park next to Salem School. 

The front (or east) face of the monument bears the inscription “Victory is consecrated by a righteous peace” and two allegorical figures that most likely represent military strength and the importance of education. 

The rear (or west) face of the monument reads “In honor of the men of Naugatuck who gave their lives in the great war for the chaining of savagery and the liberation of a menaced world,” and carries the names of 30 local residents who were killed in the war. 

The south face reminds us that “Armed and absolute might triumphs through unselfish valor,” while the north face states “In

The rear (west) face of Naugatuck's World War Monument

time of peril the state is fortified by discipline learned in peace.” Both of these messages are topped by designs depicting fruit and ribbons draped between two ram heads (the symbolism of which extends beyond our experience). 

The monument was sculpted by Evelyn Beatrice Longman, whose other works include the “Golden Boy” statue that long served as a corporate symbol for AT&T. She also sculpted the Spanish-American War memorial in Hartford’s Bushnell Park, decorative elements on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, and a variety of other works. 

Near the World War Monument, a flagpole in front of Salem School serves as a monument to the Spanish-American War in 1898. A plaque at the base of the flagpole commemorates the USS Maine, which sunk in Havana’s harbor after an explosion of an undetermined cause. An identical plaque adorns a memorial in Bridgeport’s Seaside Park. 

The south face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facing northeast, toward Meadow Street

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spanish-American War monument, Naugatuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outside Salem School in Naugatuck, facing east toward the Town Green

Whittemore Memorial Bridge, Naugatuck

Whittemore Memorial Bridge, NaugatuckThe Maple Street bridge across the Naugatuck River was dedicated in 1914 to John Howard Whittemore, a local industrialist and philanthropist who died in 1910. Whittemore founded the Naugatuck Malleable Iron Company, which became Naugatuck’s largest employer during the post-Civil War boom.  The company supplied iron for railroads, carriage makers and producers of shears, among other industries.

Whittemore, who was also a director of the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad, donated a number of buildings to Naugatuck, including the 1893 Salem School, the Congregational Church and the Howard Whittemore Library, which was named after a son. He also played a role in raising funds for the local high school, the Soldiers’ Monument on the green and other local institutions and private causes.  

Whittemore’s firm, now named the Eastern Company, continues to supply industrial hardware, security equipment and metal castings.

Whittemore Glen State Park, on the border between Naugatuck and Middlebury, was once part of the Whittemore’s land holdings. 

High Water Mark, NaugatuckThe bridge, which bears a plaque honoring Whittemore on the  northwest abutment, also serves as a memorial to the devastating floods that hit the Naugatuck River Valley on August 19, 1955. Just above the Whittemore plaque is a notch, eight feet and two inches above the sidewalk, marking the crest of the flood in Naugatuck. 

The flooding occurred when two hurricanes struck the state within five days of each other and flooded most of the state’s communities. As a smaller river, the Naugatuck did not have flood monitoring equipment of controls found on some larger rivers, which increased the damage to riverside and downtown sections of many of the area’s communities. 

In Naugatuck, four people were killed, while further north in Waterbury, 29 people died in the floods. 

Whittemore Memorial Bridge, NaugatuckAdditional information about the 1955 floods is available from the Connecticut State Library. The Derby page on the Electronic Valley Web site has information and images about the flood damage in that town and there are a number of images of Waterbury at this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking north along Route 8.
Looking north along Route 8.

Soldiers’ Monument, Naugatuck

Soldiers' Monument, NaugatuckThe Soldiers’ Monument on Naugatuck’s Town Green was dedicated in 1885 to honor local residents who served in the Civil War. 

The monument, which sits at the center of the green, features a granite shaft topped by a statue of a caped infantryman resting with a rifle. The front (east) face of the monument lists the battles of Fort Wagner (S.C., near Charleston), the Wilderness (in central Virginia) and Cedar Mountain (Va.). Just above the base is the dedication by the people of Naugatuck “in memory of her sons who fought to maintain the Union 1861-1865.”

The south face (to the soldier’s right) doesn’t list any battles, but does ask that the “God of nations preserve our country in the bond of peace now established,” a message that reflects the broader spirit of reconciliation the country was experiencing during that era. By then, the post-war bitterness of Reconstruction had started to fade, and preservation efforts were being made at major battlefields such as Gettysburg.    

The rear (west) face of the monument lists the battles of Chancelorsville (Va.), Petersburg (Va.) and Antietam (Md), as well as a dedication to “the citizen soldier, fearless in war, industrious in peace.”

Soldiers’ Monument, NaugatuckThe north face lists the battles of Malvern Hill (Va.), Getttysburg and Atlanta, and a message reminding us that “the deeds of those who died in defense of the government of the people are immortal.”

The Naugatuck monument is enclosed with a circular planting bed, and a stone fountain sits immediately behind the monument. Further back, across Meadow Street, is Salem School, which was built in 1893 and is itself listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The vintage postcard depicting the monument was postmarked in 1905 and mailed to the Woodmont section of Milford. 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers’ Monument, Naugatuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers’ Monument, Naugatuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Soldiers’ Monument, Unionville

Soldiers' Monument, UnionvilleThe Soldiers’ Monument in the Unionville section of Farmington was dedicated in 1916 to honor residents of the village who served in the Civil War.

The monument features three figures — a standard-bearer stands atop the column, while its base is flanked by an artillery soldier on one side and an infantryman on the other. Infantry, artillery, calvary and naval symbols grace the column. The front column also features the logo of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veterans’ fraternal organization.

The front of the base is inscribed with “Unionville honors the earth that wraps her heroes’ clay.”

The monument was funded primarily by Captain Nathaniel C. Hayden, a veteran of the 16th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers who was wounded in the battle of Antietam. Capt. Hayden was a successful local businessman who lobbied for funds to build the monument. Eventually, he had it built himself. Fortunately, he lived long enough to attend the dedication.

The monument sits near the First Church of Christ Congregational at the intersections of Main Street (Route 4), School Street and Lovely Street (Route 177).

Soldiers' Monument, UnionvilleDiagonally across the intersection is a memorial to 19 Unionville residents who died in the two world wars, Korea and Vietnam.

The name for the village of Unionville refers to its location near the corners of the towns of Farmington, Avon and Burlington.

Soldiers' Monument, Unionville

Soldiers' Monument, Unionville

War memorial, Unionville

War memorial, Unionville

Sources:

Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments in Connecticut


Soldiers’ Monument, Derby

Soldiers' Monument, DerbyDerby’s Civil War monument, on the Elizabeth Street side of the town green, honors soldiers from Derby and Huntington (a predecessor of today’s city of Shelton) who served and died in the war. 

The Derby monument has two dedication dates. The base was dedicated in 1877. Six years later, after additional funds were raised, the based was remodeled and the infantryman statue was added. (As a side benefit, this allows you to have two dedication ceremonies, as well as the associated parades and parties.) 

Even without the figure, the monument would be impressive. The front and rear plaques honor the men of Derby and Huntington who fell during the war of the rebellion, and the side plaques list about 81 names and regimental affiliations of local residents killed during the conflict. 

Soldiers' Monument, DerbyOne side also features a brief excerpt from the “Bivouac of the Dead” poem by Theodore O’Hara, which appears on plaques and monuments in many National and Confederate cemeteries.

The base has raised inscriptions listing the battles of Atlanta, Chancellorsville (Va.), New Bern (N.C.) and Gettysburg.  

The four cannons at the base of the Derby monument are 30-pounder Parrott rifles that were manufactured in 1861 at the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. Similar cannons can be found at the Civil War monument in Seymour, which will be profiled in a future post. 

The Derby Green also features monuments to local veterans of the world wars, Korea and Vietnam, as well as a second memorial listing nine residents who were killed in Korea and Vietnam. A bell at the southwest corner of the green honors local firefighters. 

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Soldiers' Monument, Derby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veterans' monument, Derby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korea and Vietnam memorial, Derby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firefighters' memorial, Derby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments in Connecticut