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


Knight Hospital Monument, New Haven

Knight Hospital Monument, Evergreen CemeteryThe Knight Hospital Monument in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery was dedicated in 1870 to honor the 204 wounded Civil War veterans who died in the hospital and were buried near the monument. 

The fact that the monument is not dedicated to veterans from a specific town or regiment makes it very uncommon among Civil war monuments. 

The monument’s column, topped by a bearded soldier, also bears shields with Connecticut and U.S. emblems as well as the names of several important battles, including Gettysburg, New Bern (N.C., spelled as ‘New Berne’), Fort Fisher (N.C)  and Fredericksburg (Va).

More than 120 graves of Civil War veterans are located around the base of the monument, which is located on the Winthrop Avenue side of  Evergreen Cemetery.

Knight Hospital was a temporary facility that opened in 1862 to treat soldiers wounded in the Civil War. The U.S. government leased a building from New Haven’s State Hospital, a predecessor of today’s Yale-New Haven Hospital. The hospital was named after Jonathan Knight, president of General Hospital Society of Connecticut’s board and a professor at the Medical Institution of Yale College.

Knight Hospital treated more than 25,000 patients during the Civil War, which impressed us if you consider the difficulty of transporting wounded soldiers from North Carolina or Virginia back to Connecticut while during a time of war. 

Knight Hospital Monument, Evergreen Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evergreen Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knight Hospital Monument, Evergreen Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Connecticut Historical Society

New Haven’s Hospitals Exhibit (Cushing/Whitney Memorial Library)

Veterans’ Walk, West Haven

Vietnam Memorial, West HavenOn President’s Day, we’re highlighting West Haven’s Veterans’ Walk, a collection of monuments and tributes at Bradley Point that was dedicated in 2007.

The largest monument in the Veterans’ Walk collection features four black granite slabs that are dedicated to the local residents who served and died in the Vietnam War. Three large, slanted panels list about 282 names of residents who served, including six who were killed in the conflict. In front of the tablets, at the base of three flagpoles, are pillars with the emblems of the country’s military service branches, as well as a larger tablet etched with a map of Vietnam and the inscription “All gave some, some gave all.”

Two matching black granite monuments are located near the Vietnam memorial. One is dedicated to the residents who served in the Korean War. The other is dedicated to William A. Soderman, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for defending an important road junction against German tanks in 1944 with bazooka fire

Vietnam Memorial, West HavenAlso near the monuments are a series of smaller pillars displaying the logos of veterans’  organizations from all of the wars fought by the United States. 

The sidewalks leading visitors through the Veterans’ Walk area are lined with commemorative bricks bearing the names of local veterans. 

Not far from Veteran’s Walk is a monument dedicated to the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as a monument to the veterans from West Haven’s First Avenue who fought in World War II. West Haven has a collection of World War II monuments in several locations that will be featured in a future post. 

Bradley Point, located on the west shore of New Haven harbor, sits next to the Savin Rock area that hosted seaside amusement parks until urban redevelopment efforts were launched in the 1960s. 

William A. Soderman MOH memorial, West HavenBradley Point was also a landing area for British troops who invaded New Haven in 1779. The Defenders’ Monument dedicated to colonists who resisted that invasion was highlighted in a post on January 28, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korean War Memorial, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Veterans' Walk, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Army of the Republic Monument, West Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lincoln Spoke Here. Kinda.

 McLevy Hall, Bridgeport (State Street side)McLevy Hall in downtown Bridgeport, which traces its roots to 1854,  once  featured a hall that hosted a speech by then-Senator Abraham Lincoln on March 10, 1860. 

McLevy Hall, near the corner of State and Broad streets downtown, was originally built to serve as the Fairfield County Courthouse. Portions of the building contained offices for the city of Bridgeport. An auditorium known as Washington Hall used to be part of the complex, and was the site of Lincoln’s final political speech in the early stages of the 1860 presidential campaign. 

Lincoln came to Bridgeport as part of a speaking tour of New England immediately after his February 27 speech at New York’s Cooper Union outlining his opposition to the expansion of slavery into new U.S. territories. From New York, Lincoln spoke at several locations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut before arriving in Bridgeport early on Saturday, March 10. 

Lincoln speech marker, McLevy HallDuring the day, Lincoln hung out with local officials and delivered his address early in the evening before taking a 9:07 train back to New York. What the honorable gentleman from Illinois said in Bridgeport was not recorded. Most likely, his remarks had similar anti-slavery themes as his remarks in New York and New Haven, which were transcribed and  published in local newspapers.

Lincoln’s speech is commemorated in a 1911 plaque on the State Street (south) side of McLevy Hall, near the front entrance. 

The vintage postcard below was mailed from Bridgeport to New Haven in 1909.

The building, which today is used as a City Hall annex and contains several municipal departments, was renamed McLevy Hall in memory of Jasper McLevy, a Socialist who served as Bridgeport’s mayor from 1933 until 1957. 

The building’s grounds also host the city’s World War (1933) and Vietnam (1983) monument. The plaque on the front of the World War monument appears to be a replacement. 

McLevy Hall, Bridgeport (1909 postmark)

 

 

 

 

 

World War monument, Broad Street, Bridgeport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnam War monument, Bridgeport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

David W. Palmquist, Bridgeport: A Pictorial History, The Donning Company, 1981

http://www.abrahamlincolnsclassroom.org/index.asp

Soldiers’ Monument, New Haven

Soldiers' Monument, New HavenThe Soldiers’ Monument in New Haven’s St. Bernard’s Cemetery was dedicated (most likely) in 1889 by the state of Connecticut to honor residents killed in the Civil War. The monument is different from many war monuments of the era in several ways. 

For example, the solider atop the monument is a flag-bearer, instead of the more common infantryman holding a rifle. In addition, the large cross on the front of the monument is unusual, and probably reflects the monument’s construction in a Catholic cemetery. 

A stone eagle graces front side of the top of the column, beneath the soldier’s feet, and the other three sides have shields decorated with a stars-and-stripes motif. 

The inscription on the front face of the monument dedicates it to the CT residents who gave their lives “that the Union should not perish.”

During the Civil War, Connecticut furnished 55,861 troops, sailors and marines to the Union effort, and 5,354 were killed in battle, or died of disease, as prisoners, in accidents or from other non-battle-related causes. 

The area around the base of the monument in St. Bernard’s holds the grave sites of numerous veterans not only of the Civil War, but also other conflicts. 

Soldiers' Monument, New HavenSt. Bernard’s Cemetery is within eyesight of the Defenders’ Monument profiled on January 28, 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers' Monument, New Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Bernard's Cemetery, New Haven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:
CT Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

The Civil War Home Page

Governors’ Monument, Milford

Governors' monument, Milford We conclude this week’s look at monuments in downtown Milford with a 1939 monument to three Milford residents who served the state of Connecticut as governors. The monument sits on a bridge across the Wepawaug River (named after the native settlers who sold Milford to colonists), northeast of the City Hall we featured earlier this week. 

Plaques on the north, south and west faces of the monument’s column outline the political career highlights of the three Milford governors:

  • Robert Treat (1622-1710) was one of Milford’s founders, and served as governor from 1683 until 1698. Treat was also a co-founder of Newark, NJ between 1665 and 1672. 
  • Jonathan Law (1672-1750) served as governor from 1742 to 1750. 
  • Charles Hobby Pond (1781-1861) served as governor from 1853 until 1854. 

All three men are buried in Milford Cemetery, and have several local streets and landmarks (including Jonathan Law High School) named after them. 

The monument sits on the Jefferson Bridge, so named because the first bridge on that location was built in 1802 during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. 

Governors' monument, Milford

Connecticut History in Granite and Bronze

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