The Soliders and Sailors Monument, which stands near Packer Hill Road and the Carbon County courthouse, was dedicated in 1886 to honor veterans of the Civil War and earlier conflicts from the borough (then named Mauch Chunk) and nearby communities.
A dedication on the monument’s front (south) face reads, “To the brave defenders of the Union from the County of Carbon.” The battle of Appomattox is also listed on the south face.
The east face has an excerpt from the Bivouac of the Dead poem by Theodore O’Hara, which appears in several national cemeteries and numerous Civil War monuments (including the Soldiers’ Monument in Derby, CT). The excerpt reads, “On fame’s eternal camping ground their silent tents were spread, and glory guards with solemn round the bivouac of the dead.”
The east face also honors veterans of the 1847 Mexican War.
The north face lists the Civil War battles of the Wilderness, Hampton Roads, Antietam and Gettysburg, as well as the 1815 Battle of New Orleans.
The west face has an inscription reading, “Erected under the auspices of Chapman Post No. 61, G.A.R., 1886.” (The G.A.R. was the Grand Army of the Republic, the post-Civil War veterans’ organization.)
The monument also has an Honor Roll plaque on the base of its south face honoring the county’s World War II veterans. The plaque has eight columns of names, and honors 18 veterans who died during their World War II service.
The monument was rededicated in 1993 after being damaged in a motor vehicle accident.
The Civil War monument was supplied by the Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport, CT, which also supplied the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Stratford, CT. While there are some differences between the Jim Thorpe and Stratford monuments, such as the standard-bearer in Stratford and some ornamental details, the monuments are very similar.
White bronze headstones can be seen in many older cemeteries, and can be recognized quickly by their distinctive pewter-like color.
Zinc worked pretty well for smaller headstones, but the soft, brittle material created structural problems when it ws used for large Civil War monuments.
The Jim Thorpe monument received extensive work in 1984 to repair corrosion at its base.
The Jim Thorpe Memorial site is on North Street (Route 93) in Jim Thorpe, PA. The site features a red marble memorial with his name and a quote from Sweden’s King Gustav V, who said after the 1912 Olympics that Thorpe was the world’s greatest athlete.
The monument also has several images depicting Thorpe competing in the numerous sports in which he excelled, including track and field, baseball and football.
The site also pictures a 2007 statue depicting Thorpe as a football player, and another statue, dedicated in 2011, showing Thorpe with a discus.
The Thorpe memorial also includes an abstract sculpture, The Spirit of Thunder and Lightning, that was dedicated in 1998. Surrounding the sculpture, several wayside markers provide highlights from Thorpe’s life and athletic achievements.
Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe, was born in 1888 in Oklahoma. As a young man, he attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania and led its football team to victories over nationally ranked teams.
At the 1912 Olympics, Thorpe won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon. The medals were stripped a year later because Thorpe had previously played semi-pro baseball, but restored in 1982.
After the Olympics, Thorpe played professional football for 14 years, and also played professional baseball for six of those years.
While it’s an impressive tribute to Thorpe’s athletic achievements, the memorial site is also the center of a controversy surrounding his burial in Pennsylvania nearly 60 years ago.
After Thorpe’s death in 1953, his third wife essentially auctioned the remains to two Pennsylvania communities, Mauch Chunk (Native American for “bear mountain”) and East Mauch Chunk.
The Mauch Chunks, former mining and resort communities, were searching for an economic boost when they agreed to build a memorial to Thorpe, merge and change their combined name to Jim Thorpe. Local officials hoped a Thorpe memorial would attract the proposed pro football hall of fame and lead to the construction of other tourist destinations.
Other family members had planned to bury Thorpe on tribal land in Oklahoma, and were conducting a traditional feast the night before the scheduled funeral when Thorpe’s body was removed by his wife.
While Thorpe’s seven children remained divided over the years about his final resting place, the two surviving sons are continuing legal efforts to have his remains returned to Oklahoma.
The most prominent monument on the hillside near the intersection of East Main and Spring streets is the borough’s 1906 Civil War monument. The monument features a standard-bearer holding, in an uncommon pose, an unsheathed sword.
A dedication on the west face of the monument’s granite base reads, “1861-1865. Our country’s crisis. Erected by the citizens of Weatherly and vincinity, A.D. 1906, in memory of its noble defenders.”
The monument’s east face bears an excerpt from the conclusion of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address reading, “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
We’re not sure what material was used to create the soldier figure, but our best guess is that was cast in zinc and painted to resemble bronze.
On the hillside in front of the monument, a Rodman gun is flanked by two cannonball pyramids.
The central monument bears a dedication reading, “Dedicated to the honor and sacrifice of our men and women who served their country. Let none forget they gave their all and faltered not when came the call.”
The monument’s World War I section lists four residents who died during their service, and the World War II section lists 15 names.
The Vietnam memorial lists three residents who died in the conflict and one who was reported missing in action.
The large school building in the background was donated to the town in 1903 by Bethlehem Steel president Charles M. Schwab and named after his wife, a Weatherly native. The building originally served all grades, and was expanded in 1936. Separate elementary and middle schools were built over the years, and the borough closed the Schwab school after opening a high school in 1990.
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument on Broad Street (U.S. routes 29 and 6) was dedicated in 1931 and restored in 1991. A bronze plaque on the monument’s front (northwest) face reads, “ Dedicated in honor and memory of the soldiers and sailors from Pike County, Pennsylvania, who answered our country’s call to arms in wars of our nation.”
The monument also features a bronze eagle atop a small globe.
On the other side of Broad Street, the 1874 Pike County courthouse has two memorial plaques on its southeast face. A World War I plaque bears a dedication reading, “To honor those of Pike County who served in the World War.”
The courthouse wall also features a 1938 plaque honoring the county’s Civil War veterans. The dedication reads, “In memory of Civil War men who served from Pike Co., Penna.,” and mentions that the plaque was placed by the Gettysburg chapter of the National Society Daughters of the Union 1861-65.”
The plaque contains four columns of names.
Milford is the seat of Pike County, which was formed in 1814. The country was named for Zebulon Pike, who discovered Pike’s Peak and was killed while serving as a general in the War of 1812.
Hale, named Connecticut’s state hero after being executed by British forces in 1776, is honored with a statue by noted artist (and fellow Yale alum) Bela Lyon Pratt.
The statue depicts Hale just before his hanging in New York City. His last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to give to my country,” is inscribed at the monument’s base. An inscription on the monument’s front (northeast) face reads, “Nathan Hale, 1755-1776. Class of 1773”
The statue was dedicated in 1914 outside Connecticut Hall, where Hale lived during his time at Yale. The statue originally stood closer to the building and faced southeast, but was later moved to a position between Connecticut and Welch halls.
Since we have no portraits of Hale from his lifetime, the statue is based on descriptions written after his death.
Replicas of the Yale statue are on display at New Haven’s Fort Nathan Hale, the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virgina, the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, the Connecticut Governor’s Mansion in Hartford and several other locations.
Hale is also honored with a monument in his hometown of Coventry (where officials plan to dedicate a new statue this year) as well with a statue and schoolhouse in New London, a bust and schoolhouse in East Haddam, and a statue in the state capitol.
Since Yale graduates played a significant role both in the CIA and the Office of Strategic Services that preceded it, there are a number of online rumors suggesting the CIA replaced the Yale statue with a copy so it could display the original in Virginia. Considering you could spend months reading all of the online rumors about Yale alums conspiring to control the world, we’re discounting the alleged statue-swap reports.
Update: We’ve published Faith and Freedom: The National Monument to the Forefathers, a book describing this magnificent monument in more detail. Learn more.
With a recent movie creating interest in the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Mass., we put together a quick video slideshow to highlight the monument.
Our original post, with detailed information about the monument, is here.
Finding the monument: The National Monument to the Forefathers is on Allerton Street, a residential neighborhood in Plymouth. If you’re using GPS or an online mapping service to find the site, using the address “70 Allerton Street” will bring you close enough to find on-street parking.
The World War Memorial stands in the Hewitt Quadrangle, an area also known as Beinecke Plaza. A dedication on the monument’s southwest face reads, “In memory of the men of Yale who, true to her traditions, gave their lives that freedom might not perish from the earth.”
The front corners of the sandstone monument’s base feature carved eagles, and the monument also has decorative elements including a tank, a large cannon and a variety of other military equipment.
The World War memorial was designed by architect Thomas Hastings, who was also responsible for the Commons, Woolsey Hall and the New York Public Library, and Everett V. Meeks, dean of Yale’s School of the Fine Arts.
The names of 225 Yale students and alumni who died during their World War I service are inscribed on panels, dedicated in 1920, along with other memorials in the lobby of Woolsey Hall, including Yale’s Civil War memorial.
In front of the cenotaph, a memorial flagstaff honors Lieutenant Augustus Canfield Ledyard, a Yale alum who was killed in 1899 during the Philippine-American war.
World War I veterans are honored with a large bronze plaque mounted on a boulder. The plaque bears a dedication reading, “In honor of the Citizens of Washington who served in the World War and in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice.”
The plaque lists five residents who died during the war, and lists the names of 106 other residents who served.
The plaque also contains a brief excerpt from the Ralph Waldo Emerson poem “Voluntaries“:
“So nigh is grandeur to our dust/So near is good to man/When duty whispers low ‘thou must’/The youth replies ‘I can’.”
Washington’s veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam are honored with a nearby monument. The monument bears a dedication reading, “The citizens of Washington have not forgotten. In honor and memory of the veterans of the community who served in the armed services of the United States for the cause of liberty.”
The plaque honoring World War II veterans lists 276 names. The Korean War plaque honors 56 veterans, and the Vietnam plaque lists 94 residents who served.
The plaques, near the intersection of Calhoun Street (Route 109) and Bee Brook Road (Route 47), stand in front of Washington’s Bryan Memorial Town Hall. The building was a posthumous donation by Gregory Seeley Bryan. Bryan was a Washington native who owned the Weed Chain Company in Bridgeport, which manufactured tire chains, car jacks and other products.
Bryan died in 1929, and left money for the construction of a municipal building to honor his parents.
The eight HDI workers were killed by a co-worker on August 3, 2010, and were honored in 2011 with a memorial dedicated on the one-year anniversary of the incident.
Eight stainless steel blocks stand in a small grove of trees outside the company’s warehouse on Chapel Road in Manchester. Each block bears the name of a fallen HDI employee, along with brief messages written by the victim’s family. The blocks, connected across the top by a steel ribbon, also contain personal mementos.
A blank granite tablet near the entrance to the memorial garden reads, in part, “If tears could build a stairway, and memories were a lane, we would walk all the way to heaven, to bring you back again.”
In addition to contributions from HDI, funds for the memorial were raised by the Manchester Rotary Club.
Near the memorial, a piece of sculpture by Mort Fishman titled “Ecology” stands near the HDI entrance.