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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