Stiles Judson Fountain, Stratford

Stiles Judson Fountain, StratfordThe fountain on the West Broad Street green in Stratford honors state legislator and attorney Stiles Judson.

The fountain, at the west end of the green, features a bronze bust of Judson on its east face above an inscription reading, “Gift to his native town.”

The monument’s west face bears a dedication reading, “Stratford honors itself by accepting this memorial from Stiles Judson, a gifted son, a public official true to every trust, an able laywer, and a loyal citizen.”

The fountain, which was dedicated in 1916, included drinking troughs for horses on its sides, and troughs for dogs on its front and rear faces. The fountain is not active today (the troughs contain water, but you wouldn’t want to drink it).

Stiles Judson Fountain, StratfordThe fountain was designed by sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt, whose other works include the Nathan Hale statue at Yale, the Andersonville Boy monument on the grounds of the state capitol, the Hive of the Averys monument in Groton, and a number of other works.

When it was dedicated, the fountain stood at the eastern end of the green, directly across from St. James Church. It was moved to the western end when Stratford’s War Memorial was dedicated in 1931.

Stiles Judson (1862-1914), was a Stratford native who practiced law in New Haven and Bridgeport. He served as state’s attorney for Fairfield County, and represented Stratford for several terms in the state House of Representatives and Senate.

Stiles Judson Fountain, StratfordJudson financed the construction of the fountain honoring him with a bequest in his will. Pratt was paid $5,000 for the fountain (nearly $100,000 today).

 

 

 

 

 

Stiles Judson Fountain, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stiles Judson Fountain, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stiles Judson Fountain, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stiles Judson Fountain, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Stratford

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, StratfordA 35-foot monument topped by a standard-bearer stands at the highest point of Stratford’s Academy Hill.

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, dedicated in 1889,  is unique in Connecticut because it was cast from zinc, a material that was marketed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as “white bronze.”

A dedication on the front (west) face reads, “Dedicated to the memory of those who fought for liberty and saved the Union.” Below the dedication is a poem whose author is not credited on the monument: “Yet loved ones have fallen, and still where they sleep, a sorrowing nation shall silently weep, and spring’s brightest flowers with gratitude strew o’er those who once cherished the red, white and blue.”

The west side also lists the names of 21 residents killed in the war whose remains weren’t returned to Connecticut, and lists the battles of Gettysburg and Antietam.

The south face has a wooden panel that apparently replaces a decorative zinc panel, and lists the battles of Lookout Mountain (Georgia) and Olustee (Florida).

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, StratfordThe east face has a panel reading, “Erected by the Stratford Veteran Association and its friends, October 3rd, 1889. The Union must and shall be preserved,” and lists the battles of Chancellorsville and the Wilderness (both in Virginia).

The north face lists the battles of Fredericksburg (Virginia) and Fort Wagner (South Carolina), and features a decorative panel with an eagle, the U.S. shield, flags, a drum and crossed cannon.

The Stratford standard-bearer is uncommon in that the soldier has a sword in his hand. Most other standard-bearer monuments depict the soldier with his hand on a sheathed sword.

Zinc war monuments are very rare, in part because granite and bronze were more fashionable in the late 19th Century. For example, only one zinc regimental monument (honoring the Fourth Ohio Infantry) was allowed at Gettysburg, in part because veterans didn’t like the appearance of white bronze.

Stratford’s monument, like most white bronze cemetery markers, was produced by the Monumental Bronze Company of Bridgeport.

P1190522In addition, the material has difficulty supporting its weight when it’s used in large monuments. The Stratford monument has been renovated and reinforced, but remains split at the northwest corner of its base. By sliding a camera into the gap, you can take a photo of an interior structure added in recent years (as well as a large spider web inside the monument).

Near the Civil War monument is Stratford’s Walk of Honor, dedicated in 2005 to honor veterans of World War II and more recent wars. A large archway dedicated to World War II heroes bears the names of 97 residents lost in the conflict.

A Vietnam memorial bears the names of seven residents lost in the conflict. A Korean War monument bears nine names of residents who served, and a separate monument has been dedicated to honor disabled veterans.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, StratfordThe walkway area is lined with bricks dedicated to local veterans.

A tree northeast of the Soldier’s and Sailors’ monument was planted on October 27, 1958 to mark the 100th anniversary of Theodore Roosevelt’s birth.

Source: Connecticut Historical Society: Civil War Monuments of Connecticut

Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Stratford

Walk of Honor, Stratford

Walk of Honor, Stratford

Walk of Honor, Stratford

Walk of Honor, Stratford


War Memorial, Stratford

War Memorial, StratfordA war memorial featuring a female allegorical figure representing patriotism and peace stands on a green near the corners of West Broad and Main Street in Stratford.

The monument, at the east end of the West Broad Street Green, was dedicated in 1931 as a memorial to peace intended to honor the local men and women who served in the country’s wars, including the first World War (during which 630 residents served and 13 lost their lives).

The monument’s sculptor, Willard Paddock, was a Kent resident who was charged by the committee to create a monument to peace.

Paddock’s monument depicts a seated figure holding a large shield, decorated with stars and an eagle, in her left arm. The shield is protecting a dove, which symbolizes peace. Her lap is decorated with oak leaves and stars symbolizing local residents lost in combat.

War Memorial, StratfordHer right hand once held a sword, which was reportedly removed after the monument’s completion because some felt it was not in keeping with the monument’s peace theme. The hilt of the former sword is still visible.

The monument was dedicated on May 24, 1931, in ceremonies attended by Governor Wilbur Cross (for whom the state would later name a parkway). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Memorial, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Memorial, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Memorial, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Memorial, Stratford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

In Pursuit of Paradise: a History of Stratford, CT by Lewis G. Knapp, 1989, Stratford Historical Society