| CANTON MEMORIAL MONUMENT |
Huckleberry Hill Road and Sunset Terrace
Collinsville in Canton, CT
Dedicated: May 30, 1903
Type: Granite stele with incised lettering and bronze plaque
Supplier: Stephen Maslen Corporation
CANTON MEMORIAL MONUMENT is significant historically because it is a tangible symbol of the honor and respect paid by the Canton community to its sons who died in the Civil War. The concern expressed in the lettering about bodies never brought home is found also at NON-REPATRIATED SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, Forest View Cemetery, Winsted in Winchester, and at MONUMENT TO SOLDIERS IN UNKNOWN GRAVES, Wooster Cemetery, Danbury. The program pamphlet "Memorial Day Exercises, Collinsville, Connecticut, May 30, 1903," lists the names of 46 soldiers of the Civil War buried in the Collinsville (this) cemetery. One of them is Margaret Gilbert, Army Nurse Woman's Relief Corps.
Dedication ceremonies took place both at the Collinsville Green and at the Village Cemetery. Some 26 organizations or units participated in the parade. A historical address was delivered by Edward H. Sears.
Cost of the monument and extent of participation in the cost by the state and the community have not come to hand.
CANTON MEMORIAL MONUMENT is significant artistically because it is an example of skilled and vigorous stonecutting. The rock-faced stele reflects early-20th-century interest in rough surfaces and natural finishes, characteristic of the Arts and Crafts and Rustic modes. The Seal of Connecticut is robust and three-dimensional.
The "Memorial Day Exercises" booklet for May 30, l903, states on page 11 that the "designers and makers" of the tablet were of the Stephen Maslen Corporation of Hartford. Examination of the Maslen work journals failed to provide confirmation and further details. The standard question is whether Maslen cut and fabricated the stone, or simply served as agent for a quarry. In this instance, it seems possible that Maslen did the work.
Stephen Maslen Corporation was a Hartford monument dealer and stonecutter whose records survive, but no reference to the Canton monument has been found in the firm's ledgers.
CANTON MEMORIAL MONUMENT is sited close to Huckleberry Hill Road in the northwest corner of the 10-acre Collinsville Village Cemetery, which extends in terraces up the side of the hill behind the monument. The monument is set apart from other stones, somewhat by itself, at the corner of the cemetery. Main entrance to the cemetery is 100' or so south of the monument.
CANTON MEMORIAL MONUMENT is a rock-faced granite stele with bronze plaque on its north face and carving on the south, dedicated to those who died in the war and whose bodies were never brought home. The smooth upper section of the base inclines inward and upward at a steeper pitch than the upper surfaces of bases generally, making this feature visually more prominent than usual. The stele which rests on the base has a roughly rounded top. The top of the bronze plaque is rounded to conform. A band of 13 raised stars, presumably signifying the original 13 colonies, follows the curve at the top of the plaque, half encircling a central laurel wreath. Names listed on the plaque are in sequence of rank. The plaque is almost entirely black, making the names difficult to read.
The Seal of Connecticut is vigorously carved at the top of the south face. The wreath foliage at the top of the seal, corresponding to the rounded top of the bronze plaque on the other side, also irregularly follows the rounded shape of the top of the stele. The relief is high, making a strong deep image of the seal.
A steel flagpole is 5' east of the monument.
North face, bronze plaque 54" x 29", raised caps:(39 names are listed, 2 lines for each name, giving unit, date, and sometimes place of death, and often circumstances, as DIED AT ANDERSONVILLE PRISON and DIED OF WOUNDS)
South face, 41" x 24" smooth panel recessed l", incised caps:(raised Seal of Connecticut)
ERECTED 1903 BY THE
STATE OF CONNECTICUT AND
THE COLLINSVILLE CEMETERY
ASSOCIATION IN MEMORY OF
THE MEN OF CANTON WHO
OFFERED UP THEIR LIVES A
SACRIFICE IN THE CIVIL WAR
AND WHOSE BODIES
WERE NEVER BROUGHT HOME
"Memorial Day Exercises, Collinsville, Connecticut, May 30, 1903," historical pamphlet and program for day's activities. Canton Historical Museum.