| Griswold |
view large image
| ||SOLDIER'S MONUMENT |
Intersection of East Main and North Main Streets
Jewett City in Griswold, CT
Dedicated: May 30, 1913; May 1, 1988
Type: Tall granite shaft and standard-bearer figure
Designer, fabricator, and supplier: Smith Granite Company
Sculptor: Edward A.L. Pausch, attr.
Stonecutters: Charles Fontanna and B. R. Bartinilli
Prinicipal donor: David Hale Fanning
SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Jewett City in Griswold, is significant historically because it is a symbol of the honor and respect paid by the community "TO THE LOYAL SONS OF GRISWOLD AND VICINITY" who served in the Civil War and because it was the philanthropy of David Hale Fanning.
About 1904 an effort was launched to raise funds for a Soldier's Monument. The initial event was a baseball game, with the proceeds of ticket sales going to the monument fund. By 1910 the amount had grown to $300. Fund-raising continued, for example by selling tags on Flag Day. Helped by an appropriation of $1,500 by the town, and two contributions of $1,000 each from David Hale Fanning, the sum increased to $5,000.
Fanning was a native of Jewett City who as a teenager had moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, where he became a successful manufacturer. His business was the Royal Worcester Corset Factory. Fanning purchased, for the monument, the site of the former St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church at a cost of $4,000, the church having constructed a new edifice on an adjoining plot. He had the triangular ground improved into a park, ready to receive the monument. Contract for the monument was let to Smith Granite Company in the amount of $4,875. Smith records show that the firm's cost for stock and labor came to $3,344.54, indicating a markup of about $1,530. These figures offer rare insight into the matters of cost and markup for producing a Civil War monument. Cost of the entire project was $15,000, of which Fanning contributed $12,000.
Smith Granite Company received the contract on August 13, 1912. The monument was shipped on May 10, 1913. Dedication Day on May 30, 1913, was bright and sunny. A crowd of 8,000 assembled, out-of-town visitors arriving by train and trolley. The finest parade in the history of Jewett City moved along streets where all houses and businesses, without exception, were decorated with flags and bunting. The parade was led by 18 horsemen, who were followed by the Plainfield band of 28 pieces. Units of the Connecticut National Guard, Grand Army of the Republic posts, other bands and organizations, and 29 automobiles were in the line of march. David Hale Fanning took part in the program, to applause and cheers.
Orator of the day was the Honorable Samuel O. Prentice, Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors. He spoke of death in battle, or hospital, or prison camp, loss of limb, and impairment of health. He extolled the great lesson of patriotism and the nobility of self-sacrifice for country's sake. Following the ceremony, 80 guests dined at the Wauregan House.
The monument and park were rededicated on May 1, 1988.
SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Jewett City in Griswold, is significant artistically because it is an example of the standard-bearer monument designed and produced by Smith Granite Company, Westerly, Rhode Island. The quality of the stone and workmanship are fine. Similar Smith Granite standard-bearer monuments are at Branford and St. Bernard Cemetery, New Haven. Other Smith monuments with the buttress-like extensions of the base are BROADWAY CIVIL WAR MONUMENT, New Haven, and SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, New London.
SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Jewett City in Griswold, is a granite standard-bearer figure supported by tall cylindrical shaft and octagonal pedestal. It stands in downtown Jewett City, the principal ornament of David Hall Fanning Park, which was created as a site for the monument. It honors all men from the community who served in the Civil War.
The memorial faces southwest toward the point of the narrow triangular park. The perimeter of the park is set off by a curb of Deer Isle, Maine, granite. Its main entrance at the tip of the triangle is flanked by handsome bronze light standards on granite bases.
The plinth of SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Jewett City in Griswold, is three risers high, the first tier being eight large pieces of stone, the second six pieces, and the third four. Basically octagonal in shape, the base extends left and right with buttress-like sections that give its footprint an elongated shape of 10', 4" x 13'. Consoles terminating in volutes on the top riser help make the transition from plinth to octagonal base. Polished rectangular panels on the cylindrical die contain the lettering recorded below. A row of raised polished stars circles the top of the die under a rounded cornice, which is embellished with laurel carving. The column above, of two major pieces, is broken midway by a pulvinated band, repeating the shape of the cornice. The column capital has as its motif the Shield of the United States, set in a molding that curves upward into small volutes.
The crowning figure of a soldier bearing the colors has the right foot forward, with toe extending over the edge of the statue's two-stage base. He wears trousers and frock coat with waist belt. His left arm is around the folds of the flag, while his right hand grasps the hilt of his sword, ready to draw. Clean-shaven except for a moustache, he wears a forage cap. The flagpole extends upward about four feet above his head.
Overall height of the monument is 37'; weight is 35 tons.
Granite slabs northeast of the monument list the names of those who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict.
Front of die, polished rectangle, incised caps:TO THE
LOYAL SONS OF
Lillian Cathcart, Griswold Municipal Historian, "David Hale Fanning Park," 1989, at Griswold Historical Society.
Contemporary newspaper clippings. Griswold Historical Society.
Daniel L. Phillips, Griswold - A History (New Haven: The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1929), pp. 263-265.
Isaac Gallup Smith, Jr., letter, November 11, 1994.