| Ledyard |
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| || GEORGE T. MEECH PLAQUE |
78 Military Highway
Gales Ferry in Ledyard, CT
Type: Bronze plaque on stone outcropping
Plaque Size: 14" x 30"
GEORGE T. MEECH PLAQUE, Gales Ferry in Ledyard, is significant historically because it is an unusual memorial to participation in the Civil War by a farm boy. The Meech family farmed this land along the Thames River's edge for several decades. Just when they put up the plaque to George T. Meech is not known. The subject of the plaque enlisted on August 14, 1862, and on September 5, 1862, was mustered in as a member of Company C, 21st Connecticut Infantry. On June 3, 1865, he was discharged with a disability.
George T. Meech was alive and living in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1929, a fact recorded in the Harvard book Red Top. "Red Top" is the name given locally to the former Meech property in Ledyard because of the color of the roof of the shed that stores the Harvard rowing shells. The land presently is part of an 80-acre holding of Harvard University. Buildings in the immediate vicinity of the plaque are used two weeks each year in connection with training the Harvard crew on the Thames River
GEORGE T. MEECH PLAQUE has plain lettering, without bas-relief or other carving. Accordingly, its artistic significance is limited. It has borne the test of time well, however, being still solidly fastened to the stone, not having been defaced in any way. The patina is outstanding for its bright green color and evenness.
GEORGE T. MEECH PLAQUE is a bronze tablet, facing south, recessed in stone in a rock ledge on land that for decades was the Meech family farm, on the east bank of the Thames River. The rock ledge is an outcropping of stone near the river. There are trees and brush nearby which for a period grew up and obscured the plaque. Within the last ten years the plaque has been "rediscovered" by the current caretakers, underbrush cleared away, and the site made into a visually attractive location. A rounded bead and incised line in the stone make a border around the plaque. The color of the bronze is an even bright green.
LetteringGEORGE T. MEECH,
A GALES FERRY BOY, AGE 18, WENT FROM
THIS FARM TO THE CIVIL WAR 1862,
RETURNED 1865, THE WAR HAVING CLOSED
VICTORIOUS FOR THE UNION FORCES.
"HAPPY IS THE MAN WHO FEELS
HE'S HELPED THAT FLAG TO SAVE."
Leigh Ann Giouet, caretaker of Red Top, interview, June 9, 1994.
Robert F. Herrick, Red Top, Reminiscences of Harvard Racing (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949), p. 5.