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| || NORTHFORD BOULDER |
1405 Middletown Road
Northford in North Branford, CT
Type: Granite boulder with bronze plaques
Foundry: Albert Russell & Sons Company
Height: 5', 8"
NORTHFORD BOULDER, Northford in North Branford, is significant historically because it is a tangible symbol of honor and respect paid to men from Northford, a community in the Town of North Branford, who served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and World War I. The Society of Northford referred to by the plaque may have been the Northford Improvement Society, whose primary function was to encourage introduction of electricity to the community.
NORTHFORD BOULDER is significant artistically because it is a good example of a rough-cut granite boulder with memorial plaques. This type of monument was used in several Connecticut towns early in the 20th century, when the Rustic style was in vogue. For other examples, see MONUMENT TO ALL WARS, Ellington, THOMAS McMANUS PLAQUE, Hartford, and CIVIL AND SPANISH WARS PLAQUE, Thompson. The plaques at Ellington were cast by Albert Russell & Sons Company, the same firm that furnished the original plaque at Northford. Its work has well withstood the test of time at both locations.
NORTHFORD BOULDER consists of a rough-cut granite boulder stele with bronze plaques recessed in its front and back faces. Dedicated to North Branford men who served in several wars, it is sited in the middle of a triangular park at a major highway intersection. The long edge of the triangle in front of the monument is Middletown Road (SR 22). Grade slopes up to a small flagpole behind the memorial.
The front plaque, centered, is part of the original monument erected in 1920. The rear plaque was added after World War II. Not being part of the stonecutter's original plan, it is positioned off-center to the west, where the rough surface is flatter. The newer plaque is defaced with more streaks and metallic stains than the older, even though it is on the side of the boulder away from heavy traffic.
Front (south) plaque, lower right corner, small incised caps:ALBERT RUSSELL & SONS CO. / NEWBURYPORT MASS
Front plaque, raised caps:ERECTED IN 1920
BY THE SOCIETY OF NORTHFORD
IN HONOR OF HER SONS
WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY'S CALL
(3 columns of 17 names, 1 column of 16)
(2 columns of 11 names, 1 column of 10)
(3 columns of 3 names)
Rear plaque:WORLD WAR II
(3 columns of 26 names)
Janet S. Gregan, North Branford Municipal Historian, letter, June 30, 1994.