| Norwalk |
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| || SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' MONUMENT |
Intersection of West Washington Street and Martin Luther King Drive
South Norwalk in Norwalk, CT
Dedicated: October 20, 1900
Type: Granite cylindrical pedestal and figure
Designer, fabricator, supplier: Smith Granite Company
Statuecutter: Angelo Zerbarini
Height: 17', 5"
SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' MONUMENT, South Norwalk in Norwalk, is significant historically because it commemorates South Norwalk's men who served in the Civil War.
In 1866 an initial burst of interest in erecting a monument raised a small sum of money which was kept on hand until the end of the century, when State Senator John M. Ferris led a successful fund-raising and construction campaign in which the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic played an important part. Cost of the monument was $2,414.30, defrayed in part by $75.87 donated by school children. A copper box in the monument contains the names of the 773 children and other contributors and other documents.
Dedication Day on October 20, 1900, was a festive occasion replete with parade, visiting dignitaries, including Governor George E. Lounsbury, and a program of speeches.
The kepi worn by the soldier is of the type manufactured by a Norwalk firm, Comstock Brothers.
SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' MONUMENT, South Norwalk in Norwalk, is significant artistically because it is an example of the work of Smith Granite Company, Westerly, Rhode Island. The stone is fine and the work well-executed. The transition in the South Norwalk pedestal from rectangle to cylinder with hexagonal intermediate step using half pyramids at the corners is ingenious and sophisticated.
Because Smith's records have been preserved, the names of the men who worked on the South Norwalk monument are known. In addition to Angelo Zerbarini, statuecutter, they were:
| carvers || Frank Catto and Abraham Datson |
| lettercutter || Bernard Craddick |
| polisher || George Rae |
| stonecutters || Thomas Warmmington [sic], Charles Slocum, James Symonds, and Charles Fontana |
Smith received the order on June 30, 1900, from the monument committee, and made shipment on October 10, 1900, at the contract price of $2,400.
SOLDIERS' AND SAILORS' MONUMENT, South Norwalk in Norwalk, is sited in a small park, almost surrounded by streets, to which it was moved when the street pattern was altered in mid/late 20th century as part of the South Norwalk improvement program. Initially located at the corner of North Main Street, Flaxhill Road, and West Street, the monument was moved 500 yards north when Flaxhill Road was rerouted and renamed Martin Luther King Drive. A brick walk leads north from the sidewalk toward the monument, and surrounds it. There is also a chain supported on steel rods forming a fence of sorts around the brick paving. Shrubbery and trees are nearby.
The plinth of the monument, which is dedicated to all South Norwalk men who served in the Civil War, has edges that are quarry-faced with tooled margins. The faces of the first stage of the pedestal base are embellished with raised carved emblems of the military services:
| on the front || Shield of the United States with crossed sabers and laurel branches representing the cavalry |
| on the east || crossed cannon and laurel for the artillery |
| on the north || capstan, block, rope, anchor, and crossed cutlasses for the navy |
| on the west || crossed bayonets with cartridge belt and box, symbol of the infantry |
At the second stage of the pedestal base, transition from rectangle to hexagon shape is accomplished through use of half pyramids at the corners of the rectangle. The hexagon supports the base of the polished cylindrical die. The top of the die is decorated under its cornice with a band of raised polished stars 45 in number, representing the number of states in 1900. Smith's SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Jewett City in Griswold, also has a polished cylindrical die with band of raised stars at the top.
The figure steps forward on his left leg holding the rifle centered in front. The butt is parallel with the direction of his feet and extends beyond the statue's round base. Forearms are horizontal as he holds both hands on the rifle muzzle, left over right. He wears an overcoat with waist belt suspending cartridge box and bayonet. The overcoat cape falls to the forearms.
Front (south) of polished dado, incised caps:ERECTED BY THE
GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC
AND CITIZENS OF
IN MEMORY OF
HER LOYAL SONS
1861 - 1865
Rear:OCTOBER 20, 1900
The Norwalk Hour, undated clipping. Norwalk Historical Society.
Isaac Gallup Smith, Jr., conversation, January 20, 1994, and Smith Granite Company Record: 2063.