| Thomaston |
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| || SOLDIERS MONUMENT |
10 Park Street
Type: Tall granite pedestal and figure
Height: Approximately 24'
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Thomaston, is significant historically because it was erected primarily through the efforts of C.L. Russell Post, No. 68, Grand Army of the Republic. G.A.R. posts often participated in the encouragement and planning of Civil War monuments, but seldom were the sole or chief manager of the enterprise. Other examples of monuments raised by G.A.R. posts are MANSFIELD POST CIVIL WAR MONUMENT, Middletown, and the Washburn Post's SOLDIERS MONUMENT, East Berlin in Berlin. Some records of Thomaston's Russell Post, No. 68, are in the archives of the Connecticut State Library, but unfortunately they contain no reference to the monument.
Fund raising for the monument continued after its erection. A production was put on December 3 and December 4, 1903, in the Thomaston Opera House, the proceeds of which went to the monument fund.
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Thomaston, is significant artistically because it is an example of a Civil War monument with unusual proportions. As compared with others, the plinth is tall and the shaft is short. The relief carving on the shaft is unusually high and robust, making a stronger statement of the embellishment than is commonly found. The shaft's deeply coved cornice with leaf-motif support also is unusual.
SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Thomaston, is in a small triangular Main Street park (Kenea Park) in the center of town. It is flanked left and right by cannon on carriages and World War I and other war memorials are to the front and rear. It is dedicated to all Thomaston men who served in the Civil War.
A substantial plinth whose three risers diminish in height rises to a robust ogee transitional molding below the dado. The cornice of the dado supports an inclined surface resembling a small roof from which projects a small gable. The ridge of the gable is rounded. The short shaft or intermediate stage of the monument, above the dado, is embellished with the Seal of the United States in high-relief. The south face of the shaft has a raised wreath, the north the Seal of Connecticut, and the west the G.A.R. badge. The soldier's figure above is in gray granite without specks as contrasted to the gray granite with specks of the pedestal and short shaft. Standing on a two-stage base, he has his left foot forward; the rifle butt is at 90 degrees to the left foot. Both hands are on the barrel, left over right. The overcoat, with cape, falls to the knees. Accoutrements are suspended from his waist belt. He wears a moustache and soft visored cap.
Front (west) face of dado, polished raised caps:ERECTED BY C.L. RUSSELL POST, NO. 68,
IN COMMEMORATION OF THE
SOLDIERS WHO SERVED IN
THE CIVIL WAR
Gable of dado cornice:1902
Above, base of intermediate section:ERECTED
South, in polished raised gable end of pedestal cornice:1865
East, above:CEDAR CREEK
North, cornice gable:1861
To the rear of the monument is a granite slab with bronze plaques reading "Dedicated in honor of those who served" for the Korean War, World War II, and the Vietnam Conflict, listing many names. In front of the monument, at the apex of the triangular park, is a granite stele with inset bronze plaque which features several figures in bas-relief, lettering "To Those Who Served in the World War," and many names.
Rosa F. Gangloff, The Story of Thomaston, It's [sic] Origin and Development (Waterbury, 1975), pp. 297 and 298.
Records of C.L. Russell Post, No. 68, G.A.R. Record Group 113, Connecticut State Library.