106 Year-Old Civil War Memorial Restored

MORRISTOWN, Vt. - After enjoying an Independence Day parade, one Lamoille County community also took time to honor those who have served and died for our country.

Dozens gathered by the village's Civil War Memorial Tuesday afternoon. The 106 year-old monument represents the 172 men who enlisted from Morristown during the Civil War.

The monument has seen better days, and after 106 years of weather and neglect, one woman decided it wasn't good enough for Morristown.

Deanna French is known as the village historian.

"I was walking down the street and I stopped over here on a bench to rest my legs, and course I always gaze at the monument, and I'm thinking, 'Boy, that thing is nasty," said French.

Last August, French took it up with the town clerk, and the project took off from there. She and a group of other community members, like Gloria Wing, formed a committee to fix up the memorial.

"It just flowed, and it was one of the most successful projects I've been involved in," said Wing.

An initial concern was the price; cleaning the bronze and granite would cost a little over $10,000.

"We have funds from Alexander Hamilton Copley, who was a major benefactor of our town, and the trustees of that fund, approved us, so that gave us adequate money to do an adequate job," said French.

The granite was cleaned, and the bronze plaques with those 172 names now shine; you can read all of them clearly.

The soldier at the top of the monument was also removed, transported and cleaned.

French thanked members of the community for their help and involvement in a re-dedication speech Tuesday.

In addition to the Civil War Memorial, the benches, small monuments and Veterans Memorial were also cleaned.

Later this fall, a replica carriage to hold an authentic Civil War cannon will arrive; a fundraising effort to purchase the carriage began in November. Gary Rushford started the GoFundMe page.

A carriage used in Tuesday's ceremony by the Vermont Hemlocks gave people an idea what it will look like.

"This is one, one huge project, this whole thing; the Civil War [monument], the Veterans Memorial, the carriage for our gun. It's all one big project with several different parts, each part worked on separately," said Rushford.

The carriage for the cannon is being built in Kentucky; it should be done in the next 60 to 90 days.

There's also an extra special something about the monument, thanks to students from People's Academy.

Tuesday, students presented a time capsule with items from Morristown past and present, to be buried there and opened in 50 years.

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