Inside the USS Kearsage Monument
Written by J. Dennis Robinson
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Back in 1999 the “Sailors and Soldiers” Civil War monument in Goodwin Park was literally collapsing into itself. I know because, like an idiot, I took a flashlight and crawled inside through a hole about the size of a microwave oven. Installed in 1888, the original metal armatures that held the heavy hollow structure upright were completely eaten away. (Continued below)
The base was bowed at the center, and the guts of the monument were a twisted mess of tar, cement, caulking compound, and rubber sealant. As our memory of the Civil War fades, apparently, so do our memorials.
SEE: Inside the Civil War Memorial
Outside the memorial the collection of life-sized metal statues had seen better days. A metal minuteman with his rifle tilted drunkenly to one side. Bits of a sailor's cap had eroded away, and Lady Liberty had cracks along her metal wrist like a fresh scar. When it rained water poured through the fissures in the surface of the monument, rotting the wooden timbers placed inside to buttress the imploding structure.
The monument at Goodwin Park has since been restored thanks to federal funds and private grants. But how did the monument end up on Islington Street in the first place?
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