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New Monument for the Man Who Named New England

Smith map compass roseHISTORY MATTERS

I feel much better now. Back in the 20th century I wrote an essay entitled "The Ugliest Monument in New England." You can Google it. I was horrified by the state of the memorial to Captain John Smith that faces the open sea on the Isles of Shoals. Capt. Smith mapped our region in 1614 and named it "New England." Smith's sad memorial, dedicated 250 years later in 1864, had since toppled, cracked, rusted, and was smeared with a thick coating of gull guano. (Click title for full article)

The old sailor deserved better, I complained in article after article. Someone should do something, I wailed, before the upcoming quadricentennial in 2014. And someone did. Next month, at long last, Smith will get, not one, but two monuments on the New Hampshire seacoast.  

“Your characterization in the newspaper of an orphaned obelisk coupled with the impending 400th anniversary of Smith’s explorations were the impetus for Star Island Corporation to take action," says development director Angela Matthews.

Thanks to a $22,000 grant from the Samuel P. Hunt Foundation, Smith's brass plaque is being cleaned and refurbished, his granite posts and wrought iron railings are being replaced, and the stone base of his memorial is being restored. The repairs should secure the monument until Smith's 500th anniversary in 2114. A public celebration and rededication is planned for August 22 on StarIsland.

 “Hopefully, those who read the very brief tribute to Smith will be moved to learn more about this very colorful, audacious explorer and come to appreciate that his map and books were the catalyst for successful colonization of New England, which he aptly named,” Angela Matthews told me.

And there's much more. (Continued)

Smith Monument sketch


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Monday, January 22, 2018 
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