Disposable Camera Tour
Park Memorial Rededicated|
October 21, 2003
Children sang, flags flew, guns fired, the mayor spoke and Portsmouth’s
poet laureate recited a powerful new poem. After two years of
repair Portsmouth’s ailing Civil War monument at Goodwin Park was rededicated. A drenching
warm October rain broke off just in time to kick off
a sunny ceremony attended by a small and diverse audience.
When we last visited the
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, and even crawled inside the old
memorial, it was in sad shape. The outer structure, molded from
soft zinc or "white bronze". threatened to topple over. Since then,
the City of Portsmouth has spent $250,000 in federal funds to re-do
the park surrounding the monument. More funds were raised privately
and through nonprofit groups to refurbish the memorial dedicated
originally on July 4, 1888. Similar statues, purchased from a foundry catalog, were
installed around New England in a burst of post-Civil War nostalgia.
Repairing them today is costly.
During repair, workers
discovered that a portion of the pedestal holding up a statue of
Lady Liberty had been telescoped into the base of the monument. That
section has since been restored and reinstalled. The monument is
taller, but still not back to its original stature when installed in 1888. By 1955 another 10-foot section had to be removed
to prevent the figure from toppling over. Images of cannon
balls, a soldier and a sailor and the ship USS Kearsage and
Portsmouth Governor Ichabod Goodwin
have also been refurbished. A bas relief of Abraham Lincoln has
disappeared over the years.
The rededication was highlighted by a children’s choir led by
tenor "Chip" Noon and a poem by Portsmouth poet laureate John
Perrault. Nancy Carmer of the city’s Community Development
Department offered a capsule history.
After a three-gun salute, public singing and a solo trumpet
playing "Taps", the crowd disbursed. "Portsmouth!" the mayor told us
after the ceremony. "What a great city this is!" Then the sun dipped
away, the clouds closed rapidly in and a fierce October downpour
resumed. -- JDR
MUCH, MUCH MORE ON THE
Making the Goodwin Monument Sing
Old Monument (photos)
the Monumnet (slide show)
All photos and text by J. Dennis Robinson
Copyright © 2003 SeacoastNH.com.
All rights reserved.
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