- Written by Colleen Moore
- Published: 29 July 2009
A photograph from 1922 of the original Duxbury World War I memorial recently surfaced, giving the War Memorial Committee an extra push to restore the monument by March 2010.
The photograph was found in an old album purchased by Bob Dente, a local history buff. The pages are ordered by date, and although this photograph did not have a date on it, it was between the 1921 and 1923 pages, making this photo likely from 1922, Joe Shea Chairman of the War Memorial Committee said.
Before this photograph surfaced, the only photographs of the original monument were from 1943. In these later pictures, a decorative piece on the side of the monument had fallen off. The original photograph allows the committee to see what was there before and to more accurately replicate the monument, Shea said.
The picture has a young woman in it, however there is no mention of who the woman is. The War Memorial Committee hopes to identify the woman, Shea said.
In early July, pieces of the original monument were taken by a company in Quincy to be cleaned and measured. Some pieces will travel as far as Indiana to be cut in a factory there.
The first memorial was moved around town before settling in Boomer Square, between Tremont Street and Depot Street. However, after several moves, the memorial was damaged and eventually taken down, Shea said. Also, having the monument in Boomer Square blocked the view for drivers, which is another reason it might have been taken down.
Once the memorial was damaged, the stones came apart. The stones were then placed in the back of the cemetery, Beverly Johnson, a Cemetery Trustee and member of the committee said. The stones stayed in the cemetery for several decades before anyone really took notice.
â€œ[The stones] came up a few times, and there was talk of maybe doing something, but it was always put on the back burner,â€ Johnson said.
It wasnâ€™t until Shea had heard about the stones that any action took place. The old stones will be incorporated in the new memorial.
The memorial will feature a tall, flat cement structure in the center, which will be engraved with the names of Duxbury residents who were involved in the war. The monument will have a brick walkway leading towards it. The monument will also be handicapped accessible and will have benches for viewing.
Construction may begin as early as this summer or fall, when the underground base of the memorial will be installed. This cement structure will settle over the winter, before the rest of the memorial is installed early next spring, Shea said.
The War Memorial Committee is now focusing on completing fundraising for the memorial. The bricks to surround the memorial are for sale through the War Memorial Committee, and may be personalized with the name of the donor.
â€œWeâ€™re committed to the restoration of what was,â€ Shea said.