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| || SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT |
9 Canterbury Road, SR 169
Dedicated: June 14, 1888
Type: Gray granite pedestal and shaft surmounted by bronze figure
Sculptor: Karl Gerhardt
Foundry: Ames Bronze Foundry
Donor: Thomas S. Marlor
Height: Approximately 30'
SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Brooklyn, is significant historically because it is a symbol of the honor and respect tendered to Brooklyn men who served in the war, and because it was the gift to his town from Thomas Smith Marlor (1839-1898).
Born in Leicester, England, Marlor was brought to New York City as an infant. He grew up to become a merchant and stockbroker. In 1861 he was one of the first members of the Gold Exchange. Marlor was able to retire in 1868, and two years later moved to Brooklyn. Thereafter, he served in the General Assembly several terms. In addition to giving SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, he donated the land for the adjoining monument to Israel Putnam, Esq. Both were dedicated on June 14, 1888.
The two monuments, side by side, are not in as fine a setting as might be expected. They are simply by the side of the road. Conjecture suggests that the site-selection process may have turned on the philanthropy of Marlor; also, the roadway and general site may have been altered over the years.
SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Brooklyn, is significant artistically because it is the work of Karl Gerhardt and Ames Bronze Foundry. Source of the stone and identity of the stonecutter are not known.
Karl Gerhardt (1853-1940) was born in Boston but lived most of his life in Hartford, where he was a protege of Mark Twain. On Mark Twain's recommendation, and perhaps at his expense, Gerhardt traveled to Paris for study at age 18. Returning to the United States, he quickly received commissions for likenesses of Mark Twain, Henry Ward Beecher, and Ulysses S. Grant. Gerhardt was 24 years old in 1887 when he sculpted the figure for SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Brooklyn, and the adjoining equestrian statue of Putnam.
Gerhardt is also credited with Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Utica, New York, although George Keller stated that Gerhardt irresponsibly used a Keller design. After a few years of brilliant work, Gerhardt's career became something of a disappointment.
The Ames foundry in Chicopee, Massachusetts, turned from casting bronze cannon for the Civil War to casting bronze figures for Civil War monuments, becoming one of the earliest art foundries in the country. Ames also cast the figures for SOLDIERS MONUMENT, Seaside Park, Bridgeport, and SOLDIER'S MONUMENT, Union Park, Middletown.
SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Brooklyn, consists of a low pedestal and tall shaft of light gray granite surmounted by a bronze soldier which was sculpted by Karl Gerhardt and cast by Ames Bronze Foundry. It is dedicated to all Brooklyn men who served in the Civil War.
The monument is located close to the road in front of the Post Office, which replaced a historic home. Rounded granite curbing defines the site. Gerhardt's equestrian statue of Israel Putnam, Esq., is next north along the street, divided from SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT by a flagpole.
The two-stage base of SOLDIERS AND SAILORS MONUMENT, Brooklyn, supports a die on whose polished front face is incised the lettering recorded below. The Seal of Connecticut in bronze is over the die. On the north a corresponding bronze trophy of crossed cannon with the year dates 1861-1865 is on the face of the die, there being no lettering. On the west (rear) there is no trophy; the die is covered by the bronze plaque of names, which is above the presentation lettering (see below). On the south face of the die the trophy is a naval emblem in bronze.
The shaft, not tapered, is divided by the two raised bands of polished battle names. The cove of the cornice is embellished as a robust Victorian-era foliated capital.
The figure stands with his left knee slightly bent and left foot forward, a position known as in place rest. He holds his rifled musket, which has a sling, with its butt at a right angle to his left foot and extending over the edge of the statue base. Both hands are on the barrel, but separated, left over right. The left corner of the long overcoat is folded back, with cap box and bayonet suspended from the waist belt, and the cape is over the left forearm but thrown back over the right shoulder. The soldier is wearing the typical kepi, looking ahead slightly to his left.
According to report, the statue was blown off the shaft by the hurricane of 1938.
A large cannon on brick base is a few feet north of the monument, pointing toward the street. Lettering on its muzzle, recorded below, indicates that it dates from 1863.
Base of statue, left rear, incised u.c and l.c.:Karl Gerhardt / 18[illegible]
Base of statue, right front, incised caps:AMES BRONZE FOUNDRY / CHICOPEE, MASS.
Front (east) face of dado, incised caps in polished granite surface:ERECTED TO THE MEMORYOF ALL THE BRAVE MEN OF BROOKLYNWHO FOUGHT ON LAND OR SEAFOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE UNION
Above, polished raised caps in raised bands:GETTYSBURG ANTIETAM
North, above:NEW BERN COLD HARBOR
West (rear) incised caps in polished surface of base:PRESENTED TO THE TOWNOF BROOKLYNBY THOMAS S. MARLOR
Above, bronze plaque on die, raised caps:(names of those who served, 4 columns of 42)
Above:DREWRY'S BLUFF WINCHESTER
South, above:CEDAR CREEK PETERSBURG
Muzzle of adjoining cannon, incised:4200.No.217.1863.W.P.E. T.E. 4.2.
Hal Keiner, National Register of Historic Places Registration From for Brooklyn Green Historic District, Brooklyn, Connecticut (Washington, DC: National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1982).
Allen B. Lincoln, A Modern History of Windham County, Connecticut (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1920), pp. 1753-1755.
Thomas S. Marlor, obituary, The Hartford Daily Courant , December 22, 1898.
David F. Ransom, George Keller, Architect (Hartford: The Stowe-Day Foundation, 1978), pp. 149-151.