| Ridgefield |
view large image
| || WAR MEMORIAL MONUMENT |
207 Main Street
Dedicated: July 4, 1925
Type: Bronze plaques on stone slab
Height: 8', 11"
WAR MEMORIAL MONUMENT, Ridgefield, is significant historically because it is a symbol of honor and respect, prompted by World War I, but offered to those who served in all wars, by the Ridgefield community.
The site selected served historically as a parade ground. The dedication ceremony on July 4, 1925, attracted hundreds of onlookers from Ridgefield and neighboring towns such as Danbury, Wilton, and Norwalk. Starting with a parade, the day included songs, prayers, and speeches. The Reverend James W. Davis of Bridgeport, state commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, who enlisted in the Civil War from Ridgefield some 60 years before, made a stirring address telling of the trials and tribulations of service in the Civil War. George L. Rockwell, author of a history of Ridgefield, and Captain Anson T. McCook of Hartford also were on the program.
WAR MEMORIAL MONUMENT, Ridgefield, is significant artistically because its front panel is an elaborate classical design executed in bas-relief. The complexity and great detail of the design reflect contemporary interest in, and approval of, works of art based on the Neo-Classical Revival. The provenance of the sculpture is not known.
For a contemporary monument of similar intent, content, and size, but simpler artistic interpretation, see MONUMENT TO ALL WARS, Ellington.
WAR MEMORIAL MONUMENT, Ridgefield, is a large stone slab, possibly limestone, with bronze plaques on its four sides, mounted on a plinth. MONUMENT stands between the sidewalk and Main Street, facing east, at the end of Branchville Road/SR 102 in front of the Methodist Church, which is well set back behind an expanse of green lawn. MONUMENT belongs to the town, not the church. The vertical face of the plinth, 22 1/2" high, is shaped as a cavetto; at the north end the top projecting section of the molding is broken off. MONUMENT is dedicated to all Ridgefeld men who served in wars from 1775 through 1918.
The 50"-thick slab is set back 24" on all sides from the edge of the plinth. Principal aesthetic interest is in the front plaque, which features elaborate decorative motifs in bas-relief and the dedication sentiment recorded below. The dominating central horizontal panel within raised border has mirror images of cannon at right and left pointed toward a complex central trophy of flags. Vertical patterns of foliate and emblem patterns flank the panel and the lettering below it; the whole is enclosed in a raised egg-and-dart molding. The sides and bottom of this enframement are bordered by a prominent Greek key which in turn is flanked by vertical representations of propellers and Civil War cannon, over square rosettes.
The other three plaques are plain recessed panels framed by egg-and-dart borders. The top of the slab has a dentil course under a floral egg-and-dart motif raised on a cyma molding. The cornice is a plain vertical surface with band molding at the top.
Front (east) plaque, 46" x 89 1/2" x 1 3/4", raised caps:TO THE MEMORY OF THE
CITIZENS OF RIDGEFIELD
WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY
IN THE WARS OF THE REPUBLIC
1775 - 1918
ERECTED BY THE PEOPLE OF RIDGEFIELD MCMXXIV
North plaque, 40" x 24" x 2":CIVIL WAR
(2 columns of 63 names, 1 of 62)
West plaque, 11" x 12 1/2" x 2":WAR OF THE REVOLUTION
(3 columns of 48 names, 2 of 49)
WAR OF 1812 MEXICAN WAR
(5 names) (2 names)
South plaque, 40" x 24" x 2":SPANISH AMERICAN WAR
(3 columns of 49 names)
George L. Rockwell, The History of Ridgefield, Connecticut (Harrison, New York: Harbor Hill Books, 1979, reprint), pp. 325-327.