Monument to the Republic gets a cleaning ahead of Memorial Day


Armed with a tooth brush and soft bristle brush, city employee Kirby Keltner cleans the Monument to the Republic at Soldiers Point at Sugar Grove Cemetery.

In preparation for Memorial Day festivities on Monday, Keltner said the tedious work is necessary to help preserve the figure that has stood at the ready for nearly 100 years.

“Some might sand blast or power wash but that can damage the monument,” Keltner said. “We take a ‘do no harm’ approach. I’m using a tooth brush and soft bristle brush to clean the algae.”

Keltner uses several liquid cleaners in the process, including one made for livestock so as not to harm the granite. He also uses a popsicle stick to get into some of the deeper crevices. Keltner believes the last time the monument was cleaned in this manner was 8-10 years ago.

The Memorial Day celebration in Sugar Grove will take place following the annual parade, which is set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday. The parade will end at Sugar Grove and after a short break, Memorial Day festivities presented by Wilmington American Legion Post 49 will take place near the Monument to the Republic.

According to information provided from the Clinton County History Center, the Monument to the Republic is as follows:

Dressed in a Civil War winter wool uniform, this monument has been standing guard for approximately 94 years. His purpose was, and is, to pay tribute to Clinton County soldiers of all wars. His name is “Monument to the Republic.”

In 1890, the Grand Army of the Republic-Civil War veterans (GAR) requested ground be set aside in Sugar Grove Cemetery at Soldiers Point for the burial of war veterans for who no other accommodations had been made.

A monument for the soldiers who served in the Civil War was dedicated on Oct. 16, 1927. This carved granite monument, ordered from Barra Granite Works in Vermont, was made possible by the efforts of the GAR and the Women’s Relief Corps (WRC) who raised $1,808.75 to pay for the statue.

No posts to display