There is an exciting grass roots effort taking place in Naugatuck to restore our World War I monument. This important landmark is located on the Salem School property across the street from the First Congregational Church. The monument is the focal point of ceremonies on Veterans Day and it reflects the pride with which we honor our forefathers.
The Whittemore family of Naugatuck recognized the importance of honoring and preserving the memory of the borough residents who fought and died in WW I. In 1921 they commissioned a well known sculptor to create the monument. As a tribute, the names of our fallen heroes are inscribed on the back of the monument to be preserved for posterity.
The monument itself is of great historic value. It was created by the famous sculptor, Evelyn Beatrice Longman (1874-1954). Longman was the first woman sculptor to be elected a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1919. Her allegorical figure works were commissioned as monuments and memorials, adornment for public buildings, and attractions at art expositions in early 20th-century America.
Some of her work includes sculptural decorations for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.; the chapel doors at the United States Naval Academy; the front entrance of Clapp Library at Wellesley College; wreaths, eagles and inscriptions on the inner walls of the Lincoln Memorial; and the Spanish American War Memorial in Bushnell Park.
However, time has taken its toll on our monument. There are cracks on top, a chunk has broken off, it has become discolored, and the decorative rocks that are around the monument have become dislodged and some are missing.
This summer, The American Legion, The Veterans Council, and The Beacon Valley Grange have partnered up to have the monument restored. A committee, being lead by Ron Fischer of Naugatuck, has been formed and an official fund has been established.
Members of the committee are; Chairman Ron Fischer, Commander of The American Legion Post 17; Stan Borusiewicz, Chairman of the Veterans Council; and Joanne Cipriano, Master of the Beacon Valley Grange.
Those who wish to help can send donations to:
The WW I Monument Fund
c/o The Naugatuck Valley Savings and Loan
333 Church St.
Naugatuck, CT 06770
Some people have sent a note along with a check describing their family’s involvement in World War I and some of the stories have been handed down to them from relatives who actually went to war. If anyone has a story that they would like to share, please send a note to:
Mr. Ron Fischer
117 Walnut St.
Naugatuck, CT 06770
Your story will be included in a scrap book that will eventually be donated to the Historical Society for all to enjoy.