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Jan/Feb '00
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The Concord Fight Monument on Monument Square...Now Gone

From By-Laws of Corinthian Lodge, of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, of Concord, Mass., with ... Biographies of All the Past Masters; and A History of the Lodge, Including Biographical Sketches ... by Louis A. Surett. (Concord: 1859).

Not this one!

This is the 1838 Monument at the North Bridge which followed the short-lived monument on the town square.
In the year 1824, an association was formed called "Bunker Hill Monument Association," to erect monuments in Concord and Bunker Hill. The association deemed it important that the corner stones should be laid on the fiftieth anniversaries of the great events which these monuments were intended to commemorate. Subscription papers were circulated throughout the State, calling upon the citizens to contribute to an object so praise-worthy and patriotic.

On the return of these papers it was found that about seventy thousand dollars had been subscribed, of which sum five hundred dollars were allotted for the erection of a monument at Concord, -- about the amount subscribed in this town. Under fair promises that a larger amount would at some future time be appropriated to Concord, the citizens of this town, agreeably to the wishes of the association, took measures to lay the corner stone on the 18th of April, 1825, after which the $500 were placed in the hands of three trustees, viz.: Samuel Burr, Daniel Shattuck and Josiah Davis, with directions to place the money on interest. On the decease of Samuel Burr, Ephriam Merriam was chosen in his place.

A large number of the citizens of Concord disapproved of the selection of the site for the monument, being (on the square, about five feet east of the liberty pole,) nearly half a mile from the North Bridge, where the "Concord Fight" occurred. In the winter of 1825 and '26, a sham monument about twenty feet high, was erected in the night time -- of empty casks and boards -- over the foundation of the monument, with the following inscription:

"This monument is erected here to commemorate the battle which took place at the North Bridge."
Not this one either!

This is the Civil War Memorial on the town square, just about at the spot the first Concord Fight Monument stood, where the cornerstone was placed and the sham monument erected and burned.
On the following night the structure was burned down, the intense heat injuring the corner stone. The mischief was doubtless intended to express disapprobation of the place selected.

Nothing further was done about a monument until March 1834, when Bro. Rev. Ezra Ripley submitted certain proposals to the town, which were submitted to the trustees. At the town meeting April 7th, 1834, the trustees reported "that they had conferred with Dr. Ripley, who, feeling desirous that the proposed monument should be erected near the spot where the events which it was intended to commemorate took place, had submitted to them the following proposals for the acceptance of the town," viz.: --

That a monument be erected near the site of the ancient bridge (North Bridge), and Dr. Ripley offers to give for that purposeF a piece of land eighty feet wide measuring from the wall southerly, and from a point ninety feet easterly of the great elm tree to the middle of the river, with a passage-way leading to said piece of land from the county road thirty feet wide within the walls, on conditions that the grounds be fenced with a good stone wall, and that a monument be erected within three years from the fourth day of July next...."
The place selected for the erection made by one who felt a deep interest in the events of the 19th of April, 1775, and who was an eye-witness of many scenes of the Revolution.

Photo top: ©Dave Chase.
Photo top: © The Concord, MA Homepage.
Text: Courtesy of the Special Collections of the Concord Public Library.
Backgrounds: Brave Web Creations.

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