Brookline Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument (Norfolk County)

BrooklineLocation: Outside Public Library, 361 Washington Street, Brookline
Coordinates: 42°20’04.6″N 71°07’20.0″W
Date dedicated: October 9, 1915
Architect/Sculptor/Manufacturer: Edward Clark Potter (sculptor)

This impressive, larger-than-life monument is the only equestrian statue dedicated to the soldiers and sailors of a particular town in the Commonwealth.

As with several other towns, the debate over the form and cost of a soldiers and sailors monument in Brookline led to long delays and sometimes heated argument. According to a Boston Journal article of March 20, 1912, the members of the local GAR Charles Lyon Chandler Post 143 and the local Women’s Relief Corps struggled for 38 years to get a monument approved at Brookline town meeting. It finally passed on March 19, 1912 at a meeting, according to the article, with the largest attendance seen in many years. A year later, the design was approved. The equestrian statue, depicting a cavalry soldier sounding the “call to duty,” was suggested by James M. Codman, a selectman and prominent Brookline citizen.

Potter, Edward Clark
Edward Clark Potter, sculptor

The sculptor was Edward Clark Potter (1857-1923) whose best-known works are the twin lions representing Patience and Fortitude in front of the New York Public Library. Known for his equestrian statues, Potter also sculpted the mounted George Washington in New York’s Washington Park and General Ulysses Grant in Philadelphia. He collaborated with Daniel Chester French (of Lincoln Memorial fame) on several works including the equestrian statue of Gen. Joseph Hooker outside the Massachusetts State House. French sculpted the general and Potter sculpted the horse.

The monument was dedicated on October 9, 1915. 754 men from Brookline served in the war. The monument is dedicated to the 72 men who died.

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