Peabody

IMG_3918
Peabody monument (Essex County)

Location: In front of Peabody District Courthouse, 1 Lowell Street
Coordinates: 42°31’34.6″N 70°55’38.7″W
Date dedicated: November 10, 1881
Architect/Sculptor: Thomas Crawford
Number of names: 71 who died in the war

The town was known as South Danvers during the war and changed its name in 1868. Up until recently, the monument, which was designed by well-known Irish American sculptor Thomas Crawford, was located in the middle of Peabody Square on a traffic island. In the spring of 2016, the city launched a $3.6 million project to reconfigure the square. One of the first tasks was to dismantle the 50-foot monument and reassemble it 30 feet away on a new plaza in front of the courthouse. In its present location, the monument is no longer surrounded by traffic and can be admired up close by pedestrians. The monument was dissembled into 39 pieces—the largest of which was the 10-foot statue on top of the column. Dubbed “Liberty,” the statue by Crawford is an approximate copy of his famous sculpture, “Statue of Freedom” which crowns the U.S. Capitol. In the course of moving the monument, workers discovered that the 5,300 pound statue was never secured to the top of the column and was held in place only by the weight of the granite.[1]

The monument was dedicated on November 10, 1881 in memory of the 71 residents of South Danvers who died in the war. The primary inscription reads, “The Town to Her Sons Who Died in the Great Rebellion that the Union Might Be Preserved and Liberty Secured for All.”

[1] “Work underway to move Civil War monument in Peabody,” The Salem News, May 27, 2016.

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