Westford Soldiers’ Monument (Middlesex County)

WestfordLocation: Across from Town Green, 1 Boston Road, Westford
Coordinates: 42°34’50.0″N 71°26’19.7″W
Date dedicated: May 30, 1910
Architect/sculptor/manufacturer: Harrison Granite Co. of New York (manufacturer)

The Westford monument stands on a triangle at the junction of Boston Road and Hildreth Street, just opposite the Town Green. It was the gift of Colonel Edwin D. Metcalf (1848-1915) a successful businessman in manfacturing and railroad interests as well as a politician. Born in Smithfield, Rhode Island, Metcalf’s family moved to Westford when he was a young boy and he attended Westford Academy. His father, Lt. William Metcalf, who served with the 16th Massachusetts Infantry, was the first volunteer from Westford to enlist for service in the Civil War and became the only officer from that town.

Metcalf, Edwin D
Edwin D. Metcalf, donor of the Westford monument

During the dedication remarks, Edwin Metcalf (who had relocated to Auburn, New York) recalled the scenes in Westford during his youth in the early months of the war. He recalled his father standing at a town meeting, being the first to volunteer, recruiting a small squad, and drilling them on the Town Green before the day was out. He recalled returning to Westford in 1900 when his father died and being greeted by those veterans who had served with his father.

When I came here to bury my father, I was met at the railroad station by a delegation of old soldiers. They were strangers to me, they came without any solicitation, they came without any previous knowledge on my part, but I was so much pleased and so much touched at the spirit of devotion and loyalty of those who had stood shoulder to shoulder during the Civil War, that I then and there resolved that I would do something in Westford to the memory of the Veterans, and I hope this monument will stand and serve as an inspiration to the younger generation to take their part…[1]

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[1] “Monument Dedication Exercises,” Annual Report of the Town of Westford, (1911), 107.

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