Bridgewater

IMG_5976
Bridgewater Memorial Library (Plymouth County)

Location: 15 South Street
Coordinates: 41°59’18.6″N 70°58’38.8″W
Date dedicated: May 29, 1882
Architect/sculptor/manufacturer: Rotch & Tilden of Boston, architects
Number listed: Tablets on exterior list 36 who died in the war

Arthur Rotch and George Thomas Tilden ran one of the most prestigious architectural firms in Boston in their day and were known as the “High Society architects.” They utilized an eclectic blending of Romanesque, Jacobean, and Georgian styles, and designed numerous buildings on Commonwealth Ave as well as libraries, churches, academic halls, and mansions across New England.

The tablets, made from Tennessee marble, on the exterior entryway of the Bridgewater Memorial Library bear the names of 36 men from Bridgewater who died in the war. One of the three original rooms of the library was dedicated to the display of war relics.

On Memorial Day, 1882, after dedication ceremonies in front of the library, attendees proceeded to the First Congregational Church where Hon. George Augustus Marden, editor of the Lowell Courier gave an address. Marden enlisted as a private right out of Dartmouth College in the 2nd US Sharpshooters and quickly rose through the ranks to 1st Lieutenant. After the war, he was a successful journalist and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. A eloquent public speaker, he campaigned extensively for Republican candidates and spoke for many national organizations. A transcript of his address at Bridgewater does not survive but the Boston Journal noted it was received with “great applause which his remarks well merited.”[1]

[1] “Bridgewater Memorial,” Boston Journal, May 31, 1882, 5; Alfred S. Roe, Monuments, tablets and other memorials erected in Massachusetts to commemorate the service of her sons in the war of the rebellion, 1861-1865, (Boston: Wright and Potter Printers, 1910), 34; William Richard Cutter, editor, Historic homes and places and genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, (New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1908), 392.

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