Wareham Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument

WarehamLocation: Center Park, 1 Park Street, Wareham
Coordinates: 41°45’57.7″N 70°43’32.7″W
Date dedicated: April 19, 1905
Architect/sculptor/manufacturer: Frederick Barnicoat, carving and manufacturing
Number of names: 270 who served in the Civil War (also lists those who served in other wars)

The monument was designed and built by Frederick Barnicoat (1857-1942) whose operation was located in Quincy.[1] He also oversaw the setting of the 10-inch Rodman guns (weighing 7.5 tons each). Barnicoat was born in Cornwall, England, the son of a stone mason. By 1881 he had immigrated to the United States and was working as a carver for the New England Granite Works of Hartford and then the Smith Granite Company of Westerly, Rhode Island–probably the two largest producers of granite monuments during the late 19th century. By the early 1890s, he established his own monument company, F. Barnicoat Statue Works, in Quincy which soon came to rival the older companies. By 1913 he was manufacturing 50 statues annually.[2]

Wareham’s was one of his largest works as he designed and manufactured not only the statues but the entire monument. It features statues of an artilleryman, a sailor and an infantryman. There are five bronze plaques listing those from Wareham who served not only in the Civil War but also colonial wars, the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the “Philippine War.” A photo below depicts his “shed” in Quincy in which his employees carved copies of his works for monuments around the country. A slightly modified version of the artilleryman seen in Wareham is visible in the background. Perhaps the most notable monument for which Barnicoat supplied statues is the imposing Alabama Soldiers Monument in Montgomery which features copies of the artilleryman and sailor as seen on the Wareham monument.[3]

Barnicoat workshop
Frederick Barnicoat’s “shed” in Quincy from the 1909 F. Barnicoat catalog, posted on the website of the Town of York, Maine (Barnicoat produced their monument as well)

The town chose April 19 for the dedication ceremonies–a date doubly significant as the start of the Revolution and the day the 6th Massachusetts was attacked by a mob in Baltimore marking the first blood shed by Union soldiers during the Civil War. Alfred S. Roe gave the dedication oration. According to a reporter, he addressed states rights, indicating that pride in one’s home state was one thing, but when the “safety of the Union was in question,” there was no such thing as states rights.[2] The correspondent did not indicate whether he spoke of slavery, though it seems unlikely at that date when emancipationist rhetoric had all but disappeared. There is no published version of his full remarks.

Special thanks to the Trustees of the Wareham Free Library and the staff at the Celia Epstein Stone Research Room for supplying source material.

Click images to enlarge:

[1] “Wareham, Mass Soldiers Monument,”The Reporter (Chicago), June 1904, vol. 37, 13.
[2] Arthur Wellington Brayley, History of the Granite Industry of New England, (Boston: The National Association of Granite Industries of the United States, 1913), 107.
[3] “Confederate Monument on Capitol Hill,” Encyclopedia of Alabama
[1] “Soldiers and Sailors Monument Dedicated at Wareham on Patriots Day,” The Wareham Courier, April 21, 1905, 1. Reproduction from the Celia Epstein Stone Research Room courtesy of the Trustees of the Wareham Free Library.

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