Soldiers' Memorial Fountain (Dukes County, Massachusetts)
Oak Bluffs' Soldiers' Memorial Fountain, though erected by Confederate veteran Charles Strahan, depicts a Union soldier and was dedicated to the Henry Clay Wade Post of the GAR in 1891. Strahan's hope that he might receive some similar dedication was realised in 1925 when an additional tablet was placed on the fountain in honour of the Civil War's Confederate soldiers. This tablet, thought to have been the first memorial to Confederate soldiers by those of the Union, was removed in May of 2019.
J. W. Fiske of New York City
August 13, 1891
Below Statue: Erected / in honor of the / Grand Army of the Republic / by / Charlies Strahan / CO.B, / 21st Virginia / Regiment
Plaque (between Soldier and Fountain): Soldier's Memorial Fountain / This monument depicting a Lincoln soldier was erected in 1891 by Charles Strahan, a former Confederate who relocated to Martha's Vineyard after the Civil War. Due to lingering bitterness over the conflict, local Union veterans first excluded him from their gatherings. In a gesture of conciliation, Strahan established this memorial in honor of their organization, the Grand Army of the Republic. At the dedication he professed his loyalty to the restored Union and gave thanks for the abolition of slavery. His wish that "more kindness" would be shown towards his "old comrades" was fulfilled in 1925 when a tablet honoring Confederate soldiers was added to the pedestal.
Tablet on ground: The Restoration of this memorial was made possible by contributions from the community and the generous support of Soldiers Memorial Foundation Restoration Inc / Save Outdoor Sculpture / Heritage Preservation / Thomas & Barbara Israel / Peter Norton Family Foundation / Farm Neck Foundation - Friends of Oak Bluffs / Permanent Endowmend Fund for Martha's Vineyard / Ray & Theodora Ellis - Second Chance Foundation / Oak Bluffs Firemen's Civic Association / Sloat Hodgson - Slyvia Mader - Stephen Bernier / Our Market Corp - Oak Bluffs Association / In honor of Col. L. George Williams / Regina McDonough - Island Commuter Corp / Island Country Club - Judith & Page Stephens / Dale S Collison - Edwin & Mary-Lee Reade / David McCullough - Massachusetts Arts Council / Dedicated August 2001
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White bronze; Zinc
0m x 0m x 0m
Cost / Value:
Charles Strahan/(readers of) the Martha's Vineyard Herald
Read below for one of our contributor’s reflections on this monument