After the conclusion of the Civil War, a committee was formed to erect a suitable monument for the soldiers that died during the conflict and would not be returning home. The committee determined that any monument erected must also pay honor to the soliders the returned home wounded, to those that sacrificed years away from home, and for the mothers, children, and loved ones that carried on at home to provide while husbands, brothers, and uncles fought.
It was decided that the monument would be built for all those whose lives were touched by the war. The proposed site was the old burying ground, facing the common, at the intersection of South and Central Streets. The town appropriated $10,000 for the construction of the building.
The complete building became known as Memorial Hall. Tablets just inside the main door honor those that fought in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. A tablet at the far end of the Hall honors those that died during the Civil War. Above it, a stained glass window named "Liberty" stands as a reminder that liberty comes with a cost.
Years later the Hall was used to house the town's first library. In the late 1800's two small rooms were added to the hall when the building needed more room to serve its new purpose. The building continued to serve as home to the library until the contruction of the Boyden Library at the intersection of Bird and Baker streets in the late 1960s.
This image shows the interior of Memorial Hall shortly after it began use as the town library. Note the gas lamp on the table in an era before electric lights had come to town.Memorial Hall then became the home for the Historical Society and later the Historical Commission. The building now serves as the town museum and continues to honor all those whose lives have been touched by war.
This page was last updated 05/02/2013
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