Thursday, November 19, 2020

The moving of a monument

By Diane Parmeter Wills, vice regent of the Saranac Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)

As of 10:15 this morning, November 17, 2020, the Battle of Valcour-Benedict Arnold monument on Route 9 south of Plattsburgh, erected in 1928 by the Saranac Chapter of the DAR, is in the protective hands of Doug McCabe of the DEC and CCHA Past President Roger Harwood waiting for reinstallation at the Peru Dock as the centerpiece of the historic half ship’s wheel designed by the DEC.

The Benedict Arnold memorial

The monument’s entire bottom section was buried and was recovered in one piece. We anticipate that restoring and rebuilding the monument to its original stature will be easier as a result of the excellent and professional job done by the Adirondack Memorials and DOT staff.

After the move, Roger shared a note on its history. Everyone involved was impressed by the monument and pleased to be involved in the move. We will document the restoration process and rededicate the monument when it finally stands in its new location.

The move was necessary as it was unsafe for the public to stop and observe the monument. At one point the top of the monument was knocked off its pedestal when hit by a truck. The resulting installation of a ‘guard rail’ for the protection of the monument reduced the space for parking for those who wanted to view the monument.

Additionally, over the years, the bottom section of the monument was hidden behind the fill and stone deposited to maintain monument stability due to high water, winter ice damage and major storms.

For many years, the mission of the Saranac Chapter of the DAR has been to move the monument to a location that would be safe for both the viewers and the monument itself.

Photo at top: Adirondack Memorials and DOT. Photos by Diane Parmeter Wills.

Editor’s note: Click here for a story from the Almanack archive about Benedict Arnold and the Battle of Valcour.

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The Adirondack Almanack publishes occasional guest essays from Adirondack residents, visitors, and those with an interest in the Adirondack Park.

Submissions should be directed to Almanack editor Melissa Hart at [email protected]




8 Responses

  1. Ed Burke says:

    That’s the only monument to Arnold using his full name that I know of. Most omit his full name because of his treacherous act during our revolution in trying to pass the plans of West Point to the British. I believe there are three historical markers in Whitehall saying Arnold or B. Arnold near the site of the building of the fleet he commanded at the Battle of Valcour. The ‘boot’ monument to him within Saratoga National Historical Park completely omits his name and a nearby road in the Town of Stillwater is intentionally misspelled as Arnald Rd. His most famous omission is the ‘vacant niche’ on Saratoga Monument in the Village of Victory where his statue would have joined Generals Schuyler and Gates along with Daniel Morgan. More on that here: https://www.nps.gov/sara/planyourvisit/saratoga-monument.htm

    • Very interesting! Thanks so much for sharing that.

    • Bill Ott says:

      Hey Ed,
      You got me going on the road name part. I found and drove it on Google Earth, all 800 feet of it, with the “Arnald” road sign on each end. Then I thought, “We have some memorial highways here in Ohio.” We have 607 dedicated highways/roads here, and I’ll bet none of them come close to being as down to earth as B. Arnold”s. Thanks for your comment – it made the article come to life for me. I wonder if the two homeowners on Arnald Rd know this story.

      • Ed Burke says:

        I’ve never heard anyone mention it but I knew what it meant immediately when I first saw it around 1994 because of it’s proximity to Saratoga Battlefield. I was immersed in reading about the military history of Lake Champlain, Lake George and Saratoga at the time. The insult may be a bit broader as Arnold was known to be short, like the road. I was surprised when I saw the D.A.R. monument on Lake Champlain years ago with his full name on it but it made sense when I saw the 1928 date. Valcour was brilliant as was his heroics at Saratoga but the Saratoga Monument with its vacant niche had its cornerstone laid in 1877 on the battle’s centenary with a supposed 30,000 people in attendance. I’m sure there was a spirited discussion about Arnold on that day.

    • Kathryn Reinhardt says:

      One wonders why the Plattsburgh monument then didn’t name him as Brigadier General Benedict Arnold? Wonder why they didn’t include his title then?

  2. Thomas Bruch says:

    I love everything about upstate, especially the Adirondacks ! I plan to move there soon from Long Island .

  3. Peter says:

    I think that this will be a great benefit to those who visit the area . Peter Corrigan

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