The Civil War Soldier statue was purchased by public donations from the Chicago Bronze Company and dedicated at a public ceremony on Decoration Day, May 30, 1890. Over 300 Civil War Veterans were joined by 4,000 citizens at the unveiling at the original courthouse located on Cass Street. Traverse City Mayor Perry Hannah delivered the keynote address.——————————
The statue represents the 171 volunteers from the Grand Traverse Region who marched off to War and the 32 who lost their lives in that conflict. The prominent names listed on each side of the monument reflect the battlefields where the Region's soldiers fought from 1861 to 1865.
In 1893, the statue was moved to the grounds of the newly constructed District Courthouse. By 2000, the 'Old Soldier' was showing signs of deterioration. Described as 'creaking' by conservationists, the zinc metal base was bulging outwards, causing the soldier to tilt backwards on a 20 degree angle. In December 2003, Grand Traverse County Commissioners authorized Robert Finch Camp No. 14, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to organize a fundraising and restoration committee. Support from area businesses, charities, citizens, and students and the U.S. [National] Park Service 'Save America's Treasures' generated enough funds that on December 2004, the statue was disassembled and transported to Mercene
Karkadoulias Bronze Art in Cincinnati, Ohio to undergo restoration. In April 2005, a new foundation of red granite was installed for the monument.
On Memorial Day, May 30, 2005, exactly 115 years to the hour, over 1,500 citizens assembled to 'welcome home' the refurbished statue. The keynote speaker was Michigan Senator Carl Levin. Senator Levin honored the original soldiers for whom the statue was dedicated; he also addressed the need for the community and Nation to support their soldiers now waged in the war on terrorism.
[Civil War Monument]
Erected to the Heroes who fell
and the Patriots who fought for
Union and Liberty
1861 - 1865.
By the citizens of
Grand Traverse County, Mich.
May 30, 1890.
This is a Nation.
A Government of the People,
for the People, by the People.
One Country, One Flag.
United we stand, divided we fall.
No Flag but the Red, White, and Blue.
Let Us Have Peace.
Winchester · Petersburg · Williamsburg
Vicksburg · Wilderness · Hatcher's Run
Cold Harbor · Ream's
Station · Antietam
Port Hudson · Cedar Mountain · Gettysburg