Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Monuments

Monuments are left to recognize a person or event. We inscribe epitaphs defining their social relevancy to our cultural heritage, be it artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance. We have plaques on old houses identifying historical figures that had lived in, built, or designed, as well as parks, buildings, statues, markers, and squares of influential people or events. But how important are they to us now? Do we even notice or care?

These monuments, be it a statue or a building, were important to the people that placed them. The Egyptian pyramids might have represented the most rich and powerful of their civilization, but they are an essential teaching tool in understanding the art, language, and daily lives of the people of the time.  Yet not all monuments are praised or cherished. We have seen century old monuments become controversial, where their fall becomes a larger symbol of change of cultural ideas. South County has few controversial monuments, but there are many representing the best and worst of our history. So let’s take a moment to reveal a few local monuments both known and forgotten.

Great Swamp Fight Monument

On December 19, 1675, Native American and Colonial forces engaged in the “Great Swamp Fight”. Prior to the 1670’s, settlers and the Northeast Native Americans maintained a relationship of trading English goods for lands, furs and other natural resources. Although as tensions rose between Wampanoag Tribe and the settlers, the Narragansett Tribe tried to remain neutral and peaceful. But fearful settlers decided to surprise attack the tribe in the Great Swamp, massacring over 600 Native Americans men, women and children. During the battle, over 150 Colonial Militia were killed. In retaliation, nearly all of RI was set ablaze by the end of March 1676. In August, King Philip was killed and the war ended. The monument is at located at 41 Great Swamp Monument Rd, West Kingston, RI.

Hazard Memorial Library

On October 9, 1891, Rowland Gibson Hazard’s son’s gifted the Richardsonian Romanesque stone building to the Town of South Kingston. Hazard was a partner in the company his father founded in 1802, the Peace Dale Manufacturing Company. The family would contribute to the support and growth of the community, including the construction of local stone mills and landmarks, as well as a benefactor towards the schools and churches in South Kingstown, endowing a professorship of physics at Brown University with a gift of $40,000. Hazard was a state representative and state senator, an anti-slavery and mental health advocate, and a founding delegate of the Republican Party. 1057 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale, RI.

Carter Jackson Monument

The Carter Jackson Monument was erected in 1889 by Willard Hazard mark the location Carter Jackson’s murder of on January 1, 1751. The four foot tall granite pillar is inscribed on each elevation with the native Virginian’s story that led to his murder by the dagger of ship captain Thomas Carter of Newport. The marker is located off Route 1 south, just after the traffic lights at the Stedman Government Center. The marker is hidden within the bushes next to the road and at the end of the driveway.

Our sphere of influence may have expanded from local to worldwide, but let’s stop and appreciate the monuments others have left to remind us of where we have been, and perhaps where we are going.