Friday, June 24, 2011

Kipton's Civil War Monument

Kipton's Civil War Statue
Since I've spent the whole week featuring news stories about the big G.A.R. encampment held in Lorain back in 1911, it seems fitting to close out the week with another item related to local Civil War veterans.

I've been doing research for months now about the old Civil War statue that used to be in the park across from Lorain City Hall. (I've featured it on this blog before many times, but I've been working on a detailed history of it.)

During my research, I found a great book, Zinc Sculpture in America: 1850-1950 by Carol A. Grissom, and it provides a great history of the use of zinc in statues – including Civil War statues. It turns out that Lorain's long-gone statue was made of zinc, as well as the statue on State Route 511 in Kipton.

Zinc was popular for these kind of statues, according to the book, because it was inexpensive, and it was easy to work with. The various parts of a statue were cast separately and then soldered together. Thus, zinc statues are hollow.

I drove out to Kipton a couple of Sundays ago to see how Kipton's statue was doing. I'm sorry that I don't have any historical information as to how long the monument has been there, but nevertheless it appears to be in great shape (although the statue is leaning back quite a bit).

I was actually pretty impressed that Kipton's monument looked so good, and that the park was so well maintained.

Kipton's monument is mentioned on a great website created by the Cincinnati Historical Society Library that features information on Ohio Civil War monuments. In the section entitled 'Monument Builders' it says:

Two firms built many of the soldier monuments in Ohio. The Monumental Bronze Co. of Bridgeport, CT. specialized in a zinc or white bronze monument. Because the material could be stamped, bases could contain elaborate decorations and inscriptions. The monument at Kipton in Lorain County is a good example. The front of the monument includes the Grand Army of the Republic emblem, a profile of Abraham Lincoln, a list of soldiers, "Lincoln" in large letters and a verse from the poem, "Coat of Blue." The other three sides are similarly embellished. The same zinc soldier can be found in Cardington, Defiance, Grafton, New California, Wauseon, and Windsor.

Here are a few shots of the base of the monument. Click on each so you can see the craftsmanship that went into its construction.


Anonymous said...

-Alan D Hopewell here....

I vaguely remember standing in front of this statue as a little boy; we were out on a Sunday drive, and my Ma decided to see Kipton, the sign for which we always saw on the way to Oberlin....I used to wonder if they meant "Krypton", where Superman was from.

Dan Brady said...

I just remember (when I was a kid) my father taking my brothers and me fishing out at the Kipton Reservoir, although I would have a hard time finding it today without a map!