World War One was a watershed in American history. The United States' decision to join the battle in 1917 "to make the world safe for democracy" proved pivotal in securing allied victory — a victory that would usher in the American Century.
In the war's aftermath, individuals, towns, cities, counties, and states all felt compelled to mark the war, as did colleges, businesses, clubs, associations, veterans groups, and houses of worship. Thousands of memorials—from simple honor rolls, to Doughboy sculptures, to grandiose architectural ensembles—were erected throughout the US in the 1920s and 1930s, blanketing the American landscape.
Each of these memorials, regardless of size or expense, has a story. But sadly, as we enter the war's centennial period, these memorials and their very purpose—to honor in perpetuity the more than four million Americans who served in the war and the more than 116,000 who were killed—have largely been forgotten. And while many memorials are carefully tended, others have fallen into disrepair through neglect, vandalism, or theft. Some have been destroyed. Watch this CBS news video on the plight of these monuments.
The extant memorials are our most salient material links in the US to the war. They afford a vital window onto the conflict, its participants, and those determined to remember them. Rediscovering the memorials and the stories they tell will contribute to their physical and cultural rehabilitation—a fitting commemoration of the war and the sacrifices it entailed.
We are building a US WW1 Memorial register through a program called the Memorials Hunters Club. If you locate a memorial that is not on the map we invite you to upload your treasure to be permanently archived in the national register. You can include your choice of your real name, nickname or team name as the explorers who added that memorial to the register. We even have room for a selfie! Check the map, and if you don't see the your memorial CLICK THE LINK TO ADD IT.
Dallas Square, behind the Paulding County Courthouse in Main Street in downtown Dallas.
A rough-hewn rock inscribed with the names of the county’s war dead.
2500 Lake of the Isles Parkway E Minneapolis, MN
Peavey Fountain on the Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis was built in 1891 as a drinking fountain for horses and was later dedicated to the horses of the 151st Field Artillery, Minnesota National Guard who died during World War I.
The fountain was installed as a monument to the horses of the 151st Field Artillery from World War I. The 151st Field Artillery Regiment was originally organized in 1864 as the First Regiment of the Minnesota Heavy Artillery, was reorganized after the Civil War, became the First Battalion Field Artillery in 1893, was redesignated the First Field Artillery in 1900, was expanded to six batteries in 1903, served on the Mexican Border from 1916 to 1917, and then was drafted into Federal Service and subsequently was redesignated as the 151st Field Artillery.
In 1891, Frank Hutchinson Peavey donated the fountain to the people of Minneapolis as a drinking fountain for horses. In 1917 it was rededicated as a memorial to the horses of the 151st Field Artillery Minnesota National Guard killed in action. Today, Peavey Fountain would be easy to miss standing in the middle of an island diverting car traffic between Kenwood Parkway and Lake of the Isles Parkway.
I recommend visiting the Minnesota Historical Society website to travel back in time to see what the fountain and neighborhood looked like in the early 1900s. I was curious about the fountain’s connection to Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis and learned that the company Frank started in 1874, F.H. Peavey & Company (renamed Peavey Company) gave $600,000 towards the $2.5 million budget for the plaza which earned them naming rights. The gift was given in 1974, the company’s centennial year.
State Hwy 371 Pequot Lakes, MN 56472
308 Washington St
November 11, 1976
Erected by the V.F.W. Post 5104 and Friends.
The memorial honors the fallen heroes from Fulton County, Georgia, and was originally dedicated in 1920 by the War Mother's Service Star Legion, a group of mothers, sisters, and wives of servicemen. The memorial contains the name of each soldier lost during the War.
corner of Summerville and Airport Rd
September 19, 2009
Erected by the Fort Benning Sergeants Major Association.
in front of the Pickens County Courthouse, Main Street
Photos courtesy of Lamar Veatch
A tall granite tablet marker memorializing those who served.
100 Court Square
Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I memorial.
The Picron Memorial is a memorial to Puerto Rican workers who died at WWI weapons plant located at the Cavalry Cemetery.
Eight foot tall granite obelisk with bronze eagle on top. Names of Pierson Iowa area citizens who participated in the war are inscribed on side panels.
Erected by the American Legion.
No additional information at this time.
Town Square Park at the corner of Elm & S. Oak St.
Erected by the Oliver Wiley Chapter D.A.R.
4902 Pike Road
This sculpture, placed in Lincoln Park in downtown Newark, was designed by Charles Henry Niehaus, described as one of the foremost monumental sculptors of his generation.
In 1920, Niehaus received the commission for this Newark monument. At the base of a tall slender column is a bronze sculpture depicting four soldiers planting a flag. One figure holds the flag about to be unfurled, two figures hold the flagpole in place, and the fourth figure secures the pole at its base. The column is topped by an American eagle. The sculptures rest atop an octagonal base adorned with four reliefs representing Patriotism, Sacrifice, Law and Order, and Fraternity. The base of the sculpture is surrounded by a metal fence.
Niehaus also completed two statues in memory of assassinated President James Garfield. His first nationally known commission was his 1900 sculpture of Dr. Samuel Hahneman, erected in Scott Circle in Washington, DC.
Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #76001630, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "Charles Henry Niehaus."
Photos courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)
Pocahontas Doughboy Statue by Fred J. Hoppe is located at the Randolph County Courthouse.
White Chapel Cemetery
621 West Long Lake Road at Crooks Road
May 30, 1930
Leon Hermant, sculptor
The Polar Bear Monument is the work of sculptor Leon Hermant and was commissioned by the Polar Bear Association, whose members were veterans of the US Army's 85th Division who fought the Bolshevik Red Army in North Russia during the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War, 1918-1919.
A polar bear advancing menacingly and protectively past a cross with a World War I helmet strapped to it. The sculpture is mounted upon a stepped, castellated base of polished Swedish black granite.
On Memorial Day, May 30, 1930, at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy, Michigan, the remains of forty-five 85th Division soldiers who died in North Russia were re-interred alongside the Polar Bear Monument during a ceremony that included the dedication of the Monument. In later years the remains of eleven more "Polar Bears" who had died in North Russia were re-interred next to the Monument.
6800 North Milwaukee Avenue
This memorial is located outside the administrative office building of the St. Adalbert mausoleum. It features a series of bronze statues depicting servicemembers from different branches.
No additional information at this time.