At 104, Minuteman Looks Better Than Ever

The Minuteman statue — Westport’s most recognized symbol — will be officially unveiled at 3:30 this afternoon (Monday). He’s undergone a nearly year-long restoration effort, for the 1st time since Mollie Donovan took up the task. The Minuteman dates back to 1910.

Alert “06880” reader Matt Murray saw the Minuteman this morning, in all his glory. His features are once again firm, his muscles taut, his boots polished.

And you gotta love that holiday hat! Here’s hoping it stays on for the big ceremony a few hours from now.

Minuteman - Matt Murray

 

 

12 responses to “At 104, Minuteman Looks Better Than Ever

  1. Looking good there!!!!

  2. Dale Eyerly Colson

    I saw him every morning and every evening during the almost 60 years that my family lived on Appletree Trail. He’s my hero ~ always has been… always will be.

  3. I saw them putting the finishing touches on Saturday. It looked even better in person. Kudos to the restoration staff. (Let’s hope no one pulls a Lucy Ricardo today prior to the 3:30 ceremony!)

  4. Yes, it’s remarkable how older, um, landmarks can, with vision and commitment, be given new vigor and visibility. Quite remarkable.

  5. Lose the overhead wires, Joey

  6. The old boy looks great! At the ready to fend off those nasty Brits! Actually the British Invasion we grew up with was welcomed by us! Go Beatles! Go Stones! Go Kinks! Go Who! You catch my drift…..

  7. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have features firm and muscles taut again (though, polishing boots isn’t as easy as it seems, either!).
    Please continue on with restoration, re-building, re-landscaping.
    Westport deserves the care and attention.

    Merry, or as the Brits say, Happy Christmas!

  8. Amy Huenerberg Butler

    The man of my dreams – literally. I’ve lived elsewhere for many years, but I have recurring dreams of the entire big “block”, starting at the Minuteman Statue (that’s how I think of him – capital letters), down Compo Beach Rd. past Owenoke, alongside the harbor and up to the beach and Soundview Drive. My dream images have supplanted my actual memories at this point, but he’s a regular feature in my nightlife. So handsome.

  9. Like stained windows in a church, public memorials such as this mean something. They tell a story – one that is often cautionary. Given that this is, in essence, a war memorial to those who defended (and, many instances) died for our freedom, I’m not really sure how I feel about the Santa hat. Plainly it was done out of affection but, given the blood soaked ground upon which the statue stands, it risks possibly being misinterpreted as something else.

    In addition to those members of the West Parish who lost their lives during the raid on Danbury (and are buried nearby) we ought not forget the patriots Benjamin and David Meeker (188 Cross Highway) who were grabbed in the night by British Major General Tyron’s troops and thrown in the notorious Sugar House prison for a year and a half. By all accounts, the Sugar House Prison in New York was literally a living nightmare; an estimated two-thirds of those Americans who had the misfortune to end up there died of mistreatment. Benjamin and David somehow lived to see their wives and children once again.

    The price of liberty is, among other things, vigilance and, although not a single word was uttered about the broader meaning of this monument at the rededication ceremony yesterday, it is nice nevertheless to see this sober reminder of that eternal lesson restored to its proper place in our community.

    • Thank you for this re-telling, Mr. Boyd.
      Growing up with a number of friends on Meeker Road, I wasn’t aware of the history behind the name. Nostalgia and a history lesson all in one day!
      Is there a story behind Sturges Hwy, too? The fields and stone walls are most memorable.

  10. Wendy Crowther

    Well said, Morley.

    A band of six other Westport/Fairfield patriots were captured by British soldiers while they guarded the coast at Compo. They were Benjamin Allen, Abraham Elwood, Thomas Phillips, Nathaniel Johnson and William Allen. They also were imprisoned in the Sugar House but were “exchanged” after 6 months. Benjamin Allen and his wife lived on So. Compo Rd. at the corner of E. Ferry La., only a short distance from today’s Minuteman Statue.

    This was serious stuff. But I do have a fun story about the statue that is buried somewhere in my files. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the names off the top of my head but there was a Westporter that was a very good friend of Mr. Webster (the statue’s designer). That friend’s wife made/sewed a blue, felt jacket that the artist’s model wore as Mr, Webster designed the statue. Apparently, Mr. Webster never returned the jacket, and that made the friend and his wife mad.

    It seems there have been controversial feelings regarding the clothes that our Minuteman has been wearing for over a hundred years. A patriot’s jacket then, a Santa hat today. Beneath it all is the grandeur of this statue and its important place in Westport’s history.

  11. Hadn’t heard the story about the jacket Wendy, but it has the ring of verisimilitude.

    Your other comments bring to mind something that has bothered me for some time about the way in which this historic event is represented: there is some companion signage as well as a bronze plaque embedded in a boulder at the corner of South Compo and the Post Road in that little island. Unfortunately, due to traffic as well as a ghastly mélange of other, clumsily placed traffic signage, etc. these items are, essentially, invisible.