The Hippo


May 25, 2020








The John Stark Monument is in front of Manchester’s City Hall Annex. Photo by Aurore Eaton.

Historic walking tour

When: Saturday, Aug. 20, 2 to 4 p.m.
Where: Begins and ends at Veterans Memorial Park in Manchester. The tour will go down Chestnut, Pine and Elm Streets.
Cost: $5 for museum members, $15 for non-members; for new members, the cost of the tour will include free admission to the Currier on a future date of choice

Historical profiles
Currier-led tour explores Manchester’s monuments

By Matt Ingersoll

 If you’ve ever walked through any of Manchester’s public parks and wondered where all of the historic monuments came from, a guided tour hosted by the Currier Museum of Art on Saturday, Aug. 20, will shed light on their history.

From 2 to 4 p.m., museum curator Kurt Sundstrom and Manchester author and historian Aurore Eaton will lead people through several of Manchester’s parks while providing information on many of the monuments that have been constructed over the years. The tour is one of several events that is being held in conjunction with the Currier’s “Urban Landscapes: Manchester and the Modern American City” exhibit, which will be on view through Aug. 29.
Sundstrom will be leading a presentation during the tour that will provide artistic information about each of the monuments and talk about the artists’ involvements.
The former executive director of the Manchester Historic Association and the author of the book The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company: A History of Enterprise on the Merrimack River, Eaton will be joining Sundstrom to provide historical insight behind each of the monuments.
“The idea was to do a couple of tours to make people think about the construction and the architecture of the city of Manchester,” Eaton said, “and to open their eyes and let them know how it was a city that was basically planned from scratch by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.”
Saturday’s tour will begin and end at Veterans Memorial Park, starting with the Civil War Monument. Eaton said the sculpture was completed on Sept. 11, 1879, just 14 years after the end of the Civil War. Built by Connecticut architect George Keller, the monument cost $20,000 to complete and more than two thousand people showed up for its unveiling. It was built to honor citizens from Manchester who had fought in the war.
“Manchester took a long time to get over the Civil War,” Eaton said, “as a lot of major cities in the United States did.”
Other major monuments that will be visited include the Victory Monument in Victory Park, commemorating those who served in World War I. The structure was built in 1929 by Lucien-Hippolyte Gosselin, who studied in Paris with the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences — now known as the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
Also in Victory Park is the Rene Gagnon Monument. Gagnon was a native of Manchester and one of the six U.S. Marines who appeared in the iconic 1945 photograph “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” during World War II. The monument was unveiled in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the flag raising.
From there, the tour will move a bit further north to Pulaski Park to visit the Pulaski Monument, which was also built by Lucien-Hippolyte Gosselin. It depicts the Revolutionary War hero General Casimir Pulaski and was created to honor the Polish population of Manchester.
Before returning to Veterans Park, the tour will make a stop at the John Stark Monument at City Hall Annex. Eaton said Stark was a hero of the Battle of Bennington in Bennington, Vt., but an original native of the then-named Manchester territory of Derryfield. For those reasons, there are two versions of the statue that can be found in each of those cities and towns.
The tour will also pass by the original site of the hotel where President Abraham Lincoln once stayed in March 1860. Eaton said the property has since turned into an apartment building.
“At the end of the tour, we want to encourage people to visit the Gold Star Mothers monument, because it is in the area of where they will be going back to their cars,” Eaton said.

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