The making of the majestic Soldiers Monument was an impressive project for the early 1900s, and stands proudly in Old Section B of Mount Olivet Cemetery.
An article published in the Evening Sun dated May 27, 1961, page 1 stated “…it was pointed out that no town of its size had been more patriotic than Hanover in times of national peril.” The article continues to mention the numbers of citizens sent to defend our country in war. Hanover sent at least 317 citizens into the Union Army in the Civil War.
Mount Olivet Cemetery has traditionally been the end destination of the annual Memorial Day parades. Initially, the Memorial Day observances took place at Richard McAllister’s grave site to honor and remember those men and women who defended our country. Today, the observance is held at the Soldiers Monument just inside the gates of Mount Olivet Cemetery.
Prior to 1911, Malcolm O. Smith and J. H. Bucher spearheaded the project to build and erect a monument. In 1911 the dedication of the Soldiers Monument was planned for Memorial Day, but had to be rescheduled due to a deliver delay of granite from a quarry in Guilford, Maryland for the base of the monument. So, on July 28, 1911, the dedication was made.
Hanover craftsmen provided most of the work that went into creating the monument.
- Design and drawings were prepared by E. Leonard Koller, son of the Rev. Dr. J. C. Koller, then pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Hanover (1877-1906) and Civil War veteran.
- Charles F. Redding, stone cutter, erected the monument.
- Malcolm O. Smith, local newspaper editor and former commander of Post 99 Grand Army of the Republic, with J. H. Bucher were responsible for the original planning of the monument and generating community support.
- FYI…the cannons are replicas, from accounts I have read. A visit to this site a few weeks ago revealed that one of the cannons is home to a nest of birds from deep within the cannon.
The bronze soldier was created by a Philadelphia foundry, which also created the bronze statue better known as ‘The Picket’ which graces Hanover’s downtown. A quarry in Guilford, Maryland was the source of the granite.
For 106 years, this monument endured all types of weather and continues to stand strong and proud over all who are buried in this fine cemetery.
Don’t forget…Monday, May 29, 2017 is Memorial Day.