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NJ WWI Related Locations

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Fort Hancock - Middletownloupe
Middletown
NJ
USA 07732

Fort Hancock is located on the north end of Sandy Hook, a narrow Monmouth County peninsula that extends into New York Harbor. Constructed as an installation to defend the harbor from attack, it recently became part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. 

Sandy Hook has played a role in defense as far back as the American Revolution when it served as a base for the Royal Navy in the American Colonies. It became a fort during the Civil War, and in 1888, it was converted to a coastal defense installation. The fort was used to test some of the newest long-range guns in the American arsenal. As additional fortifications and gun emplacements were constructed, facilities for fort personnel were needed, and its first 38 buildings were completed in 1899.

In World War I, the fort continued to be used for coastal defense and featured nine mounted disappearing guns, as well as some of the first searchlights to locate ships in the harbor at night. The last defense system at the fort was a Nike missile battery, phased out in 1974.

Fort Hancock is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area and is open to visitors year round. A fee for entry is collected during the summer months.

Narrative adapted from Thomas Hoffman, Images of America: Fort Hancock; Arcadia; 2007. 

Photo courtesy of:  National Park Service

 
Fourth NJ Infantry Appreciation to Somerville - Somervilleloupe
Somerset County Courthouse
Somerville
NJ
USA 08876
1920

This WWI plaque is mounted on a mortared stone "boulder" on the grounds of the Somerset County Courthouse.  The bronze plaque contains the American Legion logo flanked by L-shaped garlands with flower corner blocks. 

The plaque reads, "To the citizens of Somerville in appreciation of their hospitality in 1917 to the Fourth New Jersey Infantry. We also speak for those who sleep in France."

It was presented by the Fourth Infantry Post of the American Legion on Decoration Day 1920. 

Photos courtesy of: 
"Boulder" - Bill Coughlin & Historical Marker Database
Plaque - RC & Historical Marker Database

 
Gold Star Mothers Monument of Middlesex County - New Brunswickloupe
French & Jersey Streets
New Brunswick
NJ
USA 08901
1938

Set in a small triangular traffic island, the Art Deco Gold Star Mothers Monument & clock commemorates the mothers who lost children serving their country in World War I. 

The stone obelisk sits on a triangular concrete base, each side of which is elaborated with a concrete bench.  The base’s three corners are marked by square pylons that project above the base.  The obelisk is square in cross section and is given vertical emphasis by paired marble arrows placed near each corner.  These arrows extend up to the lower portion of the second stage of the monument.  This stage has two brass plaques each inscribed with a shield.  The plaques are mounted beneath a clock on the front and rear faces of the monument.  The two clocks contain the letters for “New Brunswick” in place of the numbers on their faces.  The monument terminates with a flat top given vertical emphasis by several marble arrow moldings. 

The monument also includes a concrete signboard just east of the monument, however in 2016, it was lacking its sign. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Vintage postcard courtesy of:  Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives (originally published by The Mayrose Co., Publishers, New York)

 
Great War Memorial - Merchantvilleloupe
Wellwood Park, Maple Avenue & Linden Avenue
Merchantville
NJ
USA 08109

This war memorial is placed in Wellwood Memorial Park, adjacent to Maple Avenue in Merchantville, NJ. The monument consists of a bronze plaque mounted  to a finish granite slab. The slab rises from a two-tiered based with rounded corners, which, in turn, is placed on a concrete slab. The plaque lists all the names of Merchantville residents who served in World War I.

Narrative adapted from "Merchantville Past & Present," Borough of Merchantville, 1973. 

Photo courtesy of: NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
Great War Monument - Hammontonloupe
Veterans Memorial Park, Bellevue Avenue & Vine Street
Hammonton
NJ
USA 08037
1921

The monument is rusticated pink marble with a bronze plaque on the front, listing a roll of honor for those who served in World War I.  It is topped with a bronze eagle perched on a marble ball. 

It was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1921. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

 
Hands-Off Memorial - Bloomingdaleloupe
Sloan Park, Main Street
Bloomingdale
NJ
USA 07405
c.1923
JA Meliodion

A World War I soldier stands holding a flag with his left hand, with his right arm extended, hand raised in a "stop" gesture. The soldier wears a helmet and has his sleeves rolled up to his elbows. The copper painted sculpture is mounted on a square base and is surrounded by a low wall.

The memorial complex also includes monuments to other wars. The sculptor, J.A. Meliodon, was from Lincoln Park, NJ.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000371. 

Photo courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

 
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Hart Memorial - Orangeloupe
BPOE Lodge 135, 475 Main Street
Orange
NJ
USA 07050
1929
Laura Gardin Fraser

This memorial is one of three in Orange, NJ.

It was erected by the Orange Benevolent Order of Elks, Lodge 134, in memory of Private Joseph Hart, the only member of the lodge killed in World War I. The sculpture consists of a bronze depiction of a resting elk placed atop a stepped granite base measuring approximately 5' 3" by 10'. The base was designed by architect, Albert Randall Ross.

The sculptor, Laura Gardin Fraser, studied art at the Arts Students League in New York City. Best known for her designs for medals, she also designed elk sculptures for several venues including, Chicago's Elks Memorial & the Elks Lodge in New Brunswick, NJ. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #NJ000082.

Photo courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

 
Liberty in Distress Monument - Atlantic Cityloupe
S. Albany & Ventnor Avenues
Atlantic City
NJ
USA 08401
1923
Frederick MacMonnies

In 1907, the city of Atlantic City joined with the famous New York architecture firm of Carrere & Hastings in a plan for a civic monument.  Delayed by US involvement in World War I, in 1919, the city decided the monument should be built in honor and memory of city residents who served in the war. 

Designed in the Greek tholos form, the circular structure reaches 124’ in diameter and features 16 Doric columns made of Indiana limestone.  Paving between the columns is bluestone & slate.  The monument’s frieze depicts the name of battles in which Atlantic City men fought.

There are four medallions (Army, Navy, Marines & Aviation) that alternate around the circumference of the frieze.  The battles in which Atlantic City men fought are inscribed upon the architrave. 

In the interior of the temple is a nine-foot bronze statue, “Liberty in Distress,” designed by Philadelphia sculptor, Frederick MacMonnies.  This sculpture was installed in July 1929.  It depicts victory over the enemy, but at the same time emphasizes the sorrows & sufferings of war.  It was mounted on a green Vermont marble pedestal. 

The monument was dedicated in 1923. 

Narrative adapted from "Greek Temple Monument," The Atlantic City Experience, Atlantic City Public Library; and "Atlantic City World War I Memorial, History & Setting," Hunter Resarch, Inc., 2008. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office

B&W Photos courtesy of: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) / National Parks Service

 
Maplewood Memorial Park - Maplewoodloupe
Baker Street
Maplewood
NJ
USA 07040
1931

A memorial bronze plaque and 10-ton boulder dedicated Maplewood Memorial Park "to the men and women who served their country during World War I."  The formal dedication occurred on Memorial Day 1931, when the park first opened. 

Originally, eight American Elm trees were planted to commemorate fallen solders from Maplewood.  A small plaque near the amphitheater still marks the location. 

Photo courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office
Historic photo courtesy of:  Maplewood Public Library

 
Memorial Park & Soldiers Monument - Hightstownloupe
Main & Franklin Streets
Hightstown
NJ
USA 08520
1924

The lakeside Hightstown Memorial Park was dedicated on Armistice Day 1924, the result of a community fund drive to raise $25,000 to honor its veterans, following a $30,000 gift of the land by six local donors.  A concrete dam, stone retaining walls, a walkway across the dam, a boat landing with steps & grading & landscaping were created.

Situated near the boat landing, a granite obelisk was placed by the American Legion Post #148 & the VFW Post 5700.  The monument is dedicated to all who served in World War I.  

Narrative adapted from "Reflections from the Shrine" by John W. Orr, Jr., 1998. 

Vintage photo courtesy of:  Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives 

 

NJ WW1 Centennial Logo cmyk GrayBckgrnd

The State of New Jersey

Contact: NewJersey@worldwar1centennial.org

 

New Jersey World War I
Centennial Partners

New Jersey Historical Commission
sara.cureton@sos.nj.gov

New Jersey Historic Preservation Office
doug.mcvarish@dep.nj.gov

New Jersey State Museum
nicholas.ciotola@sos.nj.gov

New Jersey State Archives
veronica.calder@sos.nj.gov

Rutgers University
rbecker@rulmail.rutgers.edu

New Jersey National Guard Militia Museum
http://nj.gov/military/museum/contact.html

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