PA Monuments - Dauphin County
- Dauphin County Veterans' Memorial (The Obelisk)
Inspired by the classic Greek obelisk. Originally erected in the middle of a park located at the N. Second and State Streets intersection downtown from 1866 to 1876 as a tribute to Dauphin County’s Civil War soldiers. It stands 110 feet high and weighing over 600 tons and was cut from stone taken from the banks of the nearby Susquehanna River. A stone plaque is inscribed: "To the soldiers of Dauphin County who gave their lives for the life of the Union in the suppression of the rebellion 1861-1865. Erected by their fellow citizens." The surrounding park was gradually subdivdied and developed through the years. After years of exposure to traffic and weather, it the monument became damaged by passing vehicles and exposure to weather. A decision was made to refurbish it and relocate it. After a thourough cleaning, the monument was moved to its present location in 1960 at Third and Division streets.
- Soldiers' and Sailors Grove
Soldiers' and Sailors' Grove is a formal tree-lined mall located behind the capitol building in downtown Harrisburg which serves at a memorial to all the Pennsylvanians who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Pennsylvania National Guard. The grove links the vista of the Main Capitol Building to Fisher Plaza and overlooks the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge. It defines the symmetry of the original Capitol Complex and functions as the site of numerous events and activities.
There are ten memorial trees in the grove, one for each war the United States has been involved in from the American Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War. One extra tree stands in memory of all the unknown soldiers from Pennsylvania who were killed in action.
Bands of asphalt span the center portion of the grove like ripples in water. Each band represents various conflicts whcih have included Pennsylvania soldiers. Mounted within the bands are the names of each Congressional Medal of Honor winner for that conflict. These bands include some of the lesser-known campaigns, such as the Mexican-American War and several Indian campaigns that took place during the period of westward expansion.
Each of the Medal of Honor recipients were commemorated in a special ceremony held in the grove in November of 1994, presided over by then-Governor Robert P. Casey.
From I-83, exit at 2nd Street. Turn right on Market St. Parking is available on the street or in numerous parking garages.
The Capitol building can be reached from Walnut Street and is within walking distance to the parking areas of the Capitol Complex. The Grove is on Constitution Street, directly in front of the Capitol.
- Soldiers' and Sailors Memorial Bridge
The Soldier's and Sailors' bridge, otherwise known by the local population as the "State Street Bridge," was completed in 1930 as the principal entrance to Center City and the State Capitol Complex from the east, terminating at Fisher Plaza. It was designed by the architectural firm Geron & Ross and engineered by J. E. Greiner Company. The bridge was named "Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Bridge" in honor of the service of Pennsylvania's soldiers and sailors. It connects the East Harrisburg area to Capitol Hill.
The bridge is made up of seventeen arches with towering pylons at the western end which dramatize bridge’s gateway importance. The pylons are 145 feet high and 16 feet wide. Two eagle figures are perched at the top of each pylon, signifying the Union of the United States. One pylon represents the Army, and the other represents the Navy. The four faces of the pylons are inscribed with the dates of eight of the wars the United States had participated in up to that point.
The keystone to each arch on the bridge contains carvings of various implements of warfare that were developed during WWI. These include tanks, battleships, hand grenades, and aerial bombs.
The bridge was dedicated in 1930 during a week-long celebration of events. The Pennsylvania Governor at the time, John S. Fisher, said in a letter to the Service men and Women of Pennsylvania, "From the French and Indian War to the recent World War, Pennsylvania has contributed more than any other state. First among Commonwealths to care for the soldiers' orphans, it has also ever held in fond reverence and grateful appreciation the soldiers and sailors who volunteered in our country's wars and among whom are many of the greatest heroes and heroines in our nation's history."
There was orignially to be a museum constucted under the west approach with a stairway leading up to the bridge surface. This museum was to display all of the trophies of recent wars in which Pennsylvania had participated with broze inscriptions of the names of each soldier involved in WWI. Unfortunately, this never came to pass. There was also to be a storage area for U.S. flags that would be flown on the bridge, but although the storage facility was built, it never was used.
Erected in 1922 and presented to the city by Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Stackpole, Sr. Honors soldiers who served during World War I. Boulders supporting the statue, sculpted by John Hardy, were brought from the Gettysburg Battlefield. This statue is located in Riverfront Park in downtown Harrisburg. The park runs parallel to the Susquehanna river through the city.