CARDINGTON — He’s back and standing guard in Glendale Cemetery.
The Civil War monument, depicting a soldier in uniform, constructed in the late 1880s was placed at the intersection of Center and East Main streets in Cardington in 1889. Eight years later it was dismantled and moved to its permanent home in Glendale Cemetery, where it has been the site of annual Memorial Day programs and other events.
The monument, made of zinc, began showing serious signs of deterioration and a committee was formed to fund the repair of it. Fund raising events included “Cemetery Walks”, organized by a committee comprised of Dawn and Troy Ruehrmund, Diana McClure, Wes Goodman, Velda Montgomery, Pat Drouhard and Vicki Ullom.
Other individuals and groups assisted and in October, 2020, the monument was dismantled by McKay Lodge, of Oberlin, an artistic restoration company, and taken to their facility for renovation.
The most important aspect of their work is the construction of a stainless steel armature placed inside the monument. Each of the upper three sections of the monument are independently supported by the armature, which will prevent its collapse.
Prior to the repair, the monument weighed 7,400 pounds. With the addition of the 1,100-pound armature, the total weight is now 8,500 pounds. A new concrete pad was poured over the existing 8 foot X 8 foot X 10 foot thick sandstone slab that supported the monument for 123 years.
It was noted the monument, having withstood years of extreme weather including the devastating 1981 tornado, had turned three inches on its foundation.
The 3 and 1/2-hour process included placing a number of items carefully preserved in the time capsule. Included are the names of the 303 Civil War soldiers from Cardington Village and Township. Each of these names was researched by Montgomery and Drouhard.
Also in the time capsule are newspapers noting the story of the monument and the names of members of the Amercain Legion Post 97, Auxiliary Unit97; Squadron 97 of the Sons of the American Legion; village officials including the mayor and village council, Friends of Cardington and others who helped with the restoration drive.
The total cost of the repair was $76,000. The required cost of $40,000 was raised through fundraising events including Glendale Cemetery walks. The balance of $36,000 was paid by the Glendale Cemetery board.
A celebration and commemoration of the Civil War Monument will be held Memorial Day, May 31.