A Union soldier has returned to his post at the intersection of U.S. Route 42 and Industrial Parkway.
The 100-year-old Jerome Township soldier monument was installed on its new perch last week as preparations for a new and improved monument and park to recognize veterans continue.
The monument was dismantled by Columbus Art Memorial in April for restoration and a new base for the memorial was moved away from the busy intersection of U.S. Route 42 and Industrial Parkway.
“As soon as our 100-year-old soldier is back, the next step will be getting the concrete patio around him poured,” said Bob Merkle, Jerome Township trustee.
The improved monument will be set farther from the road and will carry names of veterans, including those in current conflicts, and room for more in the future. The work is expected to continue through 2015.
Currently, the base for the monument is set, the monument is reinstalled and construction of a wall around the monument is underway.
A parking lot and brick walkway are also set for phase two, which should be completed in 2014, Merkle said.
Phase three, planned for 2015, will include landscaping and lighting.
“On the back of the wall behind the monument there is a 15-foot semicircle where flowering trees will be planted,” Merkle said. “It’s an ambitious project. It’ll be beautiful.”
Even though the work won’t be completed for a few years, a rededication of the monument is slated for 11 a.m. Oct. 5, following a special service at 10 a.m. at the neighboring New California Presbyterian Church, 10089 County Highway 1, Marysville.
Merkle said a service was held at the church in 1913 before the monument that recognized local men who served in the Civil War was erected for the first time.
“An old record said they processed to the monument about 300 feet away,” Merkle said.
The Oct. 5 rededication will include the installation of a historical marker for the site, music from Glacier Ridge Elementary School students and Civil War re-enactors.
Abraham Lincoln will also be on site, in addition to a descendant of Col. William Curry, who addressed the crowd at the 1913 dedication. In addition, Jerome Township men who served in the Civil War will be recognized. Ice cream and cookies will be served after the festivities, Merkle said.
“We’ll have traffic control, ample parking, golf carts for transportation and scouts to help with traffic,” he said.
“It’s turning out to be a much bigger event than anticipated.”
After the rededication, the township will work to complete the memorial and collect names of local veterans for the Jerome Township Wall of Remembrance.
The public can submit names for inclusion or assist the project with a donation or the purchase of a paver.
“We have space for 9,000 pavers,” Merkle said, noting that they range in size and price.
“We want everybody to part of the history of the area.”
To submit a name for the Wall of Remembrance or purchase a paver, look online at jerometownship.com/move-the-monument/.