Civil War statue returns to cemetery
The 113-year-old, nearly 17-foot statue of a Civil War soldier was returned to its granite base Wednesday at Lone Mountain Cemetery after being refurbished. It is the only Civil War statue of its kind on the West Coast.
A crane slowly lifted one by one, the three sections totaling 1,500 pounds, into place. About a dozen onlookers watched as workers from Mercene Karkadoulias’ Bronze Art in Cincinnati, secured each section, giving a final cheer as the soldier himself was hoisted into place.
“This is like Christmas for us,” said Gary Parrott, senior vice commander of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Grand American Republic, Carlin Camp.
“I’m very happy about this,” said Paul Washeleski, commander of the GAR.
“Yep. It’s official,” Parrott said, as the two men raised their hands and saluted the soldier.
“It was originally in five parts,” said Karkadoulias, who came from Cincinnati to oversee the work.
“We did this for structural integrity. This statue should not have any cracks or breaks because we rebuilt the inside as well as the outside.”
Karkadoulias’ Bronze Art first fixed the pinholes, cracks and corrosion, then placed a protective coating on the inside. The statue was then straightened with stainless-steel supports, bolts and screws and had a specially formulated coat of blue-gray paint put on it. The refurbishing cost $82,000.
The rededication ceremony is at 2:30 p.m. today and will be attended by Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Grand Army of the Republic, local dignitaries and is open to the public.
Lone Mountain Cemetery Historian Cindy Southerland has been working on the project a little more than four years. Southerland wrote the original grant requesting funds for the project and the inscription on a new plaque to be placed on the statue.
“This is incredibly awesome,” Southerland said. “This is like a dream come true. It’s so rewarding to see what you’ve worked so hard on – your time and energy. To see this come back is so exciting.”
Two time capsules were placed inside the statue. The first by the GAR, with a list of Civil War veterans buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery; a GAR camp newsletter; current camp roster and a newspaper articles and photos. The city placed business cards of constitutional officers from the state of Nevada as well as city officials; a ballot from the 2004 election; city map; medallions of the State Seal, Gardnerville’s 125th birthday and the V&T Railway; a copy of the current book of cemetery history; copies of photos of the statue before the restoration; and newspapers from 1891.
“Mercene said, in this condition, this statue should last another 100 years,” Southerland said.
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at email@example.com or 881-1223.
IF YOU GO
What: Civil War statue rededication
When: 2:30 p.m. today
Where: Lone Mountain Cemetery, corner of Roop Street and Beverly Drive