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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Saco in York County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Veterans' Memorial at Eastman Park

Saco Museum Main Street Walk

 
 
Veterans' Memorial at Eastman Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, November 12, 2021
1. Veterans' Memorial at Eastman Park Marker
Inscription.  
At one time, this tiny triangle of land was crowded with buildings: an old house with an adjoining stable that was used as a tavern; another house; a store called the Exchange Coffee House; and another house located on the upper end of the lot. All this was swept away by a fire, leaving just the lone house on the upper end, which was eventually sold and moved from the site. Vacant by 1881, the tiny parcel was owned by Frederic Yates, who offered to either sell the lot for the sum of $2,500, or to lease it to the city for five to ten years.

In an attempt to avoid controversy, the Committee on Public Property met with Yates to negotiate the price — but Yates refuged to change his tune. Edward Eastman, an established lawyer and the presentr of the petition on behalf of Isaiah Milliken and over thirty others, had a plan — to make the site a city park through the use of recently enacted state law. In response to Yates' exorbitant offer, Eastman countered by utilizing Eminent Domain, which authorized the City to take the land for a public purpose as long as the property owner was compensated. The City's Mayor, Board of Aldermen
Veterans' Memorial at Eastman Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, November 12, 2021
2. Veterans' Memorial at Eastman Park Marker
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and Common Council agreed to take the land by Eminent Domain. However, unable to agree on a fair price for the parcel, the matter was referred to the County Commission who summoned a jury. After three days of deliberation an agreement was reached, and on September 18th, 1881 the City took the lot for the sum of $1,250, of which the petitioners reimbursed $650.

The City of saco donated the site as well as the foundation for the monument. The remainder of the $2,500 cost for erecting the monument was put up largely by a private citizen, whose name has never been made public. The monument design was selected by building commitee member John Haley, along with Fred C. Bradbury and L.M. Binford.

On Memorial Day of 1907, a monument was erected in Eastman Park. The monument, "Victory Crowning the Returned Soldier" was dedicated to the memory of those who served from 1775 to 1865. Standing 20 feet 9 inches tall, the monument depicts a robed woman and a young soldier atop a granite pedestal inscribed with an excerpt from President Lincoln's second inaugural address.

This was to be the first of several monuments honoring the brave men and women from Saco who served their country. John Haley, a member of the Maine 17th Volunteer Regiment and a veteran of the Civil War gave the dedication speech:

"We dedicate this monument
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to all men who participated in wars for the defense of our country. I must pay tribute to the women of this nation, one of whom is represented on this monument. She is here by design…through all the war she never faltered in her devotion to the flag…at home, in camp, yea, even in the battle field."

Numerous speeches were given that day by prominent citizens of Saco. Mr. L.M. Binford gave the presentation speech, the City's Mayor, Dr. H.A. Weyouth gave the acceptance speech, and Rev. Rugus H. Jones delivered the benediction, which was transcribed in that evening's edition of the Biddeford Daily Journal.

Over the last century, several additional monuments have been erected in Eastman Park. On November 6, 1922 a monument was erected honoring he memory of those who had served in World War I. On November 11, 1961, another monument was erected honoring those who served in the Spanish War and the Philippine Insurrection from 1898 to 1902. As of August 2011, the park had undergone a restoration and improvements, including the addition of space for a memorial to those who have served in the years since World War II.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicGovernment & PoliticsParks & Recreational AreasPatriots & Patriotism. A significant historical month for this entry is August 2011.
 
Location.
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43° 30.057′ N, 70° 26.583′ W. Marker is in Saco, Maine, in York County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Beach Street (Maine Route 9), on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 268 Main St, Saco ME 04072, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); War Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Spanish War and Philippine Insurrection Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Veterans Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Dr. Laura Black Stickney, 1879-1961 (within shouting distance of this marker); Jacob Cochran, 1782-1836 (within shouting distance of this marker); Samuel Brannan and the Gold Rush (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dyer Library, Founded 1882 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Saco.
 
Additional keywords. Eminent Domain abuse
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 91 times since then and 60 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Jul. 1, 2022