To the Editor:
Just off Woodstock Street in the heart of Crystal Lake stands a faithful Union soldier, cast in zinc, which has been steadfastly on guard at Union Cemetery since 1889. According to the plaque on his base, he was “Erected by grateful citizens, in honor of the brave defenders of our country.”
Time, weather, and individuals had not been easy on this soldier. The structural integrity of the statue had been compromised by exposure to the elements. Cracks had formed, and water infiltrated the interior of the monument. The base was bulging from the stress, and the figure of the soldier was leaning backward in a precarious position.
The statue was removed from its base in 2006, and a fundraising effort for the soldier’s restoration was spearheaded by the Crystal Lake Historical Society. The William Chandler Peterson American Legion Post No. 171 joined the effort, and more than $60,000 in private donations was raised to restore the statue and enhance the memorial site.
Earlier this month, the restored statue was returned to his base, and once again stands guard over Union Cemetery. The Crystal Lake Historical Society wishes to thank the many donors of money, time and talent that came together to support this project. Of special mention is Copley Roofing, which donated the use of its large crane for the statue removal and replacement. A rededication ceremony is being planned for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
President, Crystal Lake Historical Society