Statues, Boulders, and Monoliths: The World War One Memorials of Connecticut Illustrated talk by Richard Donohue


As the First World War ended, American communities such as Wilton hurried to memorialize the great efforts of their sons and daughters.  Changes in cultural and civic ideals since the American Civil War led to extensive public discourse about what memorials should and should not be.  Government leaders, artists, historians, and the monument industry itself promoted ideas from simple tablets to monoliths rivaling those of Egypt and Rome. Memorials throughout Connecticut exemplify this entire range of monumental styles. Historian Richard Donohue will be presenting an illustrated talk on the World War I monuments of Connecticut at the Wilton Historical Society. He will share stories of their design, placement, and the people memorialized on them. Special attention will be given to the many in Wilton.  This illustrated program lasts for approximately 1 hour, with questions, and includes images of memorials throughout the 169 towns of Connecticut, accompanied by musical recordings of the period.  A light lunch is included.

This program is presented as part of the exhibition “Bullets, Bonds and Butter: Wilton Responds to War” which will be on display in the Burt Barn Gallery from March 15 – May 11, 2019.

Richard Franklin Donohue is the Town Historian of his hometown of Cromwell, Connecticut.  His original research has formed the basis of museum exhibits, travelling lectures, and living history programs on topics ranging from 18th-century slavery to Civil War-era subscription balls to early 20th-century marine engines.  As President and Program Director of the Cromwell Historical Society for nearly fifteen years and a teacher in both public and private schools for twenty-five, he strives to enhance his town’s interest and participation in local and national history.  In addition to his work with history, Richard is a tenor soloist specializing in Middle English Carols, Bach arias, and German Lieder and is the director of the 1876 Singing Society at Mystic Seaport.

Wilton Historical Society Members free, non-Members, $10 per person.  Please register for World War I Memorials of Connecticut: or call 203-762-7257.