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Westport Puts New Shine On Historic Minute Man Monument

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Sam Gault of Gault Energy and Stone lay the capstones of the fieldstone wall around the Minute Man Monument. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Francis Miller of ConservArt describes some of the work being completed to restore the Minute Man Monument in Westport. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Westport officials and those associated with the restoration of the Minute Man Monument celebrate the work being done on the landmark. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
The Minute Man Monument is undergoing an refurbishment to repair some of the damage endured since it was first unveiled in 1910. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport took another step toward completing the restoration of the town's historic and signature Minute Man Monument on Thursday by laying capstones on the fieldstone wall around the monument.

The monument of a Minuteman soldier ready to fire his musket was first unveiled June 17, 1910. It is located at the intersection of Compo Beach Road and Compo Road South, where the fiercest part of the Battle of Compo Hill was fought in April 1777, when the British invaded Connecticut at Compo Beach.

Over the years, the landmark has seen its share of wear and tear, as repaving and regrading of the street buried the fieldstone wall around it, the air turned the bronze statue green and the elements caused damage to the monument’s iron fence.

The town has set out to restore the monument, with the restoration conducted by ConservArt LLC, the masonry work performed by Guinta-Bolduc and the iron fence restored by Wener Horst. The project is overseen by the Westport Historic District Commission and the Arts Advisory Commission.

“We raised the wall about 16 inches all the way around and they did a beautiful job. That’s a huge change in the site, and it ties the base of the sculpture back down to the outer perimeter beautifully,” said Francis Miller of ConservArt.

A trench was dug behind the wall and concrete will be poured in to create a strong foundation. Stainless steel brackets will used to anchor the fence, so it will not be resting on the stone wall. The monument itself has also been washed and waxed.

The stones for the wall were donated by Gault Energy, whose president Sam Gault joined First Selectman Jim Marpe in laying the capstones on the wall Thursday.

“The donations of stone to this monument were a community effort,” said Town Curator Kathie Bennewitz.

The original sculptor put a call in the Westport Herald, asking local farmers to donate stones for the wall. Gault’s donation of the stone for the new wall was in keeping of that tradition, she said.

“Your donation of the stone helps to continue the legacy of this community effort.”

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