CARDINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – For more than 130 years, a 22-feet tall Civil War monument has been watching over the small Morrow County town of Cardington.
Next week, it’s scheduled to be removed.
For as long as anyone around today can remember, the Civil War soldier has been posted in Cardington.
“He’s on guard here for this community,” said Pat Drouhard of Cardington. “This monument has been here for about 131 years in the community, it commemorates about 305 people on this monument that fought during the Civil War.”
This monument has stood the test of time for more than a century. In fact, this soldier withstood a tornado back in 1981.
But lately, the decades have taken their toll on this reminder of the past.
“The enormous weight at the top of the monument is causing the monument to settle,” Drouhard said. “The soldier on the monument is leaning backwards, the monument itself is leaning forward. And eventually, this will collapse if nothing is done about it.”
Next week, a company will carefully dismantle this remembrance for repair. At a price tag of $76,000, the community is looking for help.
“We’re asking people to donate $100 to adopt a soldier, or we’ll take less or we’ll certainly take more,” Drouhard said.
So far, the Soldier’s Monument Committee in Cardington raised about half of its goal.
In return for a donation, they will give donors the research tools to learn more about their adopted soldier.
Through research, that’s how a Cardington third grade teacher found her great, great grandfather on the monument.
“he actually gave the opening prayer in 1889, when they dedicated this monument in Cardington,” said teacher Dawn Ruehrmund.
Ruerhmund’s great-great-grandfather was laid to rest just west of the monument, which is facing south toward where they fought more than a century ago.
The Soldier’s Monument Committee in Cardington encourages schools to get involved with the research and it is hoping the restoration will be finished by Memorial Day.
The Cardington community has commemorated Memorial Day at the statue since it was dedicated back in 1889.
For more, anyone looking to donate can contact the Soldier’s Monument Committee.