Every Soldier's Square
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A MONUMENT TO THE SACRIFICES OF our military AND THEIR FAMILIES

Every Soldier’s Square Project

 
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A MONUMENT TO THE SACRIFICES OF our military AND THEIR FAMILIES

Every Soldier’s Square Project

The current monument in Soldier’s Square in Appleton, Wisconsin is dedicated to the memory of one veteran and to the those who served in the Army and Navy during the Civil War.  Our goal is to extend the meaning of the area surrounding the monument all United States veterans and active duty and reserve service members, regardless of their branch of service, the conflicts they have fought in, or whether they are living or passed.

Your donation of $40 will create a monument to a veteran or active duty or reserve service member by having an historic paving brick engraved with her or his name, branch of service, and conflict (if applicable). Each engraved brick will be incorporated into the redesigned Soldier’s Square to honor all those who serve our country. Although the name will not be officially be changed, our project will recast Appleton’s “Soldier’s Square” into “Every Soldier’s Square” - a monument to the sacrifices of those who serve our country and their families.

Your donations will also raise funds for the John H. Bradley VA clinic in Appleton and two important non-profits - Sculpture Valley and Hearthstone Historic House Museum - which are dedicated to preserving the history of Appleton and its monuments.

 
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PARTICIPANTS

Three organizations.
One common effort.

Three organizations have joined together to honor America’s service people. The organizations will evenly divide the proceeds from the brick donations.

About John H. Bradley VA Clinic

John H. Bradley VA Clinic serves more than 11,000 Veterans in the Fox Valley area with more than 152 staff members as part of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The Appleton clinic opened in 1994 and was expanded in 2008. The original building houses Primary Care and support/specialty services with the expanded operations providing Mental Health programs as well as Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran case management services. Proceeds from the this project will help the clinic serve every previous generation of veterans as well as every generation to come.

The facility is named for John Henry Bradley who grew up in Appleton. Bradley was a Pharmacist’s Mate, 2/c, attached to the 5th Marine Division on Iwo Jima in 1945.  A winner of the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart among other decorations, he participated in the assault on Mt. Suribachi and the famous flag raisings there.

About Sculpture Valley

Sculpture Valley, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit arts advocacy organization whose mission is to cultivate, promote, place and preserve public art in outdoor spaces throughout the Fox Cities, through the support and partnership of community members, volunteers, and businesses dedicated to enriching the life experience for all who reside here and visit.

Sculpture Valley previous efforts include the full bronze replacement of Appleton’s World War I memorial “The Spirit of the American Doughboy” statue which was rededicated on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day in 2018 and restoration work on the city’s Spanish-American war memorial.

Proceeds from this project will help Sculpture Valley preserve historic war memorials as well as create new ones that will honor all who have served from World War II to the present.

Additional information about Sculpture Valley is available at its website, www.sculpturevalley.com.

About Hearthstone Historic House Museum

Hearthstone Historic House Museum is nationally renowned historic site of international significance as the first residence anywhere in the world to be incandescently lit by a hydroelectric central power station using Edison technology. The house still contains the original Edison electroliers and other original light fixtures, original light switches, and some of the world's only examples of original Edison wiring in situ.  Beyond its technological significance, Hearthstone is a truly exceptional example of Queen Anne style residential architecture and is filled with examples of Victorian interior design and visual arts.

Hearthstone’s second owner, Albert Priest, donated the Civil War monument in Soldier’s Square in the memory of his brother James, who died serving his country in 1861. Hearthstone’s volunteers removed by hand and palletized over 53 tons of the historic paving bricks which once served as the museum’s driveway so that they could be used in this project.

Hearthstone’s initiatives include its STEM education programs in area school districts, its local history curriculum in Appleton second grade classes, and collaborative efforts with other institutions. Proceeds from this project will support these efforts and help continue its mission of preserving and interpreting Appleton’s rich history.

Hearthstone Historic House Museum is operated by Friends of Hearthstone, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 public charity.  Additional information about Hearthstone is available at its website, www.hearthstonemuseum.org.

 
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a little about the

Bricks

Dating from 1890 to 1930, the bricks dedicated to the Every Soldier’s Square project were manufactured by the Purington Brick Co. of East Galesburg, IL. Purlington was once the nation’s largest producer of pavers. Their bricks, renown for their durability, were used all over the country and, in fact, many of their bricks still line the Panama Canal.

The bricks were used along the Appleton trolley line which was the first commercially successful electric trolley line in the country.  When the trolley system could no longer compete against buses, many of the bricks were simply paved over.  The bricks were “rediscovered” in the 1960s when they were uncovered during street reconstruction.  That’s when Hearthstone’s connection to the bricks began.

When College Avenue in downtown Appleton was resurfaced, many of the bricks were excavated, hauled away, and simply dumped in the Fox River.  However, thousands found their way to the bluff behind Hearthstone.  Harold and Ruth Mares, who owned and lived in Hearthstone, had their four sons carry approximately 25,000 of the bricks up the bluff. The sons then cleaned and installed the bricks as the driveway around the house.

Fast forward to 2018, Hearthstone needed to remove many of the bricks to accommodate installation of a new parking lot.   Instead of having a salvage company bulldoze them up and cart them off to Madison or Milwaukee, where they would lose all of their historical significance and become just another commodity, the museum’s volunteers removed by hand, one brick at a time, over 13,000 of the nine pound bricks. In all, Hearthstone volunteers palletized 53 tons of bricks which were placed in storage for this project.

There can be no better use for these bricks than returning them to a public space literally within feet from where they once laid, where their history can be recognized and appreciated, and where they will serve an even greater purpose as part of the Every Soldier’s Square project.

 
Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.
— Abraham Lincoln
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