Events celebrating Minute Man monument set April 26
Published 10:22 am, Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Westport's most famous symbol -- the 105-year-old Minute Man monument -- will be celebrated April 26 with a series of events marking its history and recent restoration.
The monument, unveiled in 1910, depicts a Revolutionary War "Minute Man" infantryman, muzzle-loader in hand and on the lookout for British troops returning from the Battle of Danbury. The statue was designed by H. Daniel Webster and cast by Tiffany & Co. Commemorating local militia who took on invading British troops in April 1777, it was restored in a months-long project last year.
The planned celebration follows the annual Minute Man Race and its associated events, sponsored by the Westport Young Woman's League, at Compo Beach starting at 8 a.m.
Events saluting the monument are planned at several locations around town from noon to 5 p.m. The activities, open to the public, include:
- Noon-1:45 p.m.: Meet Westport Historical Society docents at the Ned Dimes Marina for guided tours and talks on the history of the Minute Man, with a stop at the Revolutionary War cemetery and the Minute Man monument. Tours depart every 15 minutes from noon to 1:30 p.m. Open to the public, $10 suggested donation for adults; youth, 12 and under free (net proceeds will be donated to the care of the monument).
- 1-5 p.m.: Visit a re-created Revolutionary militia encampment on Jesup Green next to the Westport Library, with historical context about the American Revolution provided by the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution color guards who will give musket demonstrations. Free.
- 2:30 p.m.: Learn how Francis Miller restored the Minute Man monument, which was commissioned by the state and the Sons of the American Revolution in 1910, in a presentation by Town Curator Kathie Bennewitz and the Westport Arts Advisory Committee at the Westport Library. Free.
- 3 p.m.: History lecturer Ed Hynes will make a presentation at the library about the Danbury Raid -- when British troops came ashore at what is now Compo Beach on April 25, 1777, attacking settlements en route north. Free.
The monument programs are sponsored by the Westport Historical Society, Westport Arts Advisory Committee and the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.