Posted By Norman Gasbarro on February 28, 2012
The Dauphin County Memorial to the Civil War is located in a park at 3rd Street and Division Streets near William Penn High School and near Italian Lake. It is now in the Uptown section of Harrisburg, north of what was once the entrance area to Camp Curtin. The monument stands about 110 feet high and is a single obelisk which resembles a smaller version of the monument to George Washington in Washington, D.C. The stone of the monument is native to the area and was cut from the banks of the Susquehanna River.
The monument inscription reads:
To the soldiers of Dauphin County who gave their lives for the life of the Union in the War for the Suppression of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. Erected by their fellow citizens, 1869.
The monument was originally located at the intersection of North 2nd Street and State Streets but in 1960, after years of deterioration, it was cleaned and restored and moved to the park where it presently resides.
While the monument inscription indicates that it was originally erected in 1869, the fact is that it was not completed until 1876 and before its completion, the “pile of stone” was an eyesore and embarrassment in downtown Harrisburg. The long, difficult struggle to get funding for the monument and complete it in a reasonable amount of time after the war will be discussed in a series of five posts beginning on 13 March 2012.
The monument only honors those who died while fighting in the war and does not recognize those who fought, survived, and returned.
Pictures of the monument in its original location can be found on post cards of early Harrisburg.