The 147-year-old corroded marker pays homage to about 330 village and township residents who fought in the Civil War. About 50 people from the Milan area died during this war. During an outdoor presentation at the 33-foot-tall memorial, officials recently clued community members in about the $70,000 project.
Township officials contracted with Cleveland-based ICA Art Conservation to handle the work.
Among the project’s scope — slated to start in June, end around late summer and be rededicated sometime in the fall — include:
•Stripping down the eagle atop the pillar to the bare metal and restore it.
•Replacing the obelisk, or the top 7-foot rectangular, skinny column between the eagle and base, with an exact replica. This would include carving in all the veterans’ names. Officials located the quarry where the original stone was made almost 170 years ago. The same quarry will replace the obelisk with new stone.
The project includes:
•Injecting the monument’s sandstone base with grout, or plaster, to fill cracks and voids.
•Polishing up the entire tower.
Many if not all of the 50 or so community members attending the recent presentation seemed ecstatic with officials revitalizing a local landmark. “People need to know about this because this is where our country came from” said Norwalk resident Jim Haas, who also served in the U.S. Navy in the 1950s. “It’s important to preserve our heritage”
Some even ponied up money during the presentation.
Of the $12,000 privately raised thus far, former Milan Mayor Bob Bickley donated $5,000 and the Milan Rotary Club gave $4,000. Each trustee also vowed to pitch in some funds.
Milan Township officials seek to offset about half of the $70,000 cost by seeking out private donations.
Despite the uncertainty of funding, this project is still a go no matter what, township trustee Dan Frederick said.
“The trustees recognize how important Erie County’s participation in the Civil War was, and we want to ensure the future of the monument to preserve that heritage” Frederick said.
•Unveiled on July 4, 1867