Posts Tagged ‘Angel of Victory by Kathy Arlt’

By Kathy Arlt, Contributing Writer @Blogfinger

First let’s answer the question: What’s there now? “There” is the foot of Main Avenue, on the beachfront.

But on the 4th of July, 1878, this statue was unveiled.

It was called the Angel of Victory, and it was erected to commemorate the centennial of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Monmouth (which, by the way, is re-enacted every June over in Manalapan). The area around the base of the statute was named Monmouth Place as part of the memorial.

Here’s a side view, looking north:

The July 6, 1878, Ocean Grove Record didn’t report on the unveiling—or even mention the statue’s existence. But fortunately the Asbury Park Journal contains a brief account of the event. “At sunrise the bells rang out their music and Gunner Waters made the windows rattle as he fired thirty-eight guns—one for each State. At 9:30 the procession formed in Woodlawn Park, the McKnight Rifles leading, followed by little boys bearing flags…. Then came the officials of Ocean Grove…. Upon the arrival at the foot of the avenue, the McKnight Rifles formed on the south side of the mound that has been raised…and in the centre of the mound, upon a good solid base of brick and cement a statue had been placed…. It is called the ‘Angel of Victory.’…Dr. Stokes accepted it for the Association in a good solid speech. At the word the statue was unveiled by Major Patterson [Ocean Grove’s first police chief]…the cannon fired, and the ceremony ended.”

Sadly, the statue proved not to be as solid as Dr. Stokes’s speech. Probably made from lead or zinc, it was no match for the elements. Just two years after the unveiling, the Angel of Victory needed to be removed for repairs, and in 1922—just 45 years after its unveiling—it collapsed into itself and was deemed irreparable.

But it’s not irreplaceable. Several years ago the Historical Society established a fund to reproduce the Angel of Victory; the original was also constructed with private donations. If you’ve taken part in one of the Historical Society’s Garden Tours, you’re already a contributor. If not, or if you’d like to donate even more—outdoor statues that are built to last are expensive, after all—the Historical Society (40 Pitman Avenue) will welcome your contribution.

And now, one last picture of the Angel of Victory, a postcard view from behind—in color.

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