NO. R-172.  House concurrent resolution commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Soldiers Memorial Building in Stowe.

(H.C.R.114)

Offered by:  Representative Marron of Stowe.

Offered by:  Senator Bartlett of Lamoille County.

Whereas, memorials to a community’s hometown soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in time of war are dignified and respectful, but they normally are not designed for the living to use them in any practical manner, and

Whereas, in 1900, Henry George Thomas, a Civil War veteran of Company E, Third Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Infantry, established the Stowe Soldiers Memorial Association to finance a memorial honoring the town’s Civil War veterans, and

Whereas, in developing a proposal for this memorial, Thomas consulted his cousin, Stowe native and fellow Civil War veteran Healy Akeley, who served in the 2nd Regiment, Michigan Cavalry, who responded “it is better to do something for the living than to try and do anything for the dead,” and

Whereas, Akeley’s perspective proved persuasive as the association decided to construct a Soldiers Memorial Building, and not a statuary monument, which was dedicated on August 19, 1903 at a festive ceremony with featured speakers U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and former Iowa Governor, the Hon. Leslie M. Shaw, who spent his youth in Stowe, and Vermont U.S. Representative, the Hon. D.J. Foster, and

Whereas, the Soldiers Memorial Building is a handsome structure built in a neoclassical-colonial style, containing municipal office and support services space, a memorial hall intended for patriotic purposes, an opera-house auditorium, two cells for local malefactors, and is also now home to the Stowe Historical Society, and

Whereas, Akeley generously endowed the full construction cost of $48,758.27, an amount that was $24,000.00 greater than his intended gift, and

Whereas, the ashes of both Healy Akeley and Henry Thomas, the two individuals most responsible for the Soldiers Memorial, were laid to rest within the building upon their respective deaths, and

Whereas, Healy Akeley’s directive, “Build it well, and build it nice, so that the town won’t be ashamed of it in a hundred years,” has proven its worth as on the centennial anniversary of the Soldiers Memorial Building, the citizens of Stowe remain proud of this magnificent and most useful edifice, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is pleased to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Soldiers Memorial Building in Stowe, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Alison Lewis, Stowe town clerk.