Bronx River Sentry
In celebration of the 4th of July, I came across this pretty quick page and thought that it would go well with the photo I had in mind. The photo is of the Bronx River Sentry, which I photographed while I was on a Trolly Tour of the Valentine-Varian House last December. This is some background info I found about the Soldier.
The statue was commissioned by a Morrisania veterans' group in the 1890's, to serve as a memorial marker in Woodlawn Cemetery, according to Lloyd Ultan, the Bronx borough historian. The pensive, gray-granite figure, attributed to a local sculptor named John Grignola, was chipped before it could be delivered, however, and the work was rejected.
The statue was later bought by John B. Lazzari, operator of a nearby tombstone quarry and stonecutter's yard, who displayed it on his lawn. Mr. Lazzari's property, on the west bank of the Bronx River, included a wooden footbridge held in place by a granite pier. A tapestry factory was later established on the east bank, and in the late 1890's, when tardy workers began using his footbridge as a shortcut to the factory, Mr. Lazzari had the bridge destroyed. The Civil War soldier was placed atop the granite pier, which still stood on a tiny island in the middle of the river.
Over the succeeding seven decades, the origins of the unmarked statue became the subject of much local speculation, and it remained unidentified or unmentioned in city guidebooks. The soldier began to lean forward as the L-shaped bolts holding it in place gave way, and it finally toppled into the river in 1964. It was rescued by the Parks Department and stored in a warehouse on Amsterdam Avenue until 1970, when the Bronx County Historical Society had it placed outside its office in the Valentine-Varian House, on Bainbridge Avenue and East 208th Street. It remains there today.
Supplies Used: Raspberry Road 'Lest We Forget' Quick Page
TYO 1776 COllection -- Tag, Word Art
JWH American City Collection -- Alphas
MJO Planet Earth Collection -- Butterfly