The “Boy in Blue” Civil War memorial and fountain in Lincoln Park where Maud and her friends (famously known as Betsy, Tacy, and Tib) once played, is being rebuilt. On Monday, May 6th, work began on Phase One of the project, which includes the groundwork, infrastructure and ground level pool.
I watched with excitement as the backhoe reached down and unearthed the side of the original memorial base and foundation. Within seconds the stone foundation that had been laid 100 years ago could be seen. Also exposed was the water pipe that was in the center of the old fountain.
Beside the foundation was a circular brick housing that remained standing in what appeared to be perfect condition, buried for all these years. The housing surrounded the original water supply line that fed the fountain, and the pipe and faucet were still inside. The brick housing was covered with an iron manhole cover. The only other artifacts retrieved from the site were a few small broken, white pieces of a stoneware plate and an old Cony Lantern lid.
In a matter of a couple of hours the hole for the new foundation had been dug. I can’t help but wonder how long it must have taken for them to excavate this site in 1892.
The local television station reported on the discovery, which can be seen at: http://www.keyc.tv/story/22176714/history-unearthed-as-construction-begins-on-little-boy-blue
One third of the funds needed have been raised, enough to begin this first phase of the new memorial, which will be a replica of the original built in 1892 (the year Maud was born). The final two phases will be completed as funds are raised. Donations are currently being sought and more information can be found at www.boyinblue.org. Pictures can be found on the Boy in Blue Project Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BoyinBlueProject, so you can follow the progress.