Historical Commission votes to consider certain monuments to be considered historically significant

The vote allows the Community Preservation Committee to fund monument repairs. 

WESTFIELD – The Historical Commission voted unanimously Monday, April 19 to declare that several monuments in Westfield have historic value for the purpose of securing funding to have the monuments cleaned and repaired. 

Historic Commission Chair Cindy Gaylord said that Westfield Veteran’s Grave Officer Gene H. Theroux is seeking to do repairs on significant gravestones and monuments that have deteriorated throughout the city. Gaylord said that Theroux was looking to repair the Gen. Shepard statue and Civil War monument at Park Square, several monuments in Pine Hill Cemetery, and at least one monument on Southampton Road.

“Gene Theroux works hard to restore the gravestones of veterans in the city,” said Gaylord, “Before they can grant him the money, we have to vote that we find these monuments to be historic so the CPC can give the funding.”

Gaylord said that Theroux has learned how to repair some of these monuments on his own. Some of the larger ones, like the Grand Army of the Republic monument in Pine Hill Cemetery, will require extra help. 

She said the General Shepard statue may cost $30,000 to repair. The Civil War monument will cost about $15,000. 

During a Community Preservation Committee meeting April 8, Theroux said that the Grand Army of the Republic monuments are graffitied and stained, and the largest stone is separating at the seam.

“At the GAR monument there are 14 smaller monuments that we are going to raise and level out,” said Theroux. 

He said he had a conservator look at some of the monuments throughout Westfield and found that some of the plaques cannot be read anymore because of how much corrosion they have. The Historic Commission voted unanimously to consider any monument that Theroux wants to repair as historically significant. This allows the CPC to fund the cleaning and repair projects.

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