Children sit before the the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Washington Square Park, from South Clinton Ave, Rochester, NY.

Circa 1904.

 

Dedicated on Memorial Day,1892, by President William Harrison, the Solidiers' and Sailors' Monument in Washington Square Park commemorated those Rochesterians who gave their lives during the Civil War.

The monument and park would host many of Rochester's political rallies and speeches, from Frederick Douglass to the protest of the Vietnam War, the Occupy Rochester movement and the recent immigration ban.

 

The land that makes up Washington Square Park was originally owned by one of Rochester's earliest settlers and entrepreneurs, Elisha Johnson, who proposed his property as the site for the city's first courthouse. After his property was not chosen, he donated the land (80 acres in total) to the city.


Ironically, Elisha Johnson (Rochester's fifth mayor),  later moved to Tennessee along with his brother, Dr. Ebenezer Johnson (Buffalo's first mayor). Both owned the Tellico Iron Works and played a part in the war by supplying the Confederates munitions. Upon destroying their iron ore mine, General Sherman pardoned Elisha Johnson based on his northern origin. Elisha returned to Ithaca, where he died in 1866.


Present-day view would be from South Clinton Avenue, click here.

Washington Square, Rochester, N.Y.

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