Painted bowling balls stand in place of stolen cannonballs on the Union Army monument in New California.
The actual cannonballs are about the size of a coffee mug.
(Posted Dec. 15, 2011)
At the beginning of the 1950s, pranksters pilfered the powderless cannonballs that decorated the Union Army monument installed in New California in 1913. The Plain City Historical Society has launched a campaign to get the cannonballs back.
Bernie Vance, president of the Historical Society, asks that anyone who has any of the cannonballs bring them to the Historical Society office at 111 W. Main St., Plain City, during regular business hours or call (614) 570-2962 to arrange a pick-up. Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous may call Bill Wayson at (614) 873-3317 with information or to return a cannonball.
An original cannonball was recently returned to the Societys collection. It is slightly larger than a baseball, but shells like that wreaked death and destruction in Civil War battles.
The missing cannonballs were replaced by bowling balls on the monument. The bowling balls are much larger than the original shells used in Civil War cannons, and they detract from the authenticity of the memorial. Many of them are losing their paint, as well.
The monument, officially titledSoldier at Parade Rest, stands at the corner of Industrial Parkway and Route 42. In-stalled on May 30, 1913, at the bequest of Robert L. Woodburn before an assembled crowd of 300 citizens, it cost $1,500 and was sculpted by the Monumental Bronze Co. of Bridgeport, Conn. It has been a landmark at that corner ever since.
The monument is dedicated to veterans of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Spanish-American War and the Civil War. It displays names of local veterans from those conflicts. The statue depicts a union soldier, and the monument bears this inscription:Our Jerome Township Heroes in honor of the men who served in the army of the Union; those who fought and lived and those who fought and died. May this shaft ever call to memory the story of the glory of the men who wore the blue.
Its location in what was then thecity of New California was prompted by the fact that 367 men from Jerome Township joined the Union cause, giving it one of the highest per capita rates in the nation for service in the Civil War. Seventeen of those veterans are buried in the communitys small cemetery.
The Historical Society is especially interested in recovering the cannonballs during the years 2011 to 2015 in which the 150th anniversary of the Civil War is being commemorated.