Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length



News: Here, in the dread tribunal of last resort, valor contended against valor. Here brave men struggled & died for the right as God gave them to see the right. - Adlai Stevenson

Author Topic: GAR Memorial Hall and Museum -- Aurora, Illinois  (Read 143 times)

emike123

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2138
    • Bullet and Shell
    • Email
GAR Memorial Hall and Museum -- Aurora, Illinois
« on: July 06, 2019, 05:34:30 PM »
One of the remnants of the Civil War up North are the handful of remaining GAR Halls.  I've been to a couple of them, but one of the handsomest is in Aurora, Illinois and only open 4 hours a week on Saturdays in the Summer.  We went down there today and it was pretty cool.  They have completed two phases of restoration and will start the third (which will renovate the lower level) any day now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEjqvPH_xz4&feature=youtu.be

Where the flowers are in the video is now the original marble statue of the "Recording Angel" whose story is told here:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/aurora-beacon-news/opinion/ct-abn-crosby-gar-angel-st-0330-20180329-column.html

That fellow Eric in one of the pictures was at the museum today and we were the only visitors at the time, although some had walked out right before.  The two cannon tubes by the door are 1861 dated 2.9" rifles from Tredegar (which provided guns and other things to the US up until the start of the war at which time production shifted to the Confederacy).

GAR Posts sprouted up all over the North and some even in the South.  There were scores of them in Illinois alone:

http://www.illinoiscivilwar.org/gar.html

I've been to the big one in Chicago and Springfield, but wonder how many of these buildings are still standing.  A good investigative project for somebody!

A couple weeks ago a friend across the border in Wisconsin sent me the Go Fund me donation link below for the only one that state still has.  I understand there is an old meeting room in the state Capitol, but technically this is the only known surviving free standing post left in that state.

https://www.gofundme.com/civil-war-preservation-in-wisconsin?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-156201954151-a217bd6f52a84399&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B1137-update-supporters-v5b
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 05:38:10 PM by emike123 »

redbob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 303
    • Email
Re: GAR Memorial Hall and Museum -- Aurora, Illinois
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2019, 05:58:21 PM »
I imagine that this was a very enjoyable way to spend the day, are there still many relics in the building?

emike123

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2138
    • Bullet and Shell
    • Email
Re: GAR Memorial Hall and Museum -- Aurora, Illinois
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2019, 06:50:43 PM »
There aren't that many, but enough to tell the stories they are trying to convey.  There are some interesting maps showing what battles the units with the local troops fought in which were quite extensive as well as some individual soldiers' stories during the war.

The only artillery projectile on display is a small spherical metal ball which looks a little small to be a 6pdr and the label accompanying it refers to it as a "steel" shot.  I have that guy Eric's card and if I get a decent 6pdr solid shot I think I'll contact him about replacing it.  He seemed more interested in the building's history and the GAR period than the war relics.

There used to be a zinc and cement soldier statue atop the building but it got dropped during one restoration and smashed "in a hundred pieces."  Its been put back together but is too heavy for the roof so they are going to cast a reproduction one out of something lighter and display the original inside.

redbob

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 303
    • Email
Re: GAR Memorial Hall and Museum -- Aurora, Illinois
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 07:12:55 PM »
After the bronze eagle was stolen from the local GAR plot (about 40 years ago) this year the SUVCW Post wanted to replace it and after they got prices for metal ones; they went with concrete. The irony of the location of this GAR plot is that it overlooks the grave site of one of Bedford Forrest's Colonels-Edmund Winchester Rucker. :)