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Downtown Athens Ohio Walking Tour
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Erected in 1893, this monument honors the 2,610 men of Athens who served the Union in the Civil War. The monument was funded by donations raised by veterans organizations and women's auxiliaries. The monument features a Union soldier at the ready, and originally included a canon and pyramid of cannon balls. Demonstrating the cyclical nature of history, these metal relics were collected during a city-wide metal scrap drive during World War II. The monument is located on the public land that serves as a divider between the town of Athens and Ohio University.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument stands at the gateway of Ohio University

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument stands at the gateway of Ohio University
Athens resident and former Ohio Union officer Charles H. Grosvenor led the effort to create the monument in the early 1890s after previous efforts by the Grand Army of the Republic and local residents had fallen short of their fundraising goals. Thanks largely to the women of Athens, and with the promise of Ohio University to maintain the monument in perpetuity, $18,000 was raised and the monument was dedicated in 1893. 

The monument was enhanced in 1907, with the addition of several cannons and a pile of cannonballs. During World War II, these items were selected to be part of a scrap metal drive with proceeds benefitting the United Service Organization. According to a story that ran on October 7, 1942, in the Ohio University Post: "In accordance with President (Franklin) Roosevelt's request, the former landmarks were turned over in the nationwide scrap metal campaign. Two cannons and approximately 50 cannonballs were sold to a local scrap dealer for $120.41. The money was turned over to the USO."

"Soldier Monument, Ohio University Commons, Athens, Ohio." (2016) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved December 19, 2016, from Ohio Civil War Central:

DeWitt, David. "Who disarmed campus Civil War monument? No one seems to know." Athens News, September 11, 2011.