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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Wilson County Courthouse Memorial Drinking Fountain, Wilson

  • Type

    War Memorial

  • Subjects

    Revolutionary War

    Civil War

    Veterans of Multiple Wars

  • City

    Wilson

  • County

    Wilson

  • Description

    The monument is a modified granite triptych. It is located at the south corner of Wilson County’s Courthouse to the right of the courthouse steps, if one is facing the building. The granite is white. The center portion of the triptych is a relief sculpture of two unfurled flags, crossed at the center of each shaft. The flags are the Stars and Stripes and the flag of the Confederate States of America. Beneath the flags is the bronze plaque with an inscription (shown below). To either side of the center structure are two smaller tower-like structures, connected by a thin wall of granite. Each of the smaller towers were initially drinking fountains, but have since been replaced by small pyramid caps mirroring the one topping the largest tower. The center panel has remained unaltered.

  • Inscription

    Front: “TO THE / VALOR / OF WILSON COUNTY / SOLDIERS”

    Rear: Erected by the John W. Dunham Chapter U.D.C. and the Thomas Hadley Chapter D.A.R. November 11, 1926

  • Dedication Date

    November 11, 1926

  • Decade

    1920s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.725210 , -77.910230 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Wilson County Courthouse Memorial Drinking Fountain," in Durwood Barbour Collection of North Carolina Postcards (P077), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      Boykin, J. Robert. Historic Wilson in Vintage Postcards. (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003)

      Butler, Douglas. North Carolina Civil War monuments: an illustrated history (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2013).

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Granite, Bronze

  • Sponsors

    The John W. Dunham Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (U.D.C.) and the Thomas Hadley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.).

  • Subject Notes

    The memorial was a joint effort between the UDC and the DAR to honor Wilson’s veterans from both the Revolutionary and the Civil Wars. There is no mention of the Confederate States of America, other than the depiction of the Confederate Battle Flag. At its original creation, the monument was a water fountain located in front of the courthouse, with separate faucets for whites and blacks. In 1960, the fountains were removed, as were all traces of segregation from the monument itself. Since then, it is only a fountain in name.

  • Location

    Located in front of the Wilson County Courthouse, to the right of the entrance. Facing East Nash Street and adjacent to East Goldsboro Street.

  • Landscape

    The monument rests on a concrete slab adjacent to the sidewalk that runs along East Nash Street in front of the courthouse. Behind the monument lays a small area landscaped with some small shrubs and trees.

    However, this has not been the landscaping surrounding the monument the entirety of its existence. Early postcards and images show this area as having been covered in grass rather than the shrubs currently surrounding the monument.

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