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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    USS Maine Memorial, Tarboro

  • Type

    War Memorial

  • Subjects

    Spanish-American War, 1898

  • Creator

    Charles Keck, Sculptor

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    This tombstone-shaped memorial honors the U.S.S. Maine, which was sunk in Havana Harbor shortly before the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. The memorial has two brass plaques: one has an inscription; the other depicts Liberty with a cap and shield saluting the U.S.S. Maine as it sinks into the ocean. There are multiple plaques identical to this one around the country, all of them cast from the bronze of the battleship and with the same inscription.

    Image: Inscriptions

  • Inscription

    Upper plaque: In Memoriam / U.S.S. Maine / Destroyed in Havana Harbor / February 15th 1898 / This tablet cast from metal recovered from the U.S.S. Maine

    Lower plaque: Placed by / John W. Cotten / Camp No. 9 and Auxiliary / United Spanish / War Veterans

  • Dedication Date


  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.900730 , -77.535320 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "U.S.S. Maine Memorial," The Historical Marker Database,, (accessed June 2, 2011) Link

      "USS Maine Monument, Tarboro NC,", (accessed June 24, 2012) Link

      Baker, James. Nineteenth Report of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 64th Cong., 2nd sess., 1916, S. Doc 710, (accessed February 1, 2012) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, stone

  • Sponsors

    The monument was placed by John W. Cotton of Camp No. 9 and Auxiliary United States War Veterans.

  • Subject Notes

    The USS Maine was sent to protect U.S. interests during Cuba's revolt against Spain. She exploded in the Havana harbor unexpectedly and without explanation in February 1898. Inflammatory articles blamed Spain and "Remember the Maine" became a rallying cry during the Spanish-American War.

  • Location

    The memorial is at the intersection of St Andrew Street and East Wilson Street, on the right when traveling north on St Andrew Street, Tarboro, NC. It is located in the town common that was established in 1760 by the legislative act which crated the colonial town of Tarboro. Several other memorials are located nearby, including Edgecombe County Confederate Monument and Henry Lawson Wyatt Memorial Fountain.

  • Landscape

    The memorial stands in a large park, Tarboro’s Town Common that is one of two remaining original town commons in the United States, the other one being in Boston.

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