Bostic War Memorial Garden, Forest City
The memorial garden, mostly an open lawn, is laid out on a north/south axis. It is framed by a rectangular concrete sidewalk. In the center is a short lectern shaped granite block with a metal plaque attached standing in front of a flag pole. The metal plaque is painted red and reads that the garden is sponsored by the Forest City Lions Club. A walkway encircles this feature. Intersecting the garden from all four sides are walkways that end at the center circle/sidewalk. Along all walkways, hundreds of small cement and metal shield-shaped markers have been placed. The shields are made of brass or bronze painted red and spaced every few feet. Each shield has the name, branch of service, birth and death year for a person lost in World War Two, Korea or Vietnam.
On the west side at one of the intersecting walkways are two bronze plaques on short concrete bases. The larger plaque lists men from Rutherford County who died in World War One. The smaller plaque lists additional sponsors for shields added after World War Two.
The evolution of the garden began in December 1944 when the Forest City Lions Club started planting Memorial Avenue, next to the cemetery, with more than 140 trees for those who had died in World War Two. A cement and metal shield was placed at each tree which lined both sides of the street. Few if any of these trees remain today. Once the garden was created the markers were relocated. Identical markers were made for the Korean War and Vietnam War dead.
Images: WWI plaque | WWII plaque | Korean and Vietnam wars plaque | Center circle | Cement and metal shield-shaped markers
Memorial Garden Plaque: BOSTIC MEMORIAL GARDEN / IN HONOR OF / WORLD WAR II DEAD / SPONSORED BY / FOREST CITY LIONS CLUB
World War One Plaque: IN MEMORY OF THE / RUTHERFORD COUNTY MEN WHO / GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WORLD WAR I / [Left column] LOX CARVER / JOE EARLY / JOHN FRANKLIN / YATES GREER / MARION GRAY / MARTIN L. GRAY / BAXTER GUFFEY / BROADUS HAMES / BROADUS HAMRICK / MARION HAWKINS / WILLIAM HENDERSON / BARNEY HOPPER / JAY HUDSON / ROBERT HUNTLEY / JOSEPH L. HUNTLEY / HELON LANE / RUSSELL LOGAN / FAY LONG / [Right column] SAMUEL R. LONG / JAMES W. LONG / HUGHEY L. MARTIN / BAXTER MELTON / RALEIGH PRICE / STAMEY RANDALL / JAMES R. RIDDINGS / FESTUS ROBERTS / CHARLES L. SANE / PERRY SISK / EDWARD SKIPPER / HELYON Y. SORRELLS / ADDIE B. STREET / WILLIS TOWERY / WILL VICKERS / FRED WILLIAMS / HENRY WITHROW / ROSCOE YOUNT / [Bottom center] SPONSORED BY VFW POST 5204
Korea and Vietnam: THE MEMORIAL PLAQUES FOR THE / RUTHERFORD COUNTY MEN WHO GAVE / THEIR LIVES IN THE KOREAN AND / VIETNAM WARS ARE SPONSORED BY: / AMERICAN LEGION POST 74 / VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS POST 5204 / DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS CHAPTER 25
Town of Forest City
Circa December 1944
35.339160 , -81.871060 View in Geobrowse
Davis, Anita Price and Walker, James M. “Forest City: Images of American,” (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2005), 25,27, (accessed May 24, 2017) Link
North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Department of Cultural Resources. "West Main Street Historic District, Forest City, Rutherford County, RF0447, Listed 12/20/2006," (accessed August 6, 2020) Link
“West Main Street Historic District,” Living Places, livingplaces.com, (accessed May 26, 2017) Link
Bronze, granite, concrete
Memorial Garden: Forest City Lions Club. Plaque to World War One dead: VFW Post 5204. Plaque(s) to Korean and Vietnam Dead: American Legion Post 74, VFW Post 5204 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 25
The World War I plaque has two names, Marian Gray and James R. Riddings, not listed on the similar 1924 marker located on E. Main Street. Riddings is a misspelling. A Draft Registration card and the List of Men Ordered to Report for Military Duty show that the correct spelling is Ridings. Names on this plaque are in alphabetical order top to bottom and left to right to include the one black soldier Henry Withrow. On the E. Main street plaque he is listed separately with the abbreviation “COL.” next to his name.
The War Memorial Garden may be accessed from either Memorial Drive or Wingo Street. From the parking lot off Memorial Dr. the garden is located at the rear of the cemetery but facing Wingo Street on the east side of the Cool Springs Cemetery, at 382 W Main St, Forest City, NC 28043.
The cemetery is mostly open lawn with scattered mature trees. Several Crepe Myrtles line the north edge of the garden. Burial sites with tombstones surround the garden on three sides.