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Confederate Memorial and Constitution Oak

1883/1902 (corner of East Main and North Franklin Streets)

 

“This monument means much, though not a soldier sleeps directly beneath its shadow.”

                                                                                                            -Rev. Thomas Hooper, 1891

The Confederate war memorial, a 15-foot obelisk, was dedicated in 1883 to honor Montgomery County’s Confederate soldiers. The inscription, faded by time, reads:

TO THE MEMORY
OF MONTGOMERY’S SONS
WHO FELL IN THE
LOST CAUSE
AND TO
ALL THE CONFEDERATE DEAD
WHO LIE BENEATH HER SOIL.
THIS MONUMENT
IS ERECTED BY HER DAUGHTERS
1861-1865.

 

The Constitution Oak next to the monument was one of forty-five saplings given to the delegates of Virginia’s 1901-1902 Constitutional Convention. The 1902 constitution marked the resurgence of Democratic control of the state, replacing the Reconstruction-era constitution of 1870 and ushering in an era of Jim Crow segregation policies that would shape racial interactions in Virginia until the 1960s. Montgomery County treasurer and Confederate veteran Arthur O. Sullivan planted the tree in 1902. It was saved from a road widening plan by Christiansburg citizens in 1960.

 

Confederate Monument

Members of the county homegroup, including N. V. Correll, G. N. Garnaund, June 3, 1905.

Monument and Bank House

The monument with the old Bank of Christiansburg and the newly-planted Constitution Oak, c. 1912-1915.
(photos courtesy of the D. D. Lester Collection)

 

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