Staff writer Duncan Adams brings us this story of a volunteer working to restore a landmark Franklin County statue that was smashed in a 2007 traffic wreck.
Volunteer restoring broken Confederate soldier statue in Franklin County
Damaged by a vehicle in 2007, the statue that was outside the courthouse is having its pieces restored and cracks repaired by a man with a keen interest in the War Between the States.
By Duncan Adams
The Confederate soldier’s head snapped off and much of the rest of him shattered into fragments big and small. Workers gathered the remnants, right down to the marble dust. And marble dust is one component of the mix of materials John Kirtley is using to help return the statue to something akin to a permanent whole.
On June 7, 2007, a pickup truck driven by a Rocky Mount man veered off South Main Street and crashed into the pedestal that displayed the statue on the lawn of the Franklin County Courthouse. The Italian marble tribute to the county’s Confederate dead toppled.
“It just busted all to pieces,” said Linda Stanley, special projects coordinator for the Franklin County Historical Society.
The statue had been dedicated Dec. 1, 1910, after a prolonged effort and fundraising campaign by the Jubal Early Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and member Essie Smith.
Stanley said many people grieved in 2007 about the monument’s destruction.