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Monumental Bldg. Topic: CIVIL WAR, DOWNTOWN, LANDMARKS
Written by Rich Wallace in June, 1996

FROM A MONUMENTAL PAST TO A FUTURE WITH PROMISE

More than 130 years after it ended, it is difficult for present day Shelby Countians to appreciate the devastating impact the Civil War had on the county in the 1860's. Perhaps a statistic will help. Seventeen young men from Shelby County, Ohio died in the Vietnam Conflict. As terrible as that loss was, had the ratio of fallen soldiers to the population been the same as we experienced in the Civil War, 680 men would have not returned home.

It was, therefore, with an overwhelming sense of tragedy, (mixed with a steely determination to ensure that no one would ever forget their sacrifices), that the citizens throughout the county began to contemplate what would be an appropriate tribute for the men, both living and dead. Discussions were held in the community concerning the construction of an edifice that would appropriately honor the memory of the men who died to help preserve the Union. A town meeting was held to consider whether or not to erect a monument on the public square late in 1865, just after the end of the war. Local discussions on the subject continued on and off for several years.

In 1867, with public support high for a memorial, but with no firm concepts or plans, local men C.W. VanDegrift, B.F. Carey, G.B. McCabe and G.W. Frazier formed a committee to raise the money by means of a lottery. What grand plans the men had! The group acquired Carey Hall (in which Bob and Carol Stough's business, CR Frame Gallery, was once housed), to be given as first prize in the lottery.

 

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This is a photograph of Carey’s Hall, once home to CR Frame Gallery, it is now used by Studio Eleven, located at 102 East Poplar Street in Sidney. White’s Janitorial is next door and Sharon’s School of Dance is on the top floor.

 

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