Where in the Hudson Valley

It's a large cross to bear... but do you know where it is and what it was once made of?



A Massive Monument

Towering just under 36 feet high, this giant Celtic cross is said to be the largest of its kind in the nation. Originally built in 1917, the monument was erected as a memorial to the more than 100 local soldiers who died during World War I.

At the time of its construction, the cross caused something of a stir both locally and nationally. Hailing it as “one of the most impressive monuments erected in this country in honor of the men who are giving up their lives in the great war,” Popular Mechanics Magazine discussed the cross’s unusual attributes in their October 1918 issue. Built around a steel frame, the structure measures seven feet square at its base; its foundation sinks 10 feet into the ground. The interior of the monument included a brick flue, which helped drain moisture that might accumulate inside the cross. The arms were 20 feet wide, and the four blocks that formed the halo weighed over one ton apiece. Total cost of construction: $4,000, all of which was raised through donations. (Miniature models of the cross were presented to donors in return for their gifts.) Up until about 1963, Memorial Day Mass was celebrated outdoors in front of the imposing monument.

Although repair work was done to the cross in the late 1930s, by the 1990s the monument was in danger of collapsing. With help from a local charitable trust, the structure was dismantled and rebuilt in 1993 in solid granite, and should last “for thousands of years,” according to one of the trustees.

Do you know where in the Hudson Valley this Celtic cross is located? And can you guess what material was used for its original construction? If you think you’ve got the answer to both of these questions, email us at edit@hvmag.com. We’ll give a small prize to the first person who’s right on both counts. (Look for the answers in next month’s issue.)

 

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