< Gouverneur Stories — The Gouverneur Memorial Arch
Photo: Amy Cook 2018
Click the image to magnify.
The Gouverneur Memorial Arch was built in the center of the downtown village park in 1905. The effort was funded by the local Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) from the proceeds of special postcards printed with the architect's design for the arch.
Close to 200 families made additional donations. Their names were placed on a list that was sealed inside the cornerstone before it was laid.
The memorial arch was dedicated on August 30, 1905, as part of the town's Centennial celebration.
Over the arch is engraved "Lest We Forget," the theme and purpose of the monument. Various plaques list the names of Gouverneur's first settlers from 1805-1807, and local residents who lost their lives during the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
The bronze eagle on top of the arch was not part of the original design. It was a contribution by Jennie Dean in 1906. In 1911, the roof top of the arch was repaired to prevent water from leaking into the structure and funds were raised to light the arch and eagle with over 280 colored lights.
The 5 foot high, 9 foot span, over 570 lb bronze eagle was pushed off its perch in August 1988 by three young vandals causing over $17,000 of damage. The Tribune Press led a community fund raising campaign for repairs. Conservator, Douglass D. Kwart, Yonkers was contracted for the Monumental repairs.
Twenty- one months later the eagle returned to its perch with rebuilt armature and a new coat of gold leaf at a rededication ceremony on Memorial Day, 1990.