Spanish American War Monument
The Spanish American War Monument
No, the war monuments in Houlton’s Monument Park are not part of the museum.
However, in this particular case we would like to explain what this boulder from Linneus and the plaques fashioned to it are all about.
The Spanish American War was an armed conflict between Spain and the United States in 1898.
On February 15th 1898 an explosion caused the
USS Maine to sink in Havana Harbor, Cuba.
267 Officers and men died in the explosion of the USS Maine and remain on duty to this day.
The phrase "Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain!" became a rallying cry for action and for the nation, and the country soon found it's self at war.
It remained submerged, one of its masts still visible above the water for over a decade, see image.
In 1911, Congress authorized the raising of the Maine to investigate the cause of the explosion, recover remains, and clear the wreckage from the harbor.
USS Maine under water in Havana Harbor, Cuba
During the recovery and investigation, metal was salvaged from the ship and used to create memorial plaques.
USS Maine memorial plaques were commissioned by the Bureau of Engraving.
Each plaque is numbered and stamped on the reverse.
This plaque in Houlton bears the number 215.
The plaque is embossed with the following:
"In Memoriam / U.S.S. Maine / Destroyed in Havana Harbor / February 15th 1898 / This tablet is cast from metal recovered from the U.S.S. Maine."
The tablet has a twisted rope border.
On the right side is a female figure clothed in a robe, wearing a helmet, carrying a shield, and her right arm outstretched towards a palm branch.
The circular shield has Patriotism and Devotion in a circle of stars surrounding a seal.
The seal has the shield of the United States below an eagle clutching arrows in its talons.
Below the shield is a laurel branch and an oak leaf branch. In the background of the plaque can be seen the mast and remnants of the sinking Maine.
Want to learn more about the USS Maine?
Check out "Remembering the Maine" by Peggy & Harold Samuels.
In this historical book the authors uncover the real story behind one of the longest unsolved military mysteries in the United States.
With a library card one can easlier check this book out of our very own Cary Library.
Call number 973.8
A "Cowl" is part of a "Dorade Box" or a "Dorade Vent" and is part of a ships ventilation system.
It allows fresh air to the engine room and other areas while keeping water out.
The Cowl to the left is from the actual USS Maine and is a prized part of the Museums military collection.