—Est. 1725 —
Honoring New Hampshire History
The State House grounds hold the state's foremost display of sculpture and memorials, many fashioned from local granite.
After Concord became the state capital in 1808, its citizens donated land to erect a state house. The lot was sufficiently large that the capitol has always enjoyed a spacious front yard. For many years, it was known as State House Park. Initially, a wooden fence enclosed the site; a cast-iron fence later replaced it. The existing broad, granite retaining wall has enclosed the grounds since 1915.
The first statue, depicting Daniel Webster, appeared in 1886. Others soon joined it, as did the handsome memorial arch that provides a formal entry onto the grounds and commemorates Concord's soldiers and sailors. The post-World War II years have brought additional memorials dedicated to veterans and law enforcement officers.
John Gilbert Winant
J. Brett Grill, sculptor
New Hampshire's governor during the Great Depression, John Winant promoted reforms for working class families. In 1935 President Roosevelt appointed him to develop the new Social Security program, after which he served as the ambassador to Great Britain during World War II.
John Parker Hale
Politician and lawyer John Hale (1806-1873) was a U.S. representative and senator from New Hampshire who took an early and forceful stand against slavery. Here he appears in an ordinary dress coat of the day, extending his right arm as if addressing an audience. Hale's statue was cast at the same foundry in Germany as Daniel Webster's to ensure matching finishes and proportions.
The names of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War (added later) soldiers from Concord who died in the course of duty are carved into three abutting tablets.
Commodore George Hamilton Perkins
Daniel Chester French, sculptor
Henry Bacon, memorial designer
Commodore George Perkins served with Captain David Farragut in the Civil War and was one of three men sent ashore to arrange for the surrender of New Orleans.
The tablet below the statue, which depicts Perkins in naval dress, details his military service, further illustrated on two bronze tablets. Another nearby example of famed sculptor and New Hampshire native Daniel Chester French is the intricate frontispiece over the entrance to the New Hampshire Historical Society building on Park Street.
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch
Peabody & Stearns, architects
advice on sitting and design procured from renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the City of Concord erected this 33' high, arched entry with wing walls to honor its soldiers and sailors who served their country.
The granite arch features carved wreaths, shields, waving banners and a Civil War Gatling gun on top.
The memorial also marks the boundary between city and state property.
NH Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
Emile Birch, sculptor
"The Eternal Shield" is a complex assemblage of star-shaped forms honoring law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
The star symbolizes a police badge, while the flame represents the life that was sacrificed. Encapsulated within the center star is a badge from every law enforcement agency in the state.
This full-size replica of the Liberty Bell, including an outline of its crack, is one of fifty-three com-missioned by the U.S. Treasury and funded by six American mining companies. The Ford Motor Company transported the bells to each state to promote a seven-week savings-bond campaign in 1950. The original bell is in Philadelphia's Independence National Historical Park. Since it was cast in 1753, it has been an iconic symbol of American freedom and independence.
Thomas Ball, sculptor
John A. Fox, pedestal designer
The most famous lawyer, orator and statesman of his day, New Hampshire native Daniel Webster (1782-1852) represented this state and later Massachusetts in Congress and served as Secretary of State under three presidents.
Thomas Ball, who designed several statues of Webster shortly after his death, depicts him in a dress suit standing in front of a stack of books. This bronze cast, which weighs 2,000 pounds, was made in Munich, Germany.
General John Stark
Carl Conrads, sculptor
John A. Fox, pedestal designer
This bronze statue portrays General Stark in the military dress of a Revolutionary War soldier. His left hand holds a tricorner hat, and a sword hangs at his side. The state's most famous Revolutionary War soldier and hero of the battles of Bunker Hill and Bennington, Stark coined the phrase "Live free or die" in 1809; New Hampshire adopted it as its motto in 1945.
Augustus Lukeman, sculptor
A lawyer and hero in the Mexican War, Franklin Pierce is the only president to hail from New Hampshire. He served in the White House 1853-1857. Here he is portrayed with one hand on his hip and the other on a reeded column draped with an American flag.
Lukeman, together with Daniel Chester French, also designed the Pulitzer Prize gold medal. Pierce's Concord house (14 Horseshoe Pond Lane) is open to the public.
Interested in Concord's Downtown history?
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