Borough founders cast in bronze

October 21, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - A crowd gathered at Fort Chambers Park on Saturday for the dedication ceremony of "The Homecoming," a statue honoring the founders of Chambersburg.

Members of the memorial statue committee, the Chambersburg Borough Council, and a descendent of the founder of Chambersburg, unveiled the statue, which depicts "The Homecoming" of 1781, when Chambersburg founder Benjamin Chambers welcomed home his son, James, a colonel, and his grandson, Benjamin, from their service in the Revolutionary War.

"This statue is an important and everlasting reminder of the sacrifices, which led to the founding of Chambersburg," Chambersburg Mayor Samuel Worley said. "This statue will serve as a reminder of the sacrifices so valiantly made, and will be a tribute and reflection to veterans of all wars."

Sculptor Wayne Hyde of Bedford, Pa., said he had the sculpture in his studio for more than a year.

"I wanted it to reflect the dedication and honor (veterans) deserve," Hyde said. "I hope this piece will help celebrate those in the future and the past that helped support this great nation."


Benjamin Chambers is the eighth generation grandfather of Katie Gartenberg. She presented remarks about the Chambers family during the ceremony.

"It's a sense of continuity from the past to the present and to the future," Gartenberg said. "I'm proud of my heritage and my family and of being from the town of Chambersburg."

"I think it's a wonderful statue," said Bob Windemuth, vice president of the Franklin County Historical Society. "It makes us remember the past, especially the period where they struggled so hard for this country."

The bronze statue is surrounded by a circle of concrete engraved pavers, which were sold to finance the statue. The total cost of the statue is $125,000, and $85,000 had been raised as of the dedication ceremony, said Thomas Newcomer, chairman of the memorial statue committee.

"This project is a project which reflects the community Chambersburg has," said Newcomer, explaining that a time capsule was placed in a 12-inch cubicle in the ground of the plaza around the statue.

The capsule will be unsealed in 2081, the 300th anniversary of the reunion depicted in "The Homecoming" statue.

Corporate pavers for the statue are available for a donation of $1,000, family/small business pavers are available for $500 and individual pavers are available for $50.

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