From the Files of the Rochester Historical Society

At the Historical Society’s Museum there is lots of information about Rochester citizens who went to war for their country. Some of our scrapbooks include newspaper articles about men and women who served. There are clippings about veterans who have served in the Middle East and all the way back to the Revolutionary War.

            In her book, Mattapoisett and Old Rochester, Mary Hall Leonard writes. “It was said at the Rochester Bi-Centennial that it is a historical fact that Rochester furnished more men (to fight in the Revolutionary War) on proportion to territory than any other town in the Old Colony.”

            One soldier from Rochester was Major Elnathan Haskell who became one of General George Washington’s aides. In the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., there is a painting, “Surrender of General Burgoyne” and there is Haskell to the left of Washington.

            Rochester has official memorials to veterans from the past to the present. The Civil War Monument across from Town Hall honors 81 Civil War veterans from the community. In 1927, a town meeting appropriated $1,200 for the monument. In August 1928, the completed monument was dedicated by the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic). Some of the veterans who attended wore their Civil War uniforms.

            Monuments to soldiers who died fighting for their country are often made of stone, but they can also be the memories they leave behind. In the third Rochester Journal, Anna White put memories into words writing about her cousin, Raymond Coleburn Hartley, who died in 1945 in Burma after a direct hit to his foxhole. She offers quotes from many of his letters from the Front that exhibit the sense of humor for which he was known. Besides her words, he is also commemorated by a Rochester Woman’s Club Scholarship in his name and a cabin dedicated to him at Camp Farley, the 4H camp that was almost a rite of passage for Rochester’s young people pre-WWII.

By Connie Eshbach

Leave A Comment...