Unmarked monument memorializes Vietnam

September 10, 2009
By

David Taber

JP hosts memorials to Revolutionary, World Wars, too

While the Civil War monument is the most prominent war memorial in the Jamaica Plain, there are others, including an unmarked monument to commemorate those slain in the Vietnam War a stones throw from Monument Square.

In a 1995 article available on the Jamaica Plain Historical Society web site (www.jphs.org), Reiskind noted that seven trees planted on the lawn in front of Curtis Hall at 20 South St.—joining one previously planted tree—are intended to commemorate fallen soldiers from the Vietnam War.

“…[T]his memorial is of its time; a living monument, not of stone but of green; no names are inscribed, indeed no words at all are attached to the memorial…,” Reiskind wrote.

Reiskind reported that JP hosted an annual Vietnam War Veterans parade until the early 1980s.

A recent Gazette visit to Curtis Hall found eight trees in apparent good health. As Reiskind wrote, there was no inscription indicating the site was a war memorial. In 1997, though, the city of Boston apparently dedicated the lawn to Richard B. Fowler, naming it “Mr. Fowler’s Garden.”

Fowler, who died the same year at the age of 81, was the owner of Ask Mr. Fowler Real Estate and Insurance Company at 734 Centre St. He sat on the board of the Faulkner Hospital and the Brewery Development Company—the oversight board for the Jamaica Plain Development Corporation’s development of the Brewery Complex on Amory Street. He also chaired the Boston Zoning Commission and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board.

Fowler served in World War II. That war and World War I are memorialized by a five-foot granite stone at the center of the traffic circle where Centre Street meets the Arborway. “The fallen are remembered solemnly, but the Town of West Roxbury [which included JP and erected the Civil War monument. See related article.] did not exist anymore as a separate municipality, and Victorian ostentation was no longer in style,” Reiskind wrote of that monument.

The Revolutionary War is also memorialized in JP, by a rock with a plaque on it sitting in the grass next to the Civil War monument.