Statue moving to new location

The war memorial now located in front of the Brunswick County Museum will be moved to the Oakwood Cemetery in Lawrenceville. An agreement has been signed by the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors, Lawrenceville Town Council and the Brunswick Museum & Historical Society approving the new location. When you enter Oakwood Cemetery on 5th Avenue the monument will be located in the section to the right. (Sylvia Allen/Brunswick Times-Gazette)

LAWRENCEVILLE – An agreement has been signed by the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors, Lawrenceville Town Council and the Brunswick Museum & Historical Society to move the war memorial now located on courthouse-square to the Oakwood Cemetery.

The supervisors approved the agreement on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. The Lawrenceville Town Council voted to approve the agreement regarding the War Memorial pending the completion of Exhibit A, description of site, as flagged off and previously agreed on by members of the Lawrenceville Town Council, Historical Society and the County on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Rebecca Akers, President, Brunswick Museum & Historical Society, signed the agreement on Nov. 17, 2020. According to information provided by County Administrator Charlette T. Woolridge, Ph.D. the monument will be located in the South Chestnut Section of the cemetery.

Earlier the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors approved a bid submitted by Southside Grave & Vault, Inc./Newsom Monument Company from Clarksville to remove the Memorial War Veteran Monument from courthouse-square for $30,700 with a transport cost of $100 per mile. The breakdown is: removal of monument - $27,600, restoration of site - $2,100, other costs - $1,000. No decision was made regarding a new location for the monument.

Dr. Woolridge said Newsom Monument Company is a full service company that has been providing monuments and granite service for over a half a century. Southside Gravel & Vault, Inc. purchased Newsom Monument Company in 2006 from the third generation of the Newsom family, Wade Newsom.

The action was taken at the September meeting.

Earlier the supervisors rejected a bid for the work and voted to advertise the project again.

As background the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to remove the statue at a meeting held Wednesday, July 31, 2020. They authorized County Administrator Charlette T. Woolridge, Ph.D. to provide information on relocating the statue and other issues related to the removal of the statute at the board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at the Brunswick County Government Building.

Confederate monuments have been center stage at the national level. The tragic death of George Floyd by law enforcement officers sparked a national movement to address racial inequity and systemic racism. Monica McMillan made the request to remove the statue at the June board meeting speaking on behalf of concerned citizens.

At the meeting held Sept. 16, 2020 Rebecca L. Akers, President, Brunswick Museum & Historical Society, Inc., proposed a third location for the monument. She said they are working to come up with a viable solution. Earlier the organization proposed locating the statue at St. Mark’s Church at 24225 Christanna Highway or at the private home of David Dalton, 558 Woodsdale Drive, Alberta, VA, (Red Oak District).

Another location for the monument was also being considered near the Brunswick County/Greensville County line. The monument would be located in a family cemetery and the property owner agreed to allow the public access to view the monument.