Print

Monument Park

(originally known as Post Park)

 

The small triangle of land was originally designed to hold the statue of C W Post.

 

Post was a cereal manufacturer and land developer in Battle Creek, who built the Post Addition on the city’s east side and several major buildings in the downtown area – corner of McCamly and Michigan Avenues – Post Theater, Post Building, Marjorie Block – between 1900 and 1913.

 

After his death in 1914 the citizens of Battle Creek raised money and commissioned a monument to Post – originally built facing downtown, to reflect the contribution he had made to the downtown landscape (originally where Sojo monument now stands) – statue completed and dedicated in 1916.

 

The second monument in what came to be called Monument Park, is the Stone History Tower. This is the inspiration of J H Brown, historian, editor, experimental farmer and organizer of escorted auto tours in the 1920s. He planned the Tower as a memorial to the history of the area, including stones collected on his auto tours to the East Coast (Plymouth Rock, etc) and stones sent to him from around the country. Every stone in the Tower means something and represents a person or event in local or national history. Unfortunately we have lost Brown’s diagram, so we no longer know exactly which stones are which.

 

The Stone History Tower was dedicated in 1938.

 

In 1997 citizens of Battle Creek celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sojourner Truth. At the end of the year they wanted to build a permanent memorial to her. California artist Tina Brown was commissioned to design a larger-than-life statue of Truth. The statue was finished and dedicated in 1999.

 

To put the Sojourner monument in the corner nearest the city, the C W Post statue was moved to its present location –facing the Post Addition.

 

The 12-foot Sojourner monument is cast bronze. She stands at a podium, showing her giving an anti-slavery lecture. This is how she is most famous since she traveled around the country giving speeches for almost 40 years. Behind the statue are three plaques. Two plaques have her sayings and the middle plaque shows her signature. The original of this signature – the only thing we know of that she ever wrote – is at Kimball House. The “macquette” or small scale model of the monument, is also at Kimball House. The macquette was done before the final, large statue was done, so it could be seen and approved by the people of Battle Creek before the final version was cast in bronze.

 

There are celebrations every year at the monument to remember Sojourner, especially on the anniversary of her death in November 1883. Groups meet here for other celebrations and tours – there has even been a wedding at the Sojourner monument.