Memorial contents found in good condition

The 60-year-old scroll removed from the Wicomico County War Memorial last month is in remarkably good condition, with names of those who died in military battle neatly typed on it, and space for more.

Made of parchment, it was protected in a piece of pipe and encased in the memorial on Route 13 at Priscilla Street.

It was removed with hopes of adding another 34 or so names to the existing 156, according to Greg Peeples, chairman of the war memorial committee, who posted details on the memorial’s Facebook page.

Vicki Lee, director of Conservation and Preservation for the Maryland State Archives, came to Salisbury last month, witnessed the opening of the cylinder removed from the memorial and inspected the scroll.

The best way to add names is now being determined, explained Mike Moulds, secretary of the committee formed to renovate the memorial.

Committee members want to use the same kind of typeface, so they’ll have to find the kind of typewriter commonly used 60 years ago.

Moulds, who is director of public works for the city, said there are two old typewriters at the service center, kept as antique show pieces. They might be used.

“The scroll was in surprisingly good condition. It’s an acid-free type of paper. The expert who was there said she could read the watermark on it. It’s good quality,” Moulds said.

“There is space to add more names, the way the columns were set up. There are a couple things we want to figure out, if there were names on the Civic Center memorial from the same period of time that didn’t get on this one. The committee has heard from a couple people who noticed their relatives’ names weren’t on the scroll,” Moulds said.

Names won’t be added until renovation is complete. Committee members are working to raise $150,000 for that project.

“When we do the renovations we will look and see if there’s a different way of installing the parchment in there, something less corrosive than a piece of pipe,” Moulds said.

To raise money, there’s an account at www.gofundme.com/1955WarMemorial. Moulds said there could be a table at an upcoming Third Friday or event at a local restaurant.

So far, more than $20,000 has been raised. Moulds said $30,000 is needed for an endowment to erect flags from each branch of the military, and replace them annually.

Moulds isn’t a veteran, but got involved with the monument renovation because he has relatives who served in the military and because he enjoys history.

“It’s a neat community effort. It’s a busy intersection. One of the problems was the holly trees there had gotten so big it kind of obscured the memorial, so we cut them down. Now it’s a lot more visible,” he said.

Among planned renovations are retiling the area on the ground, sandblasting and refinishing the 32-foot memorial and upgrading the fountain.

A bronze plaque, donated by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a 200-pound bronze eagle at the top of the monument, are registered with the Maryland Military Monuments Commission.

“The American Legion and VFW folks were instrumental in donating money for the plaque and the eagle that are there,” Moulds said.

“We kind of have some nice motivation going.”

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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