The City of Boston laid the cornerstone for the Sailors and Soldiers Monument at Flagstaff Hill on Boston Common on Monday, September 18,1871.
According to the official documents, "the event was celebrated by an imposing public display. Business was generally suspended, the streets were thronged with people drawn together from all parts of the State to honor the occasion."
Among the attendees were Martin Milmore, the Irish-born sculptor who had won the commission to create the monument; Patrick A. Collins, state senator from South Boston; General P.R. Guiney of the Massachusetts 9th Irish Regiment, and Gilmore's Band, led by Patrick S. Gilmore.
The following year Milmore went to Rome, Italy, where he spent the next five years working on the monument. It was shipped back to Boston and officially unveiled on September 17, 1877.
For more information, see Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past.
For more on Boston's Irish history, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.
For year round cultural activities in greater Boston, visit IrishBoston.org.