By Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2020

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Officials in Amherst are working on plans to put on public display the marble tablets that commemorate town residents who fought in the Civil War, including African American soldiers who served with the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment.

The tablets have been in storage for most of the past 20 years after they were removed from Town Hall during a renovation project.

The five plaques each measure 56-by-75 inches and weigh between 600 and 800 pounds.



Anika Lopes, who recently moved to Amherst from New York, told the Historical Commission at a recent meeting that she is developing a proposal, which could be unveiled by summer, The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported. Her late grandfather began the project before his death.

The marble tablets have been restored and cleaned using Community Preservation Act money.

Lopes told the commission that money would need to be raised for the project, both for installation and long-term maintenance.

Originally commissioned in 1893 by the local Grand Army of the Republic post, the plaques for many years were displayed in Town Hall. They list 300 soldiers, including many from Amherst’s most influential families.

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