Town Common and Civil War Memorial

At the center of the Historic District is the Town Common, which was laid out in 1721 at what are now Main and Boylston Streets. William Taylor, one of the founders of the Congregational Church, donated to the town proprietors the 17 acres which is now the Common and Mountain View Cemetery. Mr. Taylor’s gravestone is in the historic section of the cemetery.

The Commons serves as a focal point of the community and hosts a variety of seasonal events, including the annual Light the Common event organized by the Shrewsbury Town Center Association each December and the Scarecrows on the Common display sponsored by the Shrewsbury Garden Club for the town’s Fall Festival.

HDC Light the Common 2020
HDC Walking Tour Town Common (spring)
HDC Walking Tour Yuletide 2021
HDC Walking Tour Civil War Monument 9early fall)
HDC Walking Tour Civil War Monument (fall)
HDC  Walking Tour Benjamin Franklin Mile Marker

The visual focus of the Common is the First Congregational Church, located at the north end. On the west side of the Common is the town’s main fire station and the Sumner House. To the east, across Boylston St, sits the Shrewsbury Public Library. At the south end of the Common rests the Civil War Memorial.

The Civil War Memorial was erected in 1869 by Thomas E. Tateum of Worcester and his company Tateum & Horgan Marble Works, the monument was to honor the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. The primary inscription on the monument is “In Honor of Our Soldiers – They Fell in the War of 1861-65 – We Cherish their Memory.” Tateum constructed an identical obelisk in Westborough the same year.

The names on the monument are Edward A. Andrews, Albert W. Carey, Horatio A. Cutting, Jas. H. Cutting, Silas N. Cater, Hiram W. Doane, Thos. B. Eaton, Leander Fay, Nathan B. Garfield, Chas. F. Gleason, Frank L. Hapgood, Hollis Holden, Amasa S. Hyde, John F. Howe, Michael O’Laughlin, Alonzo B. Louks, Calvin C. Pratt, Franklin J. Perry, Alfred F. Porter, Chas F. Rice, Edward P Richardson, Geo. W.B. Sawyer, Elija Smith, Geo. E. Sprague, Henry A. Sawtell, Jonas M. Wheelock, W. M. H. Willson, Chas. G. Ward, ADJT, J. J. Witherbee, M.D.

The monument was toppled during an ice storm and landed on the watering trough that once stood in front of it. It was repaired, however, and has stood in the same spot ever since.

After its repair, the monument was rededicated on October 26, 2019 to commemorate its 150th anniversary.