Public Art – Columbia Triumphant Park, Freehold, New Jersey

This statue has a complex past. Originally part of the monument on Court Street commemorating the Battle of Monmouth, completed on November 13, 1884, it was damaged by lightning on August 15, 1894. The statue was removed and this bust was used as a model for an 1896 replica of the original statue. The Historical Marker Database continues from there. The replica was made and hoisted in place in 1897. The bust of the original statue was sent to Freehold to be erected on a marble pedestal by the Hall of Records. This was never erected, however, and it ended up abandoned and discarded. From there it was found buried in mud in the 1940’s alongside the railroad tracks and moved to a private property where it was rediscovered in the 2000s. From there it was brought back to Freehold and mounted a century later.

The figure’s nose was broken at an unknown time in its long, harsh and much-traveled past. In keeping with recognized conservation practice, the nose is not repaired as the break is part of the statue’s history.