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Cenotaph to Jackson Park – 1932

Councilors Favor Moving War Memorial – May 23, 1932 – The Essex County War Memorial, shown above, may be moved to a new location in Jackson Park as a result of the application that has been made to the council for a permit to erect a gas station on adjoining property. Veterans’ representatives and city commissioners look with approval upon the removal idea. The only obstacle is the cost involved. In the background is the residence that is to be demolished to make way for the service station it is proposed to erect on the site.

Back in the spring of 1932, a plan came forward to demolish a grand old residence on the north east corner of Gilles & Ouellette. The mansion was the home of Peter Osterhout, an early real estate developer in the city. The plan was to replace the mansion with a gas station. That station, eventually became a Tim Horton’s, and today is a vacant lot.

The plan to move the cenotaph to Jackson Park never happened, likely due to the lack of funds in municipal coffers during the great depression, and it was eventually moved to City Hall Square.

Plan Being Considered

Councilors Discuss Idea in Debate About Gas Station

Now on Giles

Problem of Cost Will Be Investigated; Veterans at Committee Session

Removal of the Essex County War Memorial to Jackson Park may result from the application of the Super-test Petroleum Corporation for a permit to erect a service station on the northeast corner of Giles Boulevard and Ouellette avenue.


The removal of the cenotaph from Giles Boulevard entered the discussion this morning, when war veterans’ representatives appeared before the Fire Committee to protest against the granting of the application. on the grounds that a service station is not an appropriate adjunct for a memorial to the men who were killed overseas. The veterans’ representatives. Jack Linegar and Joseph Brown, both felt that Jackson Park would be the ideal location for the memorial. Several commissioners also expressed themselves as favoring it.


The big stumbling block in the way of the removal, of course, is the matter of cost. It was roughly estimated that this cost would be around $5,000. and, in view of general conditions, it is unlikely that the city will consider footing the bill. Tonight, the City Council will vote on a recommendation to grant Super-test the permit. and at the same time, it will ask for figures on the cost of having the memorial removed. In protesting against the granting of a permit. Mr. Linegar stated that the memorial cost about $25.000. and that there would be “disrespect” to these it commemorates by putting a S7,000 service station next to it. The memorial. he said, is “sacred ground” to all who lost relatives or friends in the war. He objected, too, to the additional noise that a service station would bring to this sanctuary.


Commissioner Eansor, who is a war veteran, did not think a service station would add anything to the noise of the Giles-Ouellette intersection, and he could not see that an attractively constructed building would spoil the cenotaph’s appearance. Commissioners Curio, and Duck were of the opinion that the council cannot refuse to grant the application. Commissioner Mitchell was surprised that home owners in the locality have’ not objected.


Mr. Brown explained that the veterans are trying to have the memorial preserved in its present state out of sentiment only. But, he added. if the demands of business are such that this protection cannot be given, he is willing to bow to this demand. Progress cannot be stopped, he said. However, he felt that it would be better to have the memorial in Jackson Park than in its present location, and this started the pro-removal comment. Commissioner Curry maintained that the present site isn’t suitable for the memorial, and that the ex-soldiers ought to consider its removal to the park. The removal idea seemed to meet with general agreement. James Wall, local Super-test manager said the building his company proposes to erect would not affect the beauty of the cenotaph. It will be set back from the lot line, he explained. and will be attractive in design. Besides, he said. it will provide employment for four or five men. No vote was taken on the application this morning, but a recommendation that it be granted will go before the council tonight. A week’s hoist was suggested, but Mr. Wall protested that his company is anxious to get started as soon as possible, and get in on this year’s business.

Border Cities Star – May 23, 1932 p3
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