Celebrating the Centennial of the Lincoln Statute in Lincoln Park

July 3rd will mark the 100th anniversary of the placement of the statute of Abraham Lincoln in what is now Lincoln Park but was then known as Pacific Park.
Lured by the railroads with promises of acreage, good climate and a new life, thousands of civil war veterans from both the north and south made their ways to the growing city of Long Beach.The city boasted being the site of one of largest encampments of the "Great Army of the Republic"-- a veteran organization. And Long Beach was one of the only cities to have a "Blue and Grey Club"
which had members of both sides of the conflict.

It took 10 years from the laying of the foundation to the placement of the statute of Lincoln. The project was funded by the collection of coins by the women's auxiliary, headed by Mrs. Carrie Drake, the GAR Post 181 and the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). 

The statue was designed to rival the Augustus St. Gaudens statue in Illinois and also included designs of a 1846 Springfield musket that had been captured as a souvenir by one of the project organizers in Kentucky.  The field piece was a copy of a cannon that was involved in the Battle of Chicaumauga.  The names of famous commanders
and their battles are etched into the four sides of the base.

The statue was chisled from Raymond granite by a worker at the Brittain Brothers Monument Works in Long Beach. 

The statue weighs 2,400 pounds and the pedestal weighs 7 tons.

A cannon from the arsenal at Bencia was shipped to the city and placed next to the statue. The cannon weighed 9,461 pounds and was an authentic Civil War artillery piece dating back to 1841.

On the day of the unveiling, President Woodrow Wilson sent the USS Chattanooga to anchor offshore and to provide two 21-gun salutes;  One to honor the unveiling and one to honor Wilson who could not attend.

After the unveiling, a dinner was held at the Hotel Virginia.

The sculpture was first moved from its original site in Pacific Park and taken to storage during the construction of the new city hall. In 1977 it was installed in front of the library without its pedestal and then moved to its current location in 1982. The cannon was painted white and moved to Shoreline Village sometime in the 1990s.