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Gateway to the Mountains

George Wireman

Chapter 21:  Hammaker Brothers, Inc.

Hammaker Brothers, Inc., a local firm specializing in memorials of character, was first established in 1 874 by B. Frank Hammaker. In 1884 ownership of the firm was transferred to his brother, Peter N. Hammaker. Upon the death of Peter in 1925, two nephews, Frank E. and Ernest P. Hammaker purchased the business and operated it under the name of Hammaker Brothers. At this time, the business boasted two employees and was indeed a far cry from the present organization, which in recent years has employed as many as twenty-five persons. In 1947 the firm was incorporated and Ernest P. Hammaker became President.

Thurmont can be justly proud of this firm, which has gained wide recognition and through the years has erected several monuments of outstanding workmanship.

There stands on the Gettysburg Battlefield a beautiful and inspiring monument, dedicated to the valor of the Alabamians who fought at Gettysburg 100 years ago in the bitter struggle between the North and the South. Tribute has been fittingly paid by the State of Alabama in this monument, erected at the position which these troops occupied in their struggle to gain control of Little Round Top. The woman, the central figure, symbolizes. the Spirit of the Confederacy and the two warriors represent the spirit and the determination of all her men.

The Alabama Monument, erected by a Thurmont firm, Ham-maker Brothers, Inc., was officially dedicated on November 12, 1933. The overall length is 27 feet 4 inches. The height is 12 feet 6 inches, and the depth, including the walk is 15 feet 3 inches.

The bronze figures are heroic size, the central figure being 12 feet high. The symbolism of the monument is very inspiring. The lady represents the Spirit of the Confederacy. Her hand rests on the shoulder of a young wounded man, naturally being one of the first in the conflict. The young man is passing the cartridge bag over to an older man who is going to take over in the battle. The Spirit of the Confederacy is pointing toward Little Round Top, the objective of the Alabama troops.

In order that this monument could be erected on the exact spot which the Alabama troops occupied during the conflict, a portion of the stone wall was broken.

The inscription on the monument, as you can see in the accompanying photograph, is "ALABAMIANS!" On the subbase appear the words "YOUR NAMES ARE INSCRIBED ON FAME'S IMMORTAL SCROLL."

Thurmont is justly proud to have had a part in the erection of this monument. It was originally designed with granite only coming under the woman's shoulders. However, the people of Alabama had the monument raised in the back in order to include the inscription "ALABAMIANS!" at the top.

The monument was designed by Joseph Urner of Frederick, Maryland, in conjunction with Ernest P. Hammaker, President of Hammaker Brothers, Inc. Mr. Urner was also the sculptor. The stone is of Barre Vermont Granite, and the bronze group is a product of the Gorham Bronze Company.

On November 7, 1964, an estimated 5,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders, top government dignitaries, business executives and Scout officials gathered in Washington, D. C. for the dedication of the memorial honoring the Boy Scouts of America. The Commemorative Tribute is the only statue in Washington which represents a living cause. It is located in Ellipse Park near Constitution Avenue.

The $250,000 project, which was launched after being authorized by Act of Congress, was financed by individual contributions of Scouts and their leaders in every state. Scrolls containing the signatures of each donor have been placed in the pedestal of the memorial.

In 1959 Sculptor Donald DeLue and Architect William Henry Deacy, both of New York City, won the competition in which five international teams of sculptors and architects competed. Their final design consists of two off center ellipses. The outer one forms a Salisbury Pink granite platform 80 feet long and 60 feet wide.

Boy Scout Memorial, Ellipse Park

The inner one forms the pool and fountain, built of white Danby marble. On the coping surrounding the pool is the following inscription:

"In grateful tribute to the men and women whose generosity, devotion and leadership have brought Scouting to the nation's youth and to honor all members of the Boy Scouts of America who in days of peace and times of peril have done their duty to God and their country this memorial was authorized by the Congress of the United States and erected in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America."

Off center is a pink granite pedestal six feet high, which carries the bronze sculptured group. The figures are of heroic proportions. In the foreground a Scout is hiking into the future with faith and confidence. In back of him are two allegorical figures. The male figure, carrying a symbolic helmet and oak branch, symbolizes love of country, citizenship, patriotism, physical development. The female figure symbolizes the spiritual qualities of good citizenship love of God and humanity, lighting the way.

The bronze figures were a product of Modern Art Foundry, Inc. and the monument was erected by Hammaker Brothers, Inc., of Thurmont, Maryland.

During the dedication ceremonies Associate Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark accepted the memorial in the name of the government and the dedication speeches were made by Joseph A. Brun-ton, Jr., Chief Scout Executive and former Assistant Chief Executive Charles M. Heistand. Roger S. Firestone, a member of the executive board, presided. Also present on the platform were William Walton, Chairman of the Fine Arts Council, members of Congress, the National Park Service and the national executive board of the Boy Scouts.

The Alabama monument, paying tribute to the valor of the Alabamians, and the Boy Scout Memorial, a commemorative tribute to a great youth organization, are indeed fine examples of the work done by this local firm. Hammaker Brothers, Inc., now in its 93rd year, takes pride in the fact that their facilities for executing good work are unexcelled and their fine reputation has been built upon honest service to its many customers and to the community which it serves.

Chapter Index | Chapter 22:  Further Progress

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