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Robert Burns of Barre

Barre Burns

The date was July 21, 1896, and the Burns Club of Barre, Vermont, met to celebrate the centennial of Robert Burns’ death. At that meeting the idea of erecting a monument to Burns was discussed and endorsed. The entire town became involved in the project and three years later the monument was ready to be dedicated.

The sculptor was J. Massy Rhind, born in Edinburgh. His other works include “The Expulsion of Adam and Eve,” the design for the doors of the Trinity Church, New York, the Memorial Fountain to Senator Rufus King in Washington Park, Albany, New York, the Calhoun statue, and the decoration for the Commence-ment Hall at Princeton.

On the day of dedication “lowering skies hung dark over Barre..., typical perhaps of the clouds that shrouded the life of the great Scotch poet.” Eighteen thousand people witnessed the events of the day. There was a procession fully a mile in length which included the Royal Scots Band from Montreal. The orator of the day was the Honorable Wendell Phillips Stafford of St. Johnsbury. It was a great oration.

“And now citizens of Barre, I present to you, through your mayor, Mr. Gordon, this monument, and hope that you will see to it that it is carefully protected and preserved, so that in future years, when we who are present here today shall have vanished into the obscurity of the past, this monument shall still stand a noble and lasting tribute to the memory of the world’s greatest poet,” remarked Robert Inglis, president of the Burns Club. From recent pictures, it appears that Barre, Vermont has carefully preserved the monument.

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