, Salem, MA

Local News

November 12, 2013

A rock of remembrance

Danvers dedicates memorial for veterans


But Farley and Eaton talked about a more lasting memorial, a bronze plaque on a nice slab of Danvers granite.

Farley, an architect, designed the 3-foot-wide plaque. A plaque that size would need a big stone, he said.

Another Rotary member, Barry Kaplan, who was president at the time, arranged to have the plaque cast through Mt. Pleasant Monuments in Gloucester. They, in turn, had sent the drawing to a foundry outside Pittsburgh, which would make the plaque for $2,500.

Meanwhile, Farley searched for a stone.

“To find a stone of that size, in granite, with a flat face on it,” would be a tall order, Farley told the group of residents yesterday. “I searched the fields and I searched the woods for five months.”

But the only suitable stones he saw were on private property.

Then, during a Rotary meeting a few months ago, he was talking to Joe DeLorenzo, co-owner of the Danversport Yacht Club.

“Stones?” he quoted DeLorenzo as saying. “I’ve got enough stones to start a granite quarry. Take a look around.”

Eventually, they found the perfect slab of granite, sticking out of an embankment.

J. Masterson Construction agreed to yank the 21/2-ton boulder from the ground and bring it to Thorpe School for free. But first, they took the time to clean it up and then dug a hole for it at the school, lining it with gravel. The stone went into the ground.

It would take six weeks to get the plaque, however, and Farley was getting anxious. It had to be done by Veterans Day.

Then came the news that the plaque had arrived, bent. It couldn’t be mounted to the stone.

Some calls back and forth resulted in the foundry agreeing to rush to make a new plaque. What had originally taken six weeks got done in two days, express-shipped to Danvers.

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