Civil War Monument Support

Rick Miller/Olean Times Herald 

John Sampson of the Cattaraugus County American Legion speaks to county lawmakers Wednesday to explain the Legion's support for preserving the county's Civil War Monument and Historic Building in Little Valley. The 100-year-old building was slated for demolition, but legislators agreed to give Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (CAMP) time to come up with a plan to preserve the structure.

 

LITTLE VALLEY — Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation (C.A.M.P.) got some needed public support Wednesday for its efforts to save the Cattaraugus County Civil War Monument and Historic Building in Little Valley.

A resolution approved earlier this summer by the Cattaraugus County American Legion Convention in Hinsdale to support C.A.M.P.’s efforts to preserve the monument and building on Court Street was read to county lawmakers at their meeting.

American Legion spokesman John Sampson said Legion Commander George Filgrove could not attend and asked him to read a short letter to the Cattaraugus County Legislature regarding the future of the monument, dedicated in 1913.

The distinctive brick building has sat unused for more than a decade since the Cattaraugus County Museum it housed was moved to the Stone House in Machias.

There are 2,000 members of the American Legion in Cattaraugus County, Sampson said. The resolution passed unanimously by the 80 members at the Legion Convention in June declares “support for the preservation of this structure, which was originally dedicated to the Cattaraugus County soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War.”

Filgrove’s letter added: “Preservation of this memorial structure is important to the history of Cattaraugus County. It is still cherished as a reminder to those local citizens who served, fought or died during this war.”

Legion members in Cattaraugus County are dedicated to preserving the history and sacrifices of those citizens, Sampson said.

“That is why the Civil War building and memorial is such a fitting tribute to honor those individuals whose sacrifices should never be forgotten,” he said. “We of the American Legion urged its preservation.”

C.A.M.P. officials are reviewing a report on the building made possible by a grant from the Western New York Landmark Society. It includes cost estimates for building preservation efforts and possible uses.

Legislature officials have put asbestos removal and demolition plans on hold while awaiting word from C.A.M.P. on preservation efforts.

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at rmiller@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)

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