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BICENTENNIAL VILLAGE SQUARE PROJECT
This page provides information about the efforts of the Bicentennial Steering Committee to upgrade the Darrtown village square.
Village Square Improvement Plan
A logical part of the Bicentennial
To the members of the Darrtown Bicentennial Steering Committee, it seemed appropriate that the upgrading of Darrtown's village square be part of Darrtown's Bicentennial celebration.
Thus, the idea of the Milford Township Memorial Park was born.
In 1814, when Darrtown founder, Conrad Darr, laid out the plans for what was then known as "Darr's Town," he stipulated that the four half-lots in the center of the village would forever be reserved for public use. The text of the original plat record is available at the History page of this website.
EVOLUTION OF THE IDEA TO CREATE A MEMORIAL PARK
The following excerpts from records of Bicentennial Steering Committee meetings provide a chronology of events and/or action steps that led to the creation of the Milford Township Memorial park in the Darrtown village square.
November 16, 2011: Dale Bufler introduced the idea of recreating the military service sign that stood in the town square during WWII and he presented a photograph of what the structure looked like. Discussion ensued.
December 14, 2011: Ron Wiley reported a conversation that he had with an area landscaper about improving the appearance of the four corners of public land in the middle of Darrtown (the intersection of Main Street and Oxford Street). Discussion ensued; including the idea of planting trees along Main Street to replace those that the state highway department removed several years ago.
April 11, 2012: Ron Wiley presented a PRELIMINARY sketch of beautification in the two west quadrants of the village square. The landscaping sketch was prepared, at no cost to the committee, by John DeVore. The sketch included trees, shrubs, walking path, story boards, picnic and recreation areas, and it defined parking for Hitching Post customers. Discussion ensued; Ron agreed to present this plan to the Township Trustees at their May 1st meeting. If the Trustees approve the plan, they will be asked to inform all contiguous property owners and Ron will contact other area landscape businesses to determine their interest in participating in the development.
August 23, 2013: Ron Wiley led a discussion of new Veterans' Memorial to be placed in northwest quadrant of Darrtown village square. During the discussion, we reviewed the sketches that Dale presented at our last meeting.
Dale Bufler then introduced a new idea. He suggested that we design the new memorial to resemble or "mirror" the Walter Alston memorial that stands in the southwest quadrant. Discussion ensued. Each member expressed her/his preference.
Following the discussion, Fred Lindley noted that committee members seemed to agree on the following points:
1. Design the monument to simulate the Alston memorial.
2. Design the new monument to include the plaque that now appears in the old memorial on the east side of Main Street (we must investigate if the Talawanda Garden Club still exists, as it sponsored the original monument. If it does, we need to consult with them regarding the movement of the existing monument.)
3. Investigate the cost of having the new monument constructed of black granite.
4. Place the new monument in the center of the northwest patio, with front side facing east - toward Main Street.
5. Design the monument to include Dale's ideas regarding verse and the arrangement of symbols to commemorate all branches of military service, etc.
6. Place all military pavers (those purchased and engraved in memory of veterans) near/adjacent to the monument.
Fred then introduced a motion that the committee adopt the foregoing points as a plan for action. Paul Gillespie seconded the motion. Ron Wiley called for a vote, which unanimously passed.
August 6, 2013: Dale Bufler shared some drawings of possible veterans' memorial. Joe and Jack plan to use copies of the drawings, when they request funds from the potential donors.
April 28, 2014: Jack Daniels introduced the idea of moving the parking spaces that are currently planned for the northwest quadrant of the village square to the southwest quadrant. The committee recognized several advantages in this thought (one being an improved line of sight when drivers back their vehicles from the current parking lot onto Route 177) and recommended to Paul Gillespie that he pursue this idea with the other two fellow Township Trustees.
Memorial Park approved by township trustees
As referenced in the notes from the April 11, 2012 Steering Committee meeting (above}, Ron Wiley, accompanied by Joe Pater and Sandy Jolivette, presented the veterans memorial idea to the Township Trustees at their May meeting. Subsequently, the Bicentennial Steering Committee received the approval of the Milford Township Trustees to designate the two quadrants (half-lots) on the west side of Main Street (State Route 177) as the Milford Township Memorial Park.
In conjunction with the Milford Township Trustees, the Steering Committee decided that the village square project would have three points of emphasis: landscaping, veterans' memorial, and engraved pavers.
LANDSCAPING: Funds would be sought to improve the appearance of the park, through a landscaping project.
VETERANS' MEMORIAL: Funds would be sought to install a new veterans' monument that would honor the men and women from Darrtown and Milford Township who served our country in the military.
ENGRAVED PAVERS: Funds would be sought to install engraved pavers in the village square walkways and patios to honor the memory of individuals, families, events, businesses, and organizations from Darrtown and Milford Township.
It was further determined that the northwest quadrant would serve as the military section
and the southwest quadrant would serve all others.
The plans for improving the appearance of the park are displayed in Section A, below.
The plans for the creating a veterans' monument are detailed in Section B, below.
Images of the village square and the veterans monument appear in Section C, below.
The plans for developing the "Paver Project' appear on the Paver Project page.
In 2012, the Darrtown Bicentennial Steering Committee adopted a landscaping plan to guide the development of the Darrtown village square, aka the Milford Township Memorial Park.
With regard to the village square plan, the Bicentennial Steering Committee respectfully requests that the following points be kept in mind:
1. Like any plan in life, this landscaping plan is a goal. It is a vision of what is intended.
2. This landscaping plan is subject to change, particularly with regard to species of plants,
not so much with the layout.
3. Funding significantly influences the implementation of the plan; i.e., the availability of funds will determine number of plantings that are installed and the pace at which such plantings are installed.
4. Consequently, It may take years to fully implement this plan; i.e., this plan is a work in progress.
Figure A1 (below) displays the overall plan, i.e., it shows both quadrants of the park.
Figure A2 (below) shows an enlarged view of the southwest quadrant.
Figure A3 (below) shows an enlarged view of the northwest quadrant.
Figure A4 (below) shows a list of recommended trees and plants, with the cost of each.
As of April 2014, four families or individuals have donated money
to fund individual trees in the northwest quadrant.
BELOW: FIGURE A1 Overall plan - Both quadrants - on west side of Main Street
BELOW: FIGURE A2 - Southwest Quadrant
BELOW: FIGURE A3 - Northwest Quadrant
BELOW: Some of the trees, as they were placed in the park
BELOW: Milford Township installed utilities in 2012.
Lines were run under Main Street (St. Rt. 177) from the fire station to the northwest and southwest quadrants.
As noted in the "evolution" section above, soon after its inception, the Bicentennial Steering Committee began to discuss the idea of honoring military veterans from Darrtown and vicinity. Numerous conversations followed about the design, location, and cost of the new Veterans' Monument. After multiple discussions, a decision surfaced, as indicated by the following notes from the August 29, 2013 Steering Committee meeting:
"We discussed the details of the Veterans' Memorial. We are considering
a monument that will mirror the Walter Alston monument in the
southwestern quadrant of the village square. Tentative plans call for
a gray structure, approximately 60" wide by 60" high by 6" deep that
will be mounted on a base of 66" wide by 12" deep by 8" high. The
total cost is approximately $8500. The monument will be placed in the
northwest corner of the paved patio in the northwest quadrant. We
discussed the idea of adding a flag pole to the site."
The committee eventually decided to commission the monument from the Janus Memorial Arts company of Harrison, Ohio.
Sketch of the Veterans' Monument
RIGHT: This image shows the sketched design of the veterans' monument as it was commissioned from Janus Memorial Arts.
For the sake of symmetry, the Committee decided to install a monument of this shape in order to mirror the Walter Alston monument, which already stands in the southwestern quadrant.
Consequently, the monument was specified to be a gray structure, approximately 60" wide by 60" high by 6" deep that will be mounted on a base of 66" wide by 12" deep by 8" high.
Upon completion, the monument was placed on the west edge of the paved patio in the northwest quadrant - in time for the 2014 Memorial Day.
A lighted flag pole was added to the site and dedicated during the Bicentennial celebration.
ABOVE: View of the Veterans Memorial Park - looking northwest from west Oxford Street.
RIGHT: View of the Veterans Memorial Park
- looking south from the monument plaza.
Members of the Bicentennial Steering Committee during the
2013 Memorial Day dedication program.
Left to right: Joe Pater, Jack Daniels, Betty Daniels,
Paul Gillespie, Dale Bufler, Fred Lindley, and Ron Wiley