The Ancient Order of Hibernians Hartford Division 2 has successfully completed fundraising to build a monument to remember a forgotten Irish-Catholic cemetery in Windsor Locks, Conn.
The memorial will honor the 400 immigrant laborers who left their homeland in Ireland and came to the area between May 1827 and November 1829 to build the canal bypassing the treacherous Enfield Rapids.
In particular, the memorial will remember those canal workers and family members that are buried in an unmarked cemetery that is located about 100 yards and across the canal from where the memorial will be placed.
The monument will be placed at the Windsor Locks Canal Trail State Park near the Montgomery Mills apartments, located at 25 Canal Bank Road.
The formal dedication ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 20, 2022, at 1 p.m. The general public is invited to attend.
The fundraising for the memorial came from gifts as large as $500 to just loose change raised at various events. Members of the Irish-American Home Society in Glastonbury, Conn., were very generous to the cause, as was Ahlstrom-Munksjo, Inc., an international company, which has a location in Windsor Locks that dates back for 250 years. A fundraising night was also held at Puerto Vallarta Restaurant in Newington, Conn., that raised money for the memorial.
The monument is being designed and constructed by K.G. Kenna Memorials, Inc., of Wethersfield, East Hartford, and Manchester, Conn.
Hartford AOH held a wreath-laying ceremony at the site in March of 2021 and pledged to have the memorial built by March of 2022.