General Rosecrans Rock set in place last Wednesday on Sunbury Square
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
A glacial boulder base for the General William Starke Rosecrans’ Memorial Statue is now located on the future site of the statue on Sunbury Village Square. It has had a long journey since its formation in northern Ontario.
An anonymous donor gave the boulder to the statue project in 2010 with the condition it be moved from the donor’s property quickly so it would not interfere with the sale of the property.
Stacy Wills of Eitels Towing and men from the Rosecrans Headquarters and the Big Walnut Area Historical Society moved the boulder to a temporary location on Tom Paul’s property, while members of the statue committee continued to raise funds and worked on the brick walkway to the statue.
On Wednesday morning, July 25, Rosecrans’ Rock was brought to Sunbury by Eitels Towing and placed on the prepared base by a crew from Eastland Crane.
Big Walnut Area Historical Society member and geologist Chuck Grapes researched the boulder and determined the boulder is an igneous rock and formed from ancient volcanic magma probably more than 2.5 billion years ago.
“I would describe the rock type as a gabbroic anorthosite,” Grapes said. “It’s very similar to the rocks brought back from the moon by our astronauts during the Apollo Space Program.”
The boulder was brought from northern Ontario to Central Ohio during the Wisconsin glacial period that occurred approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years ago. As the glacial ice melted the boulder was dropped in place at the surface. Geologists call these rocks glacial drop stones or glacial erratics.
Grapes estimated the size of the boulder to be more than 25 tons, which easily places it in the top five largest glacial erratics found in the state. The largest glacial erratic found in Ohio is located just east of Sunbury off Hartford Road.
“Of fine museum quality, the boulder is comparable to the glacial erratic located in front of the geology museum at Orton Hall on the OSU campus,” Grapes said.
The completed bronze equestrian statue of General Rosecrans will be mounted on top of the boulder; a plaque will be on the north face of the boulder.
Over $10,000 in commemorative bricks has been sold for the walkway to the statue. The engraved bricks have been stored waiting for the boulder to be positioned.
There is still time for area residents to purchase additional bricks to honor their family or loved ones.
Of the estimated $173,000 needed for the bronze equestrian statue and walkway only $72,500 is left to be raised.
Donations to the statue can be made through the Big Walnut Area Historical Society which is a 501©(3) organization so the donations are tax deductible.
Information about the bricks is available in the brochure holder at the statue site and in the Myers Inn Museum. The Myers Inn is open from 12 noon to 3 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. To learn more about the statue go to < RosecransHeadquarters.org > and click on the Statue button.