Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Mendon historic marker to honor Ripley

Friday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.—MENDON—Mendon resident and Civil War General Edward H. Ripley will be honored at the dedication of an historic marker on Veteran’s Day, Friday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m. at Sugar and Spice Restaurant on Route 4 in Mendon. The roadside marker, provided by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, will be installed at the former location of Ripley’s house. Veteran’s Day is also the anniversary of Ripley’s birth in 1839.
The dedication ceremony will feature remarks by local historian Jack Anderson, Civil War reenactors, music and refreshments. This event is free and open to the public.
General Ripley participated in several key Civil War battles and was chosen to lead the first Union troops into Richmond, Va., on April 3, 1865, when the Confederate capital fell to Union forces. He was in charge of controlling rioting and looting, and marshaled the resources to extinguish massive fires set by the fleeing Confederates, thus saving a large portion of Richmond. He subsequently commanded the city until a civilian government could be installed.
Following the war, he returned to his native Vermont to pursue a very successful business career. In 1878, he moved to Mendon with his young family and built a large estate at the junction of the Woodstock Turnpike (currently U.S. Route 4) and Meadow Lake Drive. He dammed Mendon Brook, creating a pond with a boathouse and a Japanese garden, and built two houses across the road for his daughters. His main house no longer stands, but the sugarhouse and the burial site of his warhorse Old John still exist on the property.
In 1884 Ripley donated land for a town hall (still standing) and a schoolhouse where the present Mendon town office is now located. He also represented Mendon in the state legislature.
The Mendon Historical Society is pleased that his contribution to our country and our town is being recognized by this historic roadside marker.
For more information, call 802-773-8172.

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