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Burns Monument

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1899, J. Massey Rhind, James B. King, Sam Novelli, and Elia Corti. 60 Washington St., City of Barre
  • (Photograph by Curtis B. Johnson, C. B. Johnson Photography)

Not long after hundreds of Scottish stone-cutters immigrated to Barre to work in the granite industry, they organized a Robert Burns Club. Deciding to build a monument to the poet, they raised ten thousand dollars and selected a site in front of the city's new Spaulding School (WA45) to provide Scottish students with a daily reminder of their ethnic heritage. This granite statue depicts Burns in a walking pose with a coat draped over his left arm. The square tapered granite plinth, designed by King, culminates in a modillion cornice and sits on a stepped base. A recessed panel on each side has a sculpted relief of a beloved scene from Burns's poetry that corresponds to a quotation carved below. Though Rhind of Edinburgh designed the statue, local sculptor Novelli carved it and another local carver, Corti, executed the base.

Corti died in the Socialist Labor Party Hall during an argument. His burial monument, carved by his fellow stoneworkers, is one of the highlights of Hope Cemetery (VT 14 at Merchant Street), which is a veritable showcase of local granite sculpture. Elmwood Cemetery (off Hill Street) also includes some fine granite monuments. Two other noteworthy works in granite are the Italian-American Stonecutters Monument (1989; Maple Avenue at Main Street) and the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial (1924). Located on the city green, the memorial has a “whispering gallery” bench that curves around a nude, kneeling youth who holds a planted sword.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


What's Nearby


Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Burns Monument", [Barre, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 316-317.

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