A metal tablet 17-1/2″w x 13″h mounted on a marble slab 23″w x 18-1/2″h mounted on an oak stand with a slanted top, 29″w x 18″ h at the front, and 31″h at the back, in the main reading room of the Weld County Library in Greeley. There is also a small (3-1/2″w x 2″h) black plaque at the upper right hand corner of the marble slab. The commemorative tablet was presented to Centennial State Chapter, which in turn presented it to the Weld County Library in 1916. Memorial tablet unveiled in City Public Library in 1917.
How to get there:
The memorial was dedicated on Friday, May 10, 2007 at a ceremony at Linn Grove Cemetery. It is located in Soldiers Field, Linn Grove Cemetery at 1700 Cedar Avenue, Greeley, Colorado.
At the top, the marble (actually granite) slab reads D.A.R. At the bottom the slab reads PRESENTED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. The tablets face depicts in the background, the sinking USS Maine. In the foreground is a bust of a helmeted woman with a shield on her left arm and with her right arm upraised. In bold letters opposite her head – IN MEMORIAM. In bold letters opposite her shield – U.S.S. MAINE. Immediately below – DESTROYED IN HAVANA HARBOR FEBRUARY 15TH 1898. At the bottom of the tablet the words THIS TABLET IS CAST FROM METAL RECOVERED FROM THE USS MAINE. The small black plaque is inscribed: Presented to WELD COUNTY LIBRARY by Centennial State Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1916.
HISTORY: In the latter part of the 1890’s, Cuban rebels revolted against the Spanish government of Cuba. Spurred on by the “Yellow Journalism” of William Randolph Hearst’s Journal and Joseph Pulitzer’s World, Congress gave belligerent’s rights to the rebels in 1896. On January 25, 1898, the new United States battleship Maine paid a “courtesy” visit to Cuba, anchoring in Havana’s harbor. On the night of February 15th, at 9:40 pm, a tremendous explosion destroyed the battleship at anchor. Of the 350 officers and men aboard, 260 died. To this day it remains a mystery exactly how the destruction was accomplished.
Greeley Tribune Article Published May 7, 2007
Piece of famed battleship finds home in Linn Grove Cemetery
A much-traveled memorial and piece of a battleship sunk more than a century ago has finally found a home in Greeley.
While the cause of the explosion that sunk the U.S.S. Maine remains one of the great naval mysteries, a part of that ship is now embedded in stone at Linn Grove Cemetery.
The sinking of the Maine and the start of the Spanish-American War was once one of the most famous battle cries: “Remember the Maine!” And it also is a long-unsolved mystery.
When the ship exploded in the Havana Harbor in 1898, 260 sailors went down with it.
Controversy haunted the sinking of the battleship. To this day, it’s still unknown who actually sabotaged the ship, or if it was a victim of an accidental coal fire near the ship’s munitions storage.
And the explosion, in the midst of a newspaper war between Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, showed that the press could actually start a war.
The bombing incident produced one of the most infamous incidents in journalism history. When illustrator Frederic Remington wired Hearst about leaving Havana after the Maine’s explosion, Hearst’s return telegram stated, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst stayed true to his promise, using headlines and stories about the sinking of the ship to fire up a war.
After the war, parts of the ship were cut out, emblazoned with the memorium and sent to groups around the country. In Weld County, the Daughters of the American Resolution received a plaque and donated it to the Weld County Library in 1916.
It then traveled to the Greeley Museum, back to the library, and finally ended up at Offen Ace Hardware, 10th Street and 18th Avenue. Owners of the store, Bill and Chris Ruth, kept the plaque on display in the store for several years to keep it from being placed in some storage area and not seen again.
And now, thanks to several people in Greeley, the plaque stands at Linn Grove Cemetery, at the end of Soldiers’ Field. “We’re so happy to have a permanent place for it,” said Donna Hoffman, regent of the Centennial State Chapter of the DAR. “Debbie Dalton of Greeley Monument Works, Ron Cobb of Norman’s memorials and Tom VanBuskirk of Linn Grove all worked together to find a place for our plaque.”