The sword on the stone? Maj. Gen. John Stark’s blade reported missing, recovered within 24 hours | Local News

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BENNINGTON — It’s unclear at this time whether it was an act of vandalism or a natural disaster that disarmed the Major. General John Stark’s statue at Bennington’s monument, but his sword blade has been recovered.

The blade of the sword – the hilt and hilt still securely in Stark’s right hand – was reported missing around 4 p.m. Thursday by Marylou Chicote, the monument’s administrator. On Friday morning, Christopher Wright, a resident of Pownal and administrator of the Bennington Blotter Facebook page, received a message from Rowland George about it which led to the recovery of the sword on Friday morning.

“(George) said, ‘Check between the feet,'” Wright explained. “Around a quarter to ten, I got hold of Marylou… I said, ‘Go take a walk over there and take a look.’ »

After trudging through the few feet of snow left by the massive storm earlier this week, sitting atop the rock he’s standing on, hidden – and perhaps put there by – Mother Nature’s gift in mid- march south of Vermont, Chicote discovered the missing sword.

It’s unclear when he disappeared, but Chicote said locals remembered seeing him there on Monday. She said it was brought to her attention that the beloved statue was missing a piece of her weapon by passers-by.

“(It was) neighbors walking around there. You get to know the people who walk the circle,” Chicote said. “It was Sue McDonald. She stopped yesterday afternoon and said, ‘You know, the sword is missing again.’

This isn’t the first incident involving the sword, which also went missing in June 2020.

“He was caught before. It was sent back two or three days later, planted in the ground. … I thought a mother looked under her son’s bed and said, ‘Take that right back,’ she added with a laugh.

Chicote expressed regret over the possible misunderstanding and the call from the police, and admitted that the previous incident could have made him assume the worst again.

“Anyway, there it was. I might have jumped to conclusions thinking it was stolen, when it could have fallen in the storm.

Chicote said the statue was erected in 1999 and there were no issues with the sword prior to the incident in June 2020.

Cpl. Daniel Ferrara of the Bennington Police Department said the blade would not immediately return to the statue.

“We will take it as evidence and determine whether or not a crime happened,” he said.

“We are happy that the sword has been recovered,” added BPD Lt. Camillo Grande. “We’ll take a look at how it happened, and we can’t wait to return the sword to General Stark.”

Robert Wright, owner of Custom Castings in Randolph, welded the sword to the statue in 2020. The craftsman is sticking with his work, but says he’s bothered the weld didn’t hold and is making the trip to do it again when the sword can be attached, and he will do it for free.

“I don’t know what brought it down, but it should have taken a long time,” Wright said. “But I’m going to get through this time for sure. … Good people there, good history (of the statue), and I really liked the park and I want to make sure that ‘it is taken care of.’


The sword on the stone? Maj. Gen. John Stark’s blade reported missing, recovered within 24 hours | Local News

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