In honor of soldiers, sailors, marines and nurses.

O. Nestus Freeman built the massive stone base of this World War I memorial.

It stands at the entrance to the Wilson County Fairgrounds (and, formerly, stockcar race track) on 301 South. A June 27 Daily Times article announcing the Fourth of July 1935 unveiling of the monument describes the base as: “a shaft or pyramid of stone 20 by twelve feet, sixteen feet high, containing 86 tons of Wilson county granite surmounted by thirty-four foot flag staff ….” No mention of Freeman.

I don’t know stone masonry technique, but this knife-edge crease, rendered in igneous rock, is pretty amazing. 

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2021. 

4 comments

  1. This icon of Wilson has been a part of my life for as lon as I can remember, having lived in the two-story home as a three-year old. Moving back to that home in my childhood (4th grade) and living there through college and early career, I knew what it memorialized. I am ashamed and saddened that I never knew it was a product of ONFreeman, although it should have been obvious to me as an admirer of his work. It seems this should be recognized and celebrated by the community. What say you, Post 13, to some sort of commemorative sign to honor and educate?

    1. Debbie, which house are you speaking of? One that Freeman built? Post 13 didn’t erect this monument, but I agree that it would be great if there were some sort of recognition of the craftsman!

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