On the western shore of Westchester County, along the Hudson River, lies a quaint town called Tarrytown. Tarrytown is famous more for Washington Irving’s story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. The name “Sleepy Hollow” comes from a secluded glen located in Tarrytown and is not the name of the town in which the story takes place. In the mid-1990s the residents of North Tarrytown voted to have their name changed to Sleepy Hollow in honor of the story. Tarry town during World War Two saw Grumman Aircraft building torpedo bombers along the Hudson River. But today we look at her silent sentinel honoring World War One veterans and keeping an eternal watch over the area.
The bronze statue was designed and sculpted by Joseph P. Pollia, a New York Sculptor. Pollia was born in Italy in 1893 moving to America he lived in the Bronx, NY, dying in 1954. He trained at the school connected to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Pollia sculpted many memorials during his life. Two notable sculptures of his are the Spanish-American memorial on San Juan Hill in Cuba and a statue of Union General Philip Henry Sheridan at Sheridan Square in NYC. In 1934, Pollia made a Peace Statue which depicted a WWI soldier, in Orange, MA. It was dedicated to the residents of Orange who served in the war. A bronze plaque at the base reads: ‘It Shall Not Be Again.’ In 1935 he made a sculpture of John Brown the abolitionist, and a slave boy, for John Brown’s farm in North Elba near Lake Placid, NY. Pollia was also the sculptor of the famous Stonewall Jackson Statue at the Manassas (or Bull Run) Battlefield in Manassas Virginia for the National Park Service. It seems that public reaction from veterans and members of Confederate organizations caused a bit of a situation. It was dubbed the ‘third’ battle of Manassas, as people thought Jackson looked to much like Union General Ulysses S. Grant and that Jackson’s mount, Sorrel, looked more like a plow horse than a prize mount. Pollia responded to his critics with ‘patience, fortitude and gallantry” according to a local newspaper. He was a member of the National Sculpture Society and the National Academy of Design.
The Tarrytown World War One memorial is located at 18 North Broadway, The Landmark Condominiums. The site used to be the former Elizabeth Van Tassel House. The Monument facing North Broadway looks toward the Hudson River to the west.
The statue is a 10′ tall full-length figure of a uniformed World War I soldier. He stands at a gravesite. His left foot rests on a small hill and his left hand rests on his knee. He holds his rifle and his round helmet in his right hand as he looks down at the grave.
TO THOSE WHO PAID
THE SUPREME SACRIFICE
IN OUR/WORLD WAR
UNVEILED MAY 30th 1927
Russell V Cantwell
James F Dick Jr
Lawrence G Spencer
William C Wright Jr.
While a popular Sculptor of the period these seems to be little written or recorded about Joseph P. Pollia. A visit to the Memorial if in the are is defiantly worth the stop. In addition there are many nice restaurants & cafes around the area to justify the side trip.