New Rutland sculpture celebrates Civil War history

RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) A new sculpture in downtown Rutland celebrates black history.

It was unveiled Friday in front of a large crowd at the intersection of Center Street and Merchants Row. It honors 20 African American men from Vermont who were part of the first black regiment formed in the North during the Civil War.

The sculpture is the 5th piece to be unveiled as part of a larger project to highlight Rutland's history.

Vermont Quarries, a local carving study, MFK properties, and Green Mountain Power are behind the project.

'There is so much history here that people are unaware of. I mean, who knew that the Jungle Book was written just a short distance from here. Who knew that the great athlete in Vermont history was born right here in Rutland. Who knew that 20 men joined the first black regiment from this area and went on to really important roles in the Civil war. I didn't know any of that stuff before we started this project and I'm really excited to be helping to tell that story," said GMP's Steve Costello.

Each piece is sponsored by a local organization or person. Rutland Regional Medical Center paid for Friday's piece.

Two more sculptures are now being commissioned and will be unveiled this summer and organizers envision many more.