Monument is unveiled at historic house
Catasauqua Mayor Barbara Schlegel accepted a monument depicting the historical significance of the George Taylor House in Catasauqua at a dedication ceremony May 5. The beautiful weather brought out crowds of spectators to the front lawn of the home of the signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The monument was part of the Lehigh County Bicentennial Celebration Committee's effort in leaving a lasting legacy of the contributions of individuals in the county.
"The funds for the monument were from the sale of the Lehigh County historical book that we sold [in observance of the bicentennial]," said Cindy Feinberg, county director of community and economic development. Lehigh County invested about $50,000 in the monument.
According to Glenn Solt, county director of general services, the granite for the monument came from the facade of the old Lehigh County courthouse. The map at the base of the monument depicting each of the county's municipalities was part of the entry plaza to the old courthouse.
Much of the labor to install the monument came from the county public works department and the borough of Catasauqua. Eastern Industries donated the stone and finish material surrounding the monument.
Jirair Youssefian, the architect who designed the monument and the plaza area, was on hand for the dedication. He explained the design will serve as a marker for the historical site and a platform for a future statue, currently being considered by the borough.
Raising funds for the statue is a borough responsibility. Donations of $25 will entitle the donor to an inscription on an engraved donor's plaque. Engraved bricks are available for $100.
Bronze plaques on the monument include the Declaration of Independence, a brief biography of George Taylor and a bronze image of John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence painting.
In addition to the bicentennial sponsors – Coca-Cola, PPL, Air Products, Lehigh Valley Health Network and Eastern Industries – local firms building the monument included Caretti Restoration, Keystone Memorials and Sharp Signs.
Whitehall Guard's Fife and Drum Corps began the dedication by presenting the colors. The Catasauqua American Legion Post 215 posted the colors. The parade of elected officials presented awards, proclamations and citations and thanked the people who were involved in the project.
Jill Youngkin, from the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, presented a history of the George Taylor House from its initial acquisition in 1945 to the present.
After the dedication, the Sheckler Elementary School band, under the direction of Kevin Krachner, entertained the crowd with patriotic songs. This is the first year of the new band program. The prior program was in hiatus during budget cuts.