Future of Colonel John Siegfried Memorial unsure
The Borough of Northampton is asking whether the Colonel John Siegfried Memorial plot located off 21st Street and Route 329 will be impacted when the present Cementon-Northampton steel truss bridge is demolished.
Borough Manager Gene Zarayko said last Friday while it is too early to definitely comment, he nevertheless has questions regarding memorial which is a major historical structure in the borough
Before Northampton was incorporated, Siegfried was one of the villages in town. The borough elementary school bears Colonel Siegfried's name as does one of the borough's principal roads.
Zarayko informed council he received a call from an engineer who is in the process of formalizing plans to replace the Cementon-Northampton Bridge.
"He had some questions and concerns about the Colonel Siegfried Memorial Plot," Zarayko said.
Zarayko said he is uncertain if the borough is the title owner of the plot, but the borough for years has maintained and improved the plot.
Zarayko said he believes Colonel Siegfried may well have been buried at the site. Borough historian Ed Pany shares the belief. Other Revolutionary War personnel may have been buried in the same vicinity, where Route 329 passes over the site.
At the Siegfried Memorial plot is a weathered headstone. Although the lettering is no longer visible, it includes a faded bronze plaque noting it is the resting place of a Revolutionary War soldier with a metal post and small American flag at its side.
Zarayko said while PennDOT has not made any decision on the location of the new bridge, there is mounting speculation, fueled by the engineer's inquiry that the bridge will be erected on the south side of the present span. The Colonel Siegfried Memorial plot is a block east of the bridge, on its south side.
Whitehall Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr., weighed in on the issue, saying he in the past spoke with an engineer that PennDOT selected regarding the new bridge.
Hozza said it may well be the new bridge will be erected on the south side, taking the Lafarge Cement office that is now unoccupied.
Hozza added the state bridge replacement will happen before 2020.
PennDOT will hold a hearing in the future when its preliminary plans note the new span's location.
The present bridge is expected to remain open to traffic while the new bridge is built.
At the Colonel Siegfried Memorial plot, located in front of a seafood market and across from CVS Pharmacy, the chiseled stone eight-foot tall monument has a bronze tablet noting it was erected by the people of Northampton in Colonel Siegfried's memory "to perpetuate the memory and the glorious services of Colonel Siegfried and the men who served in the Northampton County militia during the War of the Revolution."
The battles inscribed on the tablet are Brandywine, Monmoth, Poindexter, Princeton, White Marsh and others, noting they served as "frontier rangers."
It also notes the patriotism of the people of "old Northampton' for the many blankets and stockings made for use of Revolutionarty War soldiers.