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Along Main Street sits Railroad Park, a beautiful, foliage-covered area directly in front of the train depot. Since 1903, the park has been home to a decommissioned Civil War cannon, standing as a memorial to all the soldiers from Ada who fought in the Civil War. In 2018, Ray Schuck, an ONU history professor, and a team of students researched and documented 81 veterans in total, whose names can now be seen on the bricks surrounding the cannon. One of those bricks at the base of the cannon belongs to Henry Solomon Lehr, a Civil War veteran and the founder of Ohio Northern University.

"Lest we forget" engraved into the side of the granite base

Memorial, Sculpture, Monument, Statue

"In memory of our soldiers" engraved into the opposite side of the base.

Memorial, Cannon, Granite, Grass

This early 20th-century postcard captures a view of the Civil War cannon and Ada rail depot.

Photograph, House, Snapshot, Tree

A 20th century postcard containing the Civil War cannon in railroad park

Photograph, Snapshot, Tree, Stock photography

When construction was finished on the Pennsylvania Railroad Depot in 1887, the Village of Ada looked to fill the park in front of it with a monument. They first erected a 15-foot wooden monument to veterans, but soon discovered that the wood could not withstand the Ada weather. In 1892, the town constructed a brick monument that suffered the same issues as the wooden one. In 1902, the town decided to build a proper monument for the Civil War veterans of Ada. A request was sent to the United States Government to obtain a condemned cannon for Ada. The 42-pounder seacoast gun, forged in 1859 at the Tredegar Iron Works, was sent from Fort Mifflin, PA, and arrived in Ada by train in 1903. The dedication ceremony was held on Memorial Day by Ada’s mayor, L.A. Greer. The park remained under ownership of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company until the citizens of Ada purchased the land in 1958. 

In 2018, cannon got new base to honor Ada’s Union Civil War veterans. A group of two ONU students led by Professor Ray Schuck documented the names of all the Civil War veterans of Ada. They then planned to make bricks with all 81 names they found to be placed around the base of the cannon, to memorialize each of the soldiers. The bricks each list the soldier's name, rank, and his unit. The Village of Ada agreed to cover the cost of the bricks at $32.50 each brick. The commencement ceremony was then held on Memorial Day, 2018, exactly 115 years after the cannon’s original ceremony.

Siekerman, Fred. Remembering Ada area's Civil War vets, Ada Icon. May 2nd 2018. Accessed November 18th 2020.

Crouse, Leland. Once upon a time in Ada, Ada Icon. January 4th 2020. Accessed November 18th 2020.

Image Sources(Click to expand)