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Support the Billerica Minuteman Statue Association

“I believe a Statue is a historical, honorable, fitting, lasting, & the
  ultimate tribute to the brave patriots who fought for our freedom.”


Bill Brimer
President & Executive Director
Billerica Minuteman Statue Association

Imagine, if you will, the year is 1775. The American Revolution had not yet begun. In early March, at a town meeting, a vote was passed to raise a company of 50 minutemen. On March 8th, a young Billerica farmer named Thomas Ditson Jr. went to Boston to buy a better firelock, as he wanted to be a Billerica Minuteman. Mr. Ditson was tarred and feathered by the British soldiers in order to demonstrate to the citizens of Boston that the British meant business.

On April 19th, 1775 Lt. Col. Francis Smith began a march to Concord, with 700 British troops, in search of ammunition that the patriots had stored. An unknown alarm rider rode from neighboring Bedford and reached Billerica around 2:00 am. The alarm was sounded throughout the town and soon the minutemen and the militia were mustering on the common and at the Pollard Tavern. One of the first to hear the alarm was Mr. Thomas Ditson Jr. who along with over 100 men, farmers, husbands, shopkeepers and doctors, gathered that morning and started their march to Concord. They took with them more than just their firelocks and bayonets. They took with them the support of the colony, the churches, and the newspapers. These ordinary farmers and townspeople were dedicated, brave patriots.

The Billerica patriots saw action beside the Miriam farmhouse in Concord. Miriam’s Corner marked the beginning of the running battle between the growing ranks of militia and minutemen companies and the British troops as they attempted to return to the safety of Boston The Billerica Minutemen also participated in the battle of Bunker Hill, where over 1000 patriots fought for our freedom, the Battle of Bennington, VT, and the Rhode Island Campaign among many other places.

I’ve been a member of the Billerica Colonial Minute Men for many years. I’ve been Captain of the organization for the last 5 years. As I became more involved with BCMM and discovered the rich history Billerica had in the American Revolutionary War, I wondered why there wasn’t a minuteman statue on the common. Concord and Lexington each has one and now I understand Bedford has one.

About two years ago Richard Mackay, BCMM’s Quartermaster and Board Member of the Billerica Historical Society, asked us to critique a Line of March road sign, commemorating the march to Concord that the society had commissioned.

Right away we noticed that the minuteman depicted on the sign was, in fact, the Concord minuteman. We decided to take this as an opportunity to design an “original” Billerica minuteman logo, in deed, a minuteman character that would represent the Town of Billerica.

We started with BCMM’s logo at the time, which was a shadowy, upper torso figure of a minuteman. It was designed by Jim Greco, of Greco Graphics, 16 years ago and presented to the Billerica Colonial Minute Men. Mr. Mackay, now working with the Historical Society on the road sign project, asked Jim to remove some of the shadows.

I asked a local artist, Shane Clarke, to add legs to the character. Mr. Mackay presented the artwork to David DeMeo, of Sign Effects, who worked with Mr. Mackay and the Historical Society on the design of the road sign and the result is the sign you see installed in the town center and along Concord Road today.

The Billerica Historical Society decided to use only the upper torso of the logo. It makes for a very unique road sign.

The full figure logo, complete with legs, has been adopted by the Billerica Colonial Minute Men as their logo.

As this character evolved and legs were added, I saw the Minuteman statue I had envisioned on the common ever since I became a member of BCMM.

Later that year, I was asked to speak at the annual meeting of the Billerica Historical Society and later at the Lions Club. At the end of those talks, I shared my dream of an “original” Billerica Minuteman Statue on the common. This generated some interest and as a result I founded the Billerica Minuteman Statue Association. My mission is to raise the funds to cast and install a Minuteman Statue on the common in the town of Billerica. I believe a brand new, historical Minuteman Statue, right in the middle of Minuteman country, will draw people from all over the world.

I envision this statue standing on a 6’ X 4’ X 6’ high rock installed on the common pointing down Concord Road, which was the original line of march on April 19, 1775.

The project is estimated to cost $75,000. I have received a grant from the Billerica Arts Council. Leonard Buckland, the Billerica Poet, has donated a booklet spotlighting three Billerica Patriots and some of his poetry, which is available for a minimum donation of $2.00. Booklets are available at the Clara Sexton House, 36 Concord Road Tel: 978-667-7020 and at the Home of the Billerica Colonial Minute Men, 15 Wyman Road, call Mr. MacKay at Tel: 978-495-2651.

Helen Potter, artist and sculptor, along with Hailey Hartshorn, a student at the Locke Middle School, are presently working on the sculpture at Helen’s Mill Mouse Gallery. Mark Burke, a student at Shawsheen Tech, has helped in the past. Clay and steel for the armature, have been purchased. The head is in the process of being sculptured. It can be viewed on youtube, as the third video, at the following link,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=FR&hl=fr&v=j7HrfnHxGNo&feature=channel

 
Donations for the statue may be sent to:
Billerica Minuteman Statue Association

We are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization
 
Enterprise Bank
674 Boston Road
Billerica, MA 01821
Tel: 978-262-0123
Send Bill Brimer email at thecaptain@bcmm.us

For additional information please contact,
Billerica Minuteman Statue Association
Bill Brimer, President
T: 978-658-0382
C: 978-604-4695






 
This program is supported in part by a grant from
the Billerica Arts Council, a local agency which is
supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council,
a state agency.
 


Contact: Bill Brimer - Captain - thecaptain@bcmm.us