The Liberty Pole

If you follow East Avenue to its conclusion (or its beginning, depending on your POV) to East Main Street in Downtown Rochester you will encounter the Liberty Pole. According to the description on the historical marker, the well-over 100 metal foot pole is a "gathering point and symbol for causes during crucial periods of the City's History." The pole was first built in 1840 to gather support for the Whig Party presidential campaign. GO WHIGS. On July 4, 1848, inspired by the revolutions in Europe, Rochestarians constructed an even-better second pole. A third Liberty Pole emerged in 1860, and the final version was designed by James Johnson (I don't believe of Johnson City) in 1965.

The Rochester City bus drops/picks me up very close to the Liberty Pole. Being downtown with all the other environmentally conscientious and/or broke folk and/or people of color near the unique marker inspired this post.

And although I personally don't have too many qualms with the anti-war demonstrators using the Liberty Pole as a rallying area, it's always nice to see a diversity of tactics and periodic changes in location to build a more effective Rochester movement.

-By Alia

1 comment:

Julia said...

There used to be an eternal flame by the pole at one time back when its 1965 version was built. Another JFK memorial type of thing I believe. They got rid of it because it was always going out anyway (wind I think). Something to note, the prettiest time of year for the Liberty Pole is the winter holiday season. They string white lights up the wires for the poles, creating a very urban "Christmas" tree. The city used to sponsor a big "Pole Lighting" ceremony, but I got the impression that not much had been going on there for the past couple of years.