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New Jersey, unlike other parts of the United States, has a history that goes back centuries, back to colonial times.  New Jersey was the site of Revolutionary War battles, with the Battle of Monmouth and the Battle of Trenton come to mind.  In Freehold, there’s a stone monument to the Battle of Monmouth, called the Columbia Triumphant.  An early history can be found here,  and it’s interesting to know that the statue has been struck by lightening:

 In 1894, the monument statue, Columbia Triumphant, was struck by lightning and damaged. Between 1895 and 1896, the Commission oversaw its replacement by a replica statue.The Commission continued its administration of the monument and of the anniversary celebrations through the 150th celebration on June 28, 1928. It is unknown when the Commission officially disbanded.

So, one can assume that the lightening strike has nothing to do with Columbia Triumphant’s present state. However, the version that sits near the Freehold Hall of Records is actually the damaged original.  Apparently, there are two versions of the statue, according to this.   So, if it’s the original, then the lighting strike may well explain why the statue is missing a nose.


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