Monument Placed At Berlin Park Honors Namesake

Monument Placed At Berlin Park Honors Namesake

BERLIN – A new monument in Henry Park, the first to ever be installed there, honors the educator for whom the park was named.

Though members of the town’s parks commission have expressed interest in honoring Dr. William E. Henry for years, it wasn’t until 2015 that they learned enough about the Worcester County native to create a monument in his honor. A granite monument featuring his biography and portrait now sits beside the flagpole at the entrance to the park.

“We’re very pleased with how it came out,” said Mary Bohlen, Berlin’s administrative services director.

The monument, which weighs more than 4,000 pounds, was installed by town staff at Henry Park this week. According to Bohlen, the memorial, which cost the town $4,535, was created with input from Burbage Funeral Home.

“The funeral home was extremely helpful,” she said.

Though there are a handful of memorial plaques and monuments in Stephen Decatur Park, Henry Park until this week had none.

“The idea of a monument wasn’t new it just hadn’t been done in Henry Park,” Bohlen said.Monument1

The stone honoring Henry, which describes his early years in Snow Hill as well as his time as supervisor of Worcester County education and as president of Bowie State Teacher’s College, was developed with information from the recently published book Compass Points, according to Mike Wiley, chairman of the town’s parks commission. He said the commission had been looking for information on Henry for years and finally found some during a book signing featuring Compass Points that took place in Berlin in February.

“It was kind of embarrassing,” he said. “People would ask who the park was named after. No one had much information.”

Bohlen said that while Henry had obviously been at the forefront of citizens’ minds when the park was named decades ago, most residents had since forgotten about him.

“The parks commission has been talking for years about finding out who he was and why he was significant,” she said. “When they named the park he was in people’s minds but in time people forget and those who remember may no longer be here.”

She said the monument was placed at the front of Henry Park so that passersby, as well as those using the park, could admire it and learn about the longtime educator.

Bohlen expects the town to host a dedication ceremony for the monument sometime in the near future.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.