The Montana Historical Society's Interpretive History Dr. Ellen Baumler says the Civil War Memorial fountain has a lot of people talking about Helena. Some are saying it must be removed, others want it to stay. The Confederate monument is the only Memorial in the Northwestern United States.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1916 had it erected, according to Dr. Baumler, because of dead family members who fought for the southern breakaway states in the Civil War. It is in a city park, not a federal park, so the federal government really has nothing to say.

Dr. Baumler says she doesn't consider the monument to be in support of white supremacy or the Klu Klux Klan. In 2015, the Montana Historical Society was even asked to design a plaque saying they don't condone racism that was going to be attached to the memorial. But she said it got kicked down the road and was never done.

Baumler says she doesn't feel the monument should be removed. She wonders if Thomas Jefferson, who was a slave owner, would be next. So many places are named after him. When will it stop, she wonders. It's history, we should understand it, talk about it, but not hide it.


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