Monumento a los heroes de El Polvorín (obelisk)

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Monumento a los heroes de El Polvorín
DSC00714A - Obelisk to the El Polvorin firefighters in Plaza Las Delicias in Ponce, PR.jpg
Image of the monument
Coordinates 18° 0' 40.6794" N, 66° 36' 49.464" W (N 18.01130, W 66.61374).
Location Plaza Degetau at Plaza Las Delicias, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Type Obelisk
Material Granite and Marble
Height approx 20 feet
Beginning date ca. 1947
Completion date 1948
Opening date 25 January 1948
Dedicated to The "El Polvorin" fire heroes

The Monumento a los heroes de El Polvorín (Monument to the "El Polvorín" fire heroes) is a monument at Plaza Las Delicias in Ponce, Puerto Rico, dedicated to the seven fire fighters and one civilian that subdued the flames of the "El Polvorin" fire on the night of 25 January 1899.

Location[edit]

The monument is located in a shady area on the eastern half of Plaza Degetau, the southern plaza at Plaza Las Delicias in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Background[edit]

On 25 January 1899, a large fire (later dubbed "El Polvorin") threatened the lives of Ponceños, as well as the economy of Puerto Rico as a whole, given Ponce's de facto role as Puerto Rico's banking and agricultural capital. For their success, the group was honored many times both in Ponce and the rest of Puerto Rico. The obelisk was built to honor their memory.

The structure[edit]

The obelisk was built in 1948.[1] It replaced the original obelisk built shortly after the 25 January 1899 fire, but which was destroyed by the 1918 San Fermín earthquake.[2] The obelisk was erected by a city board consisting of Jaime L. Drew, Antonio Arias, and Antonio Mirabal.[2] This monument is different from the obelisk/tomb built in 1911, and dedicated to the same men, and which stands at the Cementerio Civil de Ponce (Ponce Civil Cemetery).[3][4]

The four-sided obelisk has four plaques, one on each side.

The plaque facing East reads:

"Tributo de Gratitud
que el pueblo de Ponce dedica
en el 49o aniversario
del acaecimiento,
a sus ocho benemeritos hijos quienes,
con expocision de sus vidas,
conjuraron el voraz elemento.
25 de enero de 1948."
"Homenage of Gratefulness
which the people of Ponce dedicate
on the 49th anniversary
of its occurrence
to its eight distinguished citizens who,
exposing their own lives,
fought the raging fire.
25 January 1948."

The North-facing plaque lists the honored men, saying:

"Heroes de la Jornada
Rafael Rivera Esbri (civil)[a]
Pedro Sabater
Rafael del Valle
Cayetano Casals
Pedro Ruiz
Juan Romero
Gregorio Rivera
Tomas Rivera."
"Heroes of the Labor
Rafael Rivera Esbri (civilian)
Pedro Sabater
Rafael del Valle
Cayetano Casals
Pedro Ruiz
Juan Romero
Gregorio Rivera
Tomas Rivera."

The Western-facing plaque says:

"El siniestro
al que se hace referencia
se desarrollo en el lugar en que
se levanta la Escuela Rosevelt,
manzana que circuyen
la calles
Comercio, Salud,
Cristina, Trujillo."
"The disaster
to which we make reference
occurred at the location of
Roosevelt School,[b]
the block bordered by
Comercio, Salud,
Cristina and Trujillo
streets."

The plaque facing South reads:

"Junta Erectora:
Jaime L. Drew
Antonio Arias
Antonio Mirabal"
"Building Board:
Jaime L. Drew
Antonio Arias
Antonio Mirabal"

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The civilian Rafael Rivera Esbrí later became a mayor of Ponce.
  2. ^ The "Roosevelt School", mentioned on the Western facing plaque, refers to the Ponce High School.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Camina por Ponce: "Ponce es nuestro; Ponce es del que nos visita". Archived 2012-07-03 at the Wayback Machine. Municipality of Ponce. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  2. ^ a b Pariser, Harry S. (2002). Explore Puerto Rico (5th ed.). Harry S. Pariser. ISBN 9781893643529. 
  3. ^ Millán, Reinaldo (January 25, 2012). "Hacen justicia con héroes del Polvorín". La Perla del Sur (in Spanish) (Year 30, Issue 1469). Ponce, Puerto Rico. p. 22. 
  4. ^ Hillinger, Charles (April 22, 1990). "Heroism of Firefighters Still Ignites Civic Pride". Los Angeles Times. 

Coordinates: 18°00′40.6794″N 66°36′49.464″W / 18.011299833°N 66.61374000°W / 18.011299833; -66.61374000