This June, the Arnold-Zweir Post 22 of the American Legion in Jamestown celebrates its 85th year. Ten years after the national American Legion was chartered, about 40 veterans, with their wives and sisters, met at the home of Captain Clarke to form an American Legion Post in Jamestown. The post number was 22, and in 1946 the members officially changed the name to Arnold-Zweir Post 22 in honor of Jamestowners Horace Arnold and Francis Zweir, who were killed during World War II.
Post 22 and its auxiliary have a remarkable history of community service. They have organized parades and memorial services for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Their Drum and Bugle Corps, founded in 1930 and active through World War II, won many prizes. They have sponsored baseball teams, volleyball teams, and the Boy Scout troop. In 1957, Arnold-Zweir Post 22 built an 18-foot-high birthday cake in honor of the 300th anniversary of the purchase of Conanicut Island; the cake stood at the East Ferry waterfront and its 300 candles lit up the bay for the week of the celebration.
In 1975 the two organizations asked the town council to give them town land for a memorial to the men of Jamestown who had fought in the country’s wars, and the same year a memorial, now in the Artillery Grounds near the Jamestown museum, was unveiled. In 1996, the Town Council passed a resolution that granted Veterans’ Memorial Square at East Ferry to the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in perpetuity. The resolution also stipulates that if the memorial ever has to be relocated, the town will do so only after consulting with veterans groups and holding public hearings.
An exhibit featuring photos and memorabilia from the JHS collections is exhibited in the newest library exhibit. Please visit the library and enjoy the exhibit researched and prepared by Rosemary Enright, Carol Lake, and Sue Maden.