State Historian Earle Shettleworth will give an illustrated talk titled The Civil War Sculpture of Maine’s Franklin Simmons Tuesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St. Shettleworth’s talk, co-sponsored by the Rockland Historical Society and the Rockland Public Library, will be followed by refreshments and conversation in the Rockland Historical Society Museum.

Franklin Simmons was born in Webster in 1839, and he grew up in Bath and Lewiston, where he attended Bates College. He studied sculpting with John Adams Jackson and William Miller of Rhode Island. His first major commission was for the life-size marble statue of Gen. Hiram G. Berry in Achorn Cemetery. He completed the statue in 1865, two years after Berry died in the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Simmons went to Washington, D. C., during the Civil War, where he sculpted bas reliefs and busts of the nation’s political and military leaders including Abraham Lincoln, William Seward, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. He created the Civil War monument of the standing soldier in Lewiston; the equestrian statue of Gen. John Logan in Logan Square, Washington, D. C.; a small statuette of Lincoln for the Maine State House; the statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Longfellow Square, Portland; and the Soldier’s Monument in Monument Square, Portland.

In 1868, Simmons moved to Rome, Italy, the mecca for carvers of marble at the end of the 19th century. He died there in 1874.

Shettleworth grew up in Portland, where he became interested in history and historic preservation while trying to save Portland’s Union Station in 1961. He helped to form Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964. He served on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, and became director of the commission in 1976.

Shettleworth was appointed state historian in 2004. With many lectures and numerous publications to his credit, he has retired as director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission; and continues as Maine's sixth State Historian.