The Black Angel honors Ruth Anne
Dodge, the wife of General Dodge and commemorates her 1916 death. The Black
Angel was sculpted by Daniel Chester French also created the famed seated
Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and the
minuteman in Concord, Massachusetts.
This sculpture is said to be the translation of a dream
experienced by Mrs. Dodge on the three nights preceding her death in 1916.
According to the legend, Mrs. Dodge told her daughters of the dream wherein she
was on a rocky shore and through the mist saw a small boat approach. At the
front of the boat a beautiful angel held a small bowl and spoke softly,
encouraging Mrs. Dodge to take a drink. The vision came three times to Mrs.
Dodge, and on the third night, she took the drink and told her daughters she
felt like a she was “transformed into a new and glorious spiritual being.” She
died soon after the third visit.
Her daughters commissioned French
to create a memorial to Mrs. Dodge based on her description of this dream. The
statue was dedicated in 1920, depicting a winged angel with one arm
outstretched and the other holding a vessel from which water flows.
The monument and surroundings
were restored in 1984. The National Park Service has this memorial on the
Register of National Historic Places.