Monumental gift to Town

After a roughly five-year mystery concerning the disappearance of Admiral James David Glasgow Farragut Monument, the mystery officially was solved last Thursday.

Town of Farragut officials expressed joy to be recipient of the stone monument from Lylan Fitzgerald, on whose property at Stony Point Farm along Fort Loudoun Lake near Northshore Drive — birthplace site of Adm. Farragut according to Town officials — the monument had been located for 108 years before disappearing in 2011.

Following years of on-and-off negotiations with Knox County government officials for Fitzger-ald to donate the monument to the county, official transfer came at Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Aug. 11 in Town Hall.

“We’re very much appreciative of this gift she’s giving us,” David Smoak, Town administrator, said to the Board and audience prior to approval.

“… We’re so happy to have it coming home here. Thank you so much,” Alderman Bob Markli said to Fitzgerald prior to BOMA’s vote, which was unanimous in favor of accepting a couple of stipulations in order to receive the monument.

The Board’s Aug. 11 agenda stated: “The only stipulation to the donation is that the monument must stay within the Town boundaries and cannot be leased or donated to another non-profit, museum or government agency.”

“I just really, really appreciate everyone being so kind and so nice, especially the LaMarches [Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche and husband, Lou LaMarche] and Hugh Willett and Tom Rosseel,” Fitzgerald said during the meeting, “It was [Rosseel’s] suggestion in the first place that that would be a good home for the monument. And I agreed with him. I spent a lot of time and prayed about it, thought about it. And I just look forward to it being in this Town and could not be more pleased.”

“We promise to take good care of it,” Mayor Ralph McGill said.

As for the monument’s permanent location, Smoak said, “We’ll get a committee together. … We’ll work on that over the next couple of months.”

“Things never worked out with Knox County,” Carole Worthing-ton, Fitzgerald's attorney, said.

A Town crew removed the monument Friday, Aug. 12, and brought it into Town at an undisclosed location.

“The original stone monument [was] dedicated by Adm. [George] Dewey in 1903 honoring Adm. Farragut’s birthplace,” the agenda stated.

Neither Worthington nor Fitz-gerald would comment about how the monument disappeared.

“Because the monument was on her property, she had experienced a lot of problems with people entering her property,” Rosseel, a former Alderman who advised Fitzgerald, said.