The Elk on the Trail - Atlas Obscura

The Elk on the Trail

Florida, Massachusetts

A war memorial that appears to ascend from its forested setting. 


Richard Sears, a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, visited Whitcomb Summit during the winter of 1922-23 and was taken with the area’s scenic beauty. Sears proposed the location as a site for a memorial to members of the order, known as Elks, who died during World War I. The Massachusetts Elks Association fundraised for the memorial to be erected on donated land.

The eight-foot-tall bronze elk sculpture was designed by Eli Harvey, who specialized in depictions of animals. Harvey created several statues for the Order of Elks, including one in Alexandria, Virginia. The statue stands atop a rough-cut granite base and is positioned as if ascending out of the Deerfield Valley. The fence surrounding the memorial is often decorated patriotically.

An estimated 10,000 people, including many dignitaries, attended the dedication on June 17, 1923. The memorial was rededicated at its 50th anniversary in memory of the Elks who gave their lives in any and all wars, “and to peace.”

Know Before You Go

There is a paved pull-off in front of The Elk on the Trail. If traveling east on Route 2, the Mohawk Trail, the memorial is on the left just past a motor lodge. The motel is also visible at the top of Whitcomb Summit when coming from the other direction, in which case the parking area is on the right.

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October 16, 2023

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