LOCATION: Hampton Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in a small park at northeast corner of the intersection, at Maymont.
ARTIST: Ernest S. Leland.
DESCRIPTION: An eight-sided stepped shafoot approximately 20 foot high. The south face contains a working upright sundial and is inscribed with directions for its use. The monument was erected by James H. Dooley to the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s Academy and Orphan Asylum in memory of his wife and parents. The sundial was designed after the pillar cross sundial at Corpus Christi College in Oxford, England.
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Sundials are cool, no question. On this visit, you can clearly see that the dial was suggesting that it was around 11 a.m. (in Roman numerals, no less). My watch had 12:05 p.m., but then again, we are in Daylight Saving Time, which would make the sundial spot-on!
This particular sundial is quite unique, and the descriptive wording engraved in the granite base is very forward-thinking. Maybe people in the Victorian Age-Depression Era were more in tune with telling time with sundials and not used to digital clocks, etc. The chart describing Eastern Standard Time adjustments coordinated with the time of the year is a great way to learn how to tell time by the sun.