Nantucket’s first encounter with combat was the Civil War, during which 73 of the 339 Nantucket men who enlisted were killed in action or by illness. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument honoring them (pictured above) is located on upper Main Street at a spot islanders commonly refer to as the “Four Corners.”
According to the Nantucket Historical Association, this neighborhood is known as Monument Square where Main, Upper Main, Milk, and Gardner Streets intersect. This was at one time the thriving civic hub of Nantucket. During the eighteenth century, the town gradually shifted closer to the harbor and in 1798, the town changed its name from Sherborn/Sherburne to Nantucket. During this time, Monument Square became the site of civic buildings, a meetinghouse, an early school, and the dwellings of some of Nantucket’s most prominent citizens.