The Howard Monument is a prominent stone structure standing at the southeast corner of Stearns Park in downtown Columbus. It is visible to passers-by from Hwy 108. The monument was constructed in 1909 by the Tryon Council to honor Thomas Howard, a local hero of the Revolutionary War.
In the 1770’s, Howard played a major role in patrolling and defending the area against the Cherokee to the west and the British to the east. In 1776, as the war heated up, there were several massacres. Howard, accompanied by his Cherokee guide Skyuka, led a group of rangers in an attack on a band of Cherokees who camped at Round Mountain. They won the battle and peace was restored. The Howard Monument has been moved three times since it was constructed. Its first home was on Old Howard Gap Road, near Round Mountain. In the 1960’s when I-26 was being built, it was dismantled and stored in Columbus. In 1977, it was reassembled and rededicated in a more prominent location above Howard Gap Rd. and overlooking 1-26. However, it was not visible to many people. In 2007, with the approval of the Howard family, the monument was moved to its present location in Columbus. Be sure to go by and see it.