The monument, by Franklin Simmons, was installed and dedicated in 1891. It honors the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War and includes some of the characteristics of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom
Monument square is the site of a wide variety of demonstrations and rallies in Portland. For many years, women (and men) have gathered at Monument Square to speak and protest about issues important to women, including rallies for gay rights and gender equality. Since 1980, Portlanders and others have come together at the Square for annual "Take Back the Night" marches and rallies against domestic violence.