Washington Monument - Boonsboro, MD
N 39° 30.026 W 077° 37.388
18S E 274451 N 4375597
Quick Description: Welcome to the ORIGINAL Washington monument, the first in the land erected by the proud townspeople of Boonsboro, Maryland onJuly 4, 1827.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 8/12/2011 12:08:48 AM
Waymark Code: WMC9BQ
This is the very first monument constructed in the United States dedicated to George Washington!
According a period newspaper account, on July 4, 1827 at 7am, most of Boonsboro’s 500 inhabitants assembled at the public square. Behind the Stars and Stripes and stepping spiritedly to the music of a fife and drum corps, they marched two miles up the mountain to the monument site. The citizens worked until noon and then held a dedication ceremony and lunch. They resumed work and by 4pm the monument stood fifteen feet high on a 54-foot circular base. The day ended with the reading of the Declaration of Independence and a three round salute fired by three Revolutionary War veterans. The workers returned that September to finish. Upon its completion, the monument stood 30 feet high. SOURCE
In the ensuing years, the Washington Monument became a popular meeting place, but over the years, weather and vandalism reduced it to a pile of rubble. In 1882, the restoration of the monument was undertaken and carried out under the sponsorship of the Odd Fellows Lodge of Boonsboro. At this time a canopy was added, and a roadway for vehicles was built up the mountainside to the site. A decade later the rugged tower was marred by the development of a crack in the wall. Because it was not repaired, the monument again fell in ruins.
In 1920, the 1-acre (4,000 m2) site was purchased by the Washington County Historical Society, and in 1934 it was deeded to the State of Maryland for use as a State Park. The tower was rebuilt in its present form by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, who set in place the original cornerstone and a facsimile of the dedication tablet.
The third dedication ceremony was held on July 4, 1936, exactly 109 years after that first day of patriotic activity by the citizens of Boonsboro, which produced the beginnings of the country's first completed monument to George Washington.
The Appalachian Trail goes through the state park, and passes the base of the monument. The monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1972. I saw three marble stones, one a date stone, imbedded within the stone of the tower. One said Erected memory of Washington July 4, 1827 by the citizens of Boonsboro. This is a reproduction of the original installed by the CCC in the early thirties. This is considered the date stone and is in the rear of the monument about 15 feet or half way up. In the front on the right of the entrance to the tower, another marble 'brick' reads: This monument, the first erected to the memory of George Washington with 10 acres of land was deeded to Maryland by the Washington County Historical Society and citizens of Boonsboro 1934. Rebuilt 1936 to original design by Civilian Conservation Corps directed by the National Park Service and the State Department of Forestry.
Parking is located in front of the visitor center, located at N 39° 29.928 W 077° 37.403. There is a trail which leads to the monument. That trail is part of the Appalachian Trail so when you are finished you can say you actually hiked the Appalachian. There are water fountains at the beginning of the trail. From trailhead to attraction, it is under a quarter mile of dirt trail and amazing scenery. When you arrive the view is amazing. It is also an observation tower so you can climb up and get a panoramic view of the entire valley including Antietam. There is also a neat boulder field directly beneath the monument which is ripe for an earth cache.