Daughters of the Revolution Monument (1945 - 2013) - Valley Forge, PA
N 40° 06.199 W 075° 26.314
18T E 462620 N 4439316
Quick Description: This 50 foot granite obelisk was erected in 1901 by the Daughters of the Revolution. It marks the site of the only identified grave at Valley Forge, that of Lieutenant John Waterman of Rhode Island, who died on April 23, 1778.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 5/26/2013 4:43:50 PM
Waymark Code: WMH5KF
This beautiful postcard depicts the Daughters of the Revolution Monument at Valley Forge, PA. The postcard is linen which makes if part of the Linen Era of postcards which ran from 1930-1945. accordingly, I will date this picture as 1945 making the photo tandem at least 68 years old. The monument faces due north and is 353 feet south of Valley Forge Road, in a field. I faced sue south and snapped the monument head on. Both pictures look identical. I cannot discern any changes. I found my picture on eBay. I used a Canon PowerShot 14.1 Megapixel, SX210 IS digital camera for the photos. I visited the monument on Saturday, April 6, 2013 @ 4:52 PM, EDT & @ an altitude of 175 feet, ASL. Parking is available at the Washington Memorial Chapel.
This is Valley Forge’s first monument. The 50 foot granite obelisk was erected in 1901 by the Daughters of the Revolution of 1776. Popularly called the Waterman Monument, it was erected near a headstone at one of the supposed burial grounds and dedicated to all soldiers who died and were buried at Valley Forge. It is my understanding John Waterman is buried to the immediate rear of the obelisk. Several sites state the monument marks the site of the only identified grave at Valley Forge, that of Lieutenant John Waterman of Rhode island who died on April 23, 1778. One source wrote: "The actual Waterman grave marker, located on the grand parade ground near the area where Rhode Island regiments encamped, is simply marked as "JW 1778." SOURCE
The monument which rises above the park it one of the more conspicuous landmarks at the park. The obelisk stands on a piece of ground thirty by thirty-five square feet, with an approach form the road ten feet wide and three hundred and sixty-one feet long. I remember it was a long walk down and an even longer walk schlepping back up the hill on the granite steps. The land for the monument was given by Mr. I Heston Todd. Mr Todd later deeded to the Society additional ground on which are placed the historic cannon loaned by the Girard Estate.
The obelisk rests upon a base ten feet square, raised upon a plinth with three gradations. On the face of the plinth is the following inscription:
To The Soldiers of Washington's Army
Who Slept at Valley Forge, 1777-1778
Erected By The
Daughters of the Revolution
Near this spot lies Lieutenant John Waterman
Died April 23, 1778, whose grave alone
of all his comrades was marked.
This monument and related property was presented to the
United States of America
National Society Daughters of the Revolution of 1776
Pennsylvania Society Daughters of the Revolution of 1776
Set in the base is a large bas-relief in bronze representing the Valley Forge Encampment. Above this is a bronze seal of the Society. The Colonial flag is carved on the obelisk.
The dedication took place on October 19, 1901. Mr. Todd made the presentation of the deed, and addresses were made by the Honorable William A. Stone, Governor of Pennsylvania; the Honorable Boies Penrose, Mr. Peter Boyd and Midd Adaline Wheelock Sterling, President-General of the Daughters of the Revolution. As Governor Stone unveiled the shaft he said: "On behalf of the Daughters of the Revolution I dedicated this monument to the heroic dead of Valley Forge."
The Daughters of the Revolution Monument meets criterion A for its association with American Revolution and Criterion B for its association with George Washington and the impact of the encampment on his military career. PA SHPO concurrence 9/16/2004 to 2000 CLI that resource contributes to the national significance of Valley Forge NHP. The monument is inventoried as structure no. 441.
From the Nomination Form:
1st monument erected @ the Encampment site. Honors soldiers who died @ Valley Forge. Erected on site of Waterman's grave, only known marked grave, overlooking area with other visible unmarked gravestones. Listed as contributing object in 10/28/1988 NR documentation, with Commemorative significance.
Short Physical Description:
Obelisk, 5'6" sq, 40" high, base on platform, w/ inscriptions. All in 2-level, walled terrace, w/ inclined walkway, approx. 247' long w/ steps to mon. & wall court w/ cannons. Seal & court at road.
Long Physical Description:
1. NRHP Nomination Form
2. Historical Marker Database
3. Historical and Topographical Guide to Valley Forge