Washington Monument State Park
|Washington Monument State Park|
|Maryland State Park|
|Elevation||1,394 ft (425 m) |
|Area||146 acres (59 ha) |
|Management||Maryland Department of Natural Resources|
|Website: Washington Monument State Park|
Erected in Memory of Washington July 4th 1827 by the citizens of Boonsboro
|Nearest city||Boonsboro, Maryland|
|Area||104 acres (42 ha)|
|Governing body||State (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)|
|NRHP Reference #||72000588|
|Added to NRHP||November 3, 1972|
The Washington Monument, located four miles (6 km) east of the town of Boonsboro, in Washington County, Maryland, United States, honors the "Father of Our Country," George Washington. The monument sits near the summit of South Mountain's Monument Knob (1,539 feet (469 m)). The 34-foot-tall (10 m) tower is protected within Washington Monument State Park. The monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 3, 1972.
The original tower, built in 1827, was the first monument dedicated to George Washington to be completed. The Baltimore Washington Monument was completed two years later, although it had been started considerably earlier in 1815. The famous Washington Monument in the District of Columbia was not completed until 1885.
The dry-laid stone tower was built on July 4, 1827, by the citizens of Boonsboro who marched to the site en masse after assembling in the town square at 7 a.m. At the end of that day, the tower stood at 15 feet (4.6 m) high on a base 54 feet (16 m) in circumference. Later that year, "after the busy season," workmen returned to complete the tower to a height of 30 feet (9.1 m).
Although it was a popular meeting place for the citizenry of Boonsboro, weather and vandalism reduced the monument to rubble. In that condition, it was used by the Union Army as a signal station during the Civil War.
- First restoration
In 1882, the Odd Fellows Lodge of Boonsboro sponsored the tower's restoration. A canopy was added and a vehicle road built up the mountainside. A decade later, however, the tower again fell into ruin when a crack in the wall was not repaired.
- CCC restoration
The tower was rebuilt in its present form by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Workers set in place the original cornerstone and a facsimile of the dedication tablet (pictured at right), and a third dedication ceremony was held on July 4, 1936.
- State park
The Washington County Historical Society purchased the 1-acre (0.40 ha) site in 1920 and deeded it to the state for use as a state park in 1934. The section of the Appalachian Trail that runs through the park is used by visitors to reach the monument. A visitors center at the trail head has exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area. Picnicking facilities are also available.
- "Washington Monument State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "FY2013 DNR Owned Lands Acreage Report". Maryland DNR. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- "Monument Knob". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Washington Monument State Park History". Maryland DNR. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "Washington Monument State Park". Maryland DNR. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- "Washington Monument". National Register Listings in Maryland. Maryland Historic Trust. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Washington Monument State Park Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Washington Monument State Park World Database on Protected Areas