Washington Monument State Park
|Washington Monument State Park|
|Maryland State Park|
|Elevation||1,401 ft (427 m) |
|Prominence||Monument Knob |
|- elevation||1,529 ft (466 m)|
|Area||191 acres (77 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)|
|Built by||Isaac C. Lutz|
|NRHP Reference #||72000588|
|Added to NRHP||November 3, 1972|
Washington Monument State Park is a public recreation area located approximately four miles (6.4 km) east of Boonsboro, Maryland. The park preserves the Washington Monument, a 40-foot-tall (12 m) tower honoring George Washington, the first President of the United States. The monument, which sits near the summit of South Mountain's Monument Knob, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The park is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Built in 1827, the original tower 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.
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.
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.
The Washington County Historical Society purchased the one-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 trailhead has exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the area as well as picnicking facilities.
- "Washington Monument State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Monument Knob". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
- "Fiscal Year 2016 DNR Owned Lands Acreage" (PDF). Maryland Department of Natural Resources. July 29, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- "Washington Monument". Maryland's National Register Properties. Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
- "Washington Monument State Park". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
- "Washington Monument State Park History". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Mrs. Preston Parish, Keeper of the Maryland Register (January 31, 1972). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Washington Monument" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
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