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George Washington's Thumb.
"I cannot tell a lie. I chopped off my thumb instead of the cherry tree."

George Washington's Thumb

Field review by the editors.

Washington, Pennsylvania

Sadly, it's not his real thumb, but a terra cotta thumb from a Washington statue that stood atop the Washington County Courthouse until 1927. Terra cotta George was replaced with a sturdier bronze version after parts of him were blown off by lightning strikes -- including the thumb, which was severed circa 1917.

While the rest of the original statue is long gone, the thumb somehow survived and found its way into the Washington County Historical Society Museum. According to executive director Clay Kilgore, the presidential digit is a prized local relic and one of the museum's most popular exhibits.

We hope that Washington's namesake town sees fit to further celebrate its connection to America's first president, perhaps with an annual festival (Thumbawumba?). It could pit George Washington lookalikes wearing oversized plastic thumbs against a scurrilous, and digitally inferior, King George III. Thumbs-up for liberty!

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George Washington's Thumb

Washington County Historical Society Museum

49 E. Maiden St., Washington, PA
Washington County Historical Society Museum. Downtown, on the north side of US Hwy 40/E. Maiden St., midway between S. Main and S. College Sts. In the building with the Le Moyne House historical marker out front.
T-F 11-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $5.
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In the region:
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