First Washington Monument.

First Washington Monument

Field review by the editors.

Middletown, Maryland

On July 4, 1827, the citizens of Boonsboro, seized with a patriotic frenzy, climbed nearby South Mountain and spent four hours building a vaguely bottle-shaped 15-foot-high tower of rocks. It was "erected in memory of [George] Washington," according to its small marble dedication slab, and has survived to become the USA's oldest monument to a President.

Erected without mortar, the tower -- which had grown through subsequent patriotic outbursts to 30 feet high -- gradually fell into disrepair. Several efforts to restore the monument began in 1882, and the final makeover was completed in 1936. The tower has remained pretty much unchanged since then.

Compared with the famous Washington Monument, the one on South Mountain is much less stressful to visit, and the view from its base (at 1,200 feet) is more than twice as high as the one in DC.

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First Washington Monument

Washington Monument State Park

Address:
6620 Zittlestown Rd, Middletown, MD
Directions:
Washington Monument State Park. From Boonsboro drive east on US-40 ALT/Old National Pike for two miles. Turn left (no stoplight) onto Zittlestown Rd. Drive one mile. Turn left at the stop sign into the park.
Hours:
Daily April-Oct. 8-sunset, Nov.-March 10-sunset (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
301-791-4767
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Doug Bast's House of HistoryDoug Bast's House of History, Boonsboro, MD - 2 mi.
Spook HillSpook Hill, Burkittsville, MD - 7 mi.
Official William McKinley Coffee Break MonumentOfficial William McKinley Coffee Break Monument, Sharpsburg, MD - 7 mi.
In the region:
Where William McKinley Became a Freemason, Winchester, VA - 36 mi.

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