In 1827, the citizens of Boonsboro became the first to complete a monument to George Washington.
According a period newspaper account, on July 4, 1827 at 7am, most of Boonsboro’s 500 inhabitants assembled at the public square. Behind the Stars and Stripes and stepping spiritedly to the music of a fife and drum corps, they marched two miles up the mountain to the monument site. The citizens worked until noon and then held a dedication ceremony and lunch. They resumed work and by 4pm the monument stood fifteen feet high on a 54-foot circular base. The day ended with the reading of the Declaration of Independence and a three round salute fired by three Revolutionary War veterans. The workers returned that September to finish. Upon its completion, the monument stood 30 feet high.
In the ensuing years, the Washington Monument became a popular meeting place, but over the years, weather and vandalism reduced it to a pile of rubble. During the Civil War, the monument was used as a signal tower by the Union Army, though it was little more than a pile of stones. In 1882, the restoration of the monument was undertaken and carried out under the sponsorship of the Odd Fellow Lodge of Boonsboro. At this time a canopy was added, and a roadway for vehicles was built up the mountainside to the site. A decade later the rugged tower was marred by the development of a crack in the wall. Because it was not repaired, the monument again fell in ruins. Between 1934-1936, it was restored to its original design by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Washington County Historical Society purchased the surrounding land in 1922 and in 1934 gifted it to the State of Maryland, developed the area as a State Park.
The park also includes museum that features historical artifacts related to the history of Washington Monument and the Battle of South Mountain. It is open on weekends only in April and October, and seven days a week from May through September. It is closed during the winter.
If it has been raining, please be careful on the monument steps. Also, it can be very dark half-way up/down the steps, especially if the sun is fairly low or if it is cloudy.
LOG PASSWORD: The Log Password (ABCDEFGHI) will be made up of information you will find at 3 spots. I recommend that you photograph each of these sources for your records.
1. Across from the entrance, there is a bench. Find the a plaque with a 3 letter acronym. This will be ABC.
2. To the left of the entrance is an inscription that includes three committee members. The initials of the third one are DEF.
3. Climb to the top of the monument and locate the sign with the Bald Eagle on it. The sign also points out the locations of some landmarks. The 3 letter acronym for the site that is the third from the left is GHI.
Entrance Fee: $2 per vehicle for MD residents / $3 for non-residents.