Located atop South Mountain, the Washington Monument, built in 1827, is the first monument dedicated to the memory of George Washington, predating the Washington Monument located on the Mall in Washington, DC.
According a period newspaper account, on July 4, 1827 at 7 a.m., 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 4 p.m. 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.
The monument often fell into disrepair, and was rebuilt at least twice during its history – mostly recently by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936. The monument is currently maintained by the Maryland Park Service.
The monument museum features historical artifacts related to the history of Washington Monument and the Battle of South Mountain. It is open on weekends in April and October, and Thursday through Monday from May through September. It is closed during the winter.
The trail up to the monument intersects with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
(Information excerpted from the Maryland State Park Service)