Built-in 1827, the initial tower was the first monument dedicated to George Washington. The Washington Monument in Baltimore was completed two years later, but it started earlier in 1815. The more known Washington Monument in the District of Columbia was not finished until 1885.
Another well-known fact in regards to this park, Owen Brown, the son of abolitionist John Brown and the highest-ranking surviving, uncaptured member of the party assembled for John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry. He led a party of five escapees from the failed raid to safety in the north. On the night of October 23, 1859 these men ascended the slope of South Mountain after circling Turner’s Gap to avoid the men and dogs lying in wait for them in the mountain pass. To their surprise, there on the crest of the mountain was a stone tower. Owen Brown spoke about the experience during his only known interview in 1873, both he and the interviewer did not know that the men had stumbled upon Washington’s Monument.
Now, that was the brief history of this park, onto my trek.
I arrived there on June 20th of this year. The weather was quite nice as the previous days were humid to the point I dreaded going outside. The forecast prior to me going on the hike gave good news for my future: low humidity and the announcement of rain coming much later in the day. I walked up the trail and headed towards the monument of George Washington. Truthfully I really didn’t care to see it, but I read a ghost story that happened near the memorial.
The story was a civil war soldier who fell in love with a local woman of the town, and they wanted to get married.
They knew her family would not approve; moreover, the soldier could not leave his post or take a leave of absence to marry his love. The solider and woman decided to run off and get married, her leaving her family and him going AWOL from the army. Unfortunately, they ran inside a nearby cave near the monument, and the entrance caved in.
They were stuck and died. Visitors to the part disclosed if you carefully listen you can hear screams of help coming from deep in the cave.
I couldn’t find the cave entrance because it was off trail and somewhere on the downslope of the hill.
After my slight disappointment, I ventured on trial and walked the remaining path. I saw beautiful scenery and signs warning of potential bear sightings still nothing of any consequence. The highlight of this trek occurred, and I soon after made my way back to my car.