D.C.'s First Building Block

D.C.'s First Building Block (HM14V6)

Location: Alexandria, VA 22314
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 47.42', W 77° 2.436'

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Jones Point Park

In 1791, surveyors on Jones Point began to lay out the ten-mile square that would become Washington, D.C. The first marker for the survey—the south cornerstone—was set in place on this spot. Although the stone within this protective enclosure may be a replacement dating from 1794, it is nonetheless among the oldest existing physical monuments associated with the federal city of Washington, D.C.

With water levels steadily rising, the cornerstone on Jones Point has long been at the mercy of encroaching Hunting Creek. In 1861, a retaining wall was constructed in front of the stone, creating a raised yard in the lighthouse constructed six years earlier. The stone remained "lost" behind this wall for over five decades. This 1921 photo was taken at a commemorative celebration following its "rediscovery." Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

In 1916, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) assumed responsibility for maintaining D.C.'s cornerstones and mile markers. In 1926, the DAR purchased the Jones Point lighthouse and later deeded it to the National Park Service (NPS). Today, the DAR and the National Park Service work together to preserve and interpret both the south cornerstone and the adjacent lighthouse. Image courtesy of the Daughters of the American Revolution

The inscription on the south cornerstone, worn by weather and water is now illegible. The other cornerstones are inscribed with the name of the state (Virginia or Maryland), the year, the compass heading, and the phrase 'Jurisdiction of the United States.' Images courtesy of the Library of Congress

(right panel)
May this stone long commemorate the goodness of God in those uncommon events which have given America a name among nations—
Under this stone may jealousy and selfishness be forever buried!
Commemoration of Cornerstone April 15, 1791
HM NumberHM14V6
Year Placed2012
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 10:31am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 322772 N 4295487
Decimal Degrees38.79033333, -77.04060000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 47.42', W 77° 2.436'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 47' 25.20" N, 77° 2' 26.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)202, 703, 571
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 500 I-95, Alexandria VA 22314, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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