A Gaze Unbroken for 103 Years

September 29th, 2019 History

Much like the real George Washington did 243 years ago, the lifesize stone statue of him that sits atop the 35-foot obelisk in front of the park’s Visitor Center looks eastward across the Delaware River. His gaze hasn’t been broken in 103 years.

The story of the monument began in 1912 when the Pennsylvania chapter of the Patriotic Order Sons of America visited the site of today’s park to look for land on which to build a memorial to honor Washington. The chosen site was a small plot that was purchased in 1913 for $300.

A design contest was held and a winner chosen from over 100 ideas. The monument’s cornerstone was laid on September 26, 1913, but it would be two more years before a construction contract was awarded to a Doylestown stone cutter.

On May 27, 1916, more than 1,500 people attended the monument’s dedication ceremony. Altogether, the site preparation, monument construction, and dedication had cost almost $4,000. The Patriotic Order Sons of America turned the monument and land over to Pennsylvania in 1958 when the park’s visitor center was built.

Today, the monument still stands at its original location, inspiring thousands of visitors each year to look eastward toward the river themselves and ponder the enormity of General Washington’s daring crossing.

Article details taken from No Spot in This Far Land is More Immortalized by Peter Osborne.