Situated behind the Washington Crossing Historic Park Visitor Center, the stone marker commemorating Washington’s 1776 crossing of the Delaware River is one of the most-photographed and oldest objects in the entire park.
But it didn’t always live a stone’s throw from the Visitor Center.
Back in 1895, the Bucks County Historical Society of Doylestown petitioned the Taylorsville Delaware Bridge Company to place a memorial on their property.
Though this was approved, the society decided to place the memorial on the property of Sarah and Dr. Howard Griffee, who lived a short distance upstream from the bridge. The Historical Society purchased, and Griffee deeded, a 100-square-foot plot in his front yard, which was on the eastern side of River Road.
Thus, the Jersey brownstone monument had its first home, near what’s now the walkway adjacent to McConkey Ferry Inn. It was erected in August 1895 and lived within a picket fence that enclosed the Griffee’s yard. Its words would remain unchanged:
Near This Spot
Crossed the Delaware on Christmas Night 1776
The Eve of the Battle of Trenton
Erected 1895 Bucks County Historical Society
The monument didn’t stay there forever, of course. In 1927, it was moved to a new location 770 feet upstream, in line with the newly-constructed walkway down to the Embarkation Oval across from Taylor’s Island.
A tree fell during a bad storm in 1950, dislodging the monument. Park staff repaired it, but it wouldn’t rest there. In 1976, it was moved one final time to its current location and has stood there ever since.