Built by the patriotic residents of Boonsboro in a single day.
Perched on a hilltop in rural Maryland, a stubby tower claims the honor of being the first monument to founding father George Washington. The First Washington Monument was completed in 1827 and predates the D.C. obelisk by half a century.
Rather incredibly, the First Washington Monument was built by local residents in a single day. Some 500 Boonsboro residents assembled in the town square at 7:30 a.m. on July 4, 1827, and trekked two miles up to the hilltop. Work proceeded efficiently using stones gathered from the hillside, quickly dry set into place without mortar. By 4:00 p.m. the citizens had completed a 15-foot-tall tower and stood back to admire their handiwork.
According to a contemporary observer, “At the conclusion of our labors, about 4 o’clock, the Declaration of Independence was read from one of the steps of the monument, preceded by some prefatory observations, after which several salutes of infantry were fired, when we all returned to town in good order.”
The First Washington Monument has been frequently expanded, patched up and reconstructed over the years. Within five months of its completion, work resumed vertically and the tower rose to its present height of 30 feet. It was later restored in 1882, and again by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1936.
With over 100 jam packed rooms to explore and elaborate tea services and events, the Mansion on O is a hidden treasure
The Mansion on O St, near Dupont Circle in Washington DC, was founded by H.H. Leonards-Spero and opened on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1980. The house itself boasts “over 100 rooms and 32 secret doors” spread throughout four maze-like floors. Part of this elaborate layout is due to the strange design of the mansion, which is not a mansion at all, but actually four row houses opened to one another and turned into one elaborate hotel/museum.
Though a few items are part of the O Mansions “permanent collection,” for the most part every item of which there are many thousands piled throughout the mansion – many of which are acquired from local junk shops and garages sales – in each themed room is for sale, including the thousands of books on the numerous floor to ceiling bookcases.
Because the Mansion also functions as a hotel not all rooms will necessarily be open to the public at the time of your visit, even so, a self-guided tour of the house can still take hours. Each themed room – some themes include a log cabin room, the french renaissance room, and the billiards room – contains hundreds of pieces of art, books, and other “treasures” to examine and ponder. The mansion also includes also a large amount of Beatles and John Lennon memorabilia, including a Sgt. Peppers jukebox in the “Beatles Room.” Perhaps the best room in the hotel is the penthouse which has a somewhat seventies theme and features a large wooden hot tub.
The O Mansion is also features concerts, brunches, lunches, dinners and events, though their most popular events are their Teas, all of which must be booked online. The O Mansion is open to the public on Sunday, Monday, and holidays.