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George Washington Masonic National Memorial

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Front View of George Washington Masonic National Memorial.jpg
General information
TypeMuseum, observation
Location101 Callahan Drive, Alexandria, Virginia
Coordinates38°48′27″N 77°03′58″W / 38.80748°N 77.06598°W / 38.80748; -77.06598
Construction startedJune 5, 1922[1]
OpeningMay 12, 1932[2]
Cost$6 million[3]
OwnerGeorge Washington Masonic National Memorial Association
Roof333 ft (101 m)
Technical details
Floor count9
Design and construction
ArchitectHarvey Wiley Corbett of Helmle & Corbett
Structural engineerOsgood & Osgood, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Main contractorPercy Cranford Co., Washington, D.C.
George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Coordinates38°48′27″N 77°03′58″W / 38.80748°N 77.06598°W / 38.80748; -77.06598
NRHP reference #15000622
Designated NHLJuly 21, 2015[4]

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a Masonic building and memorial located in Alexandria, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C. It is dedicated to the memory of George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Mason. The tower is fashioned after the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt.[5][6][7] The 333-foot (101 m)[7][8][9] tall memorial sits atop Shooter's Hill[10][11][12] (also known as Shuter's Hill)[13] at 101 Callahan Drive.[5] Construction began in 1922,[1] the building was dedicated in 1932,[2] and the interior finally completed in 1970.[14] In July 2015,[4] it was designated a National Historic Landmark[15] for its architecture, and as one of the largest-scale private memorials to honor Washington.[16]

The memorial is served by the King Street–Old Town Metro station on the Blue and Yellow Lines of the Washington Metro.[10] The station is located about four blocks from the memorial.

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  • ✪ Beach to Bluegrass: Traveling Virginia Highway 58
  • ✪ New World Order Exposed - John F. Kennedy April 27, 1961
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  • ✪ Andrew Jackson
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music music it's an honor to be here this was one of the places I came to do research for my book beach to bluegrass here Douglas MacArthur and I wanted to share with you some stories tonight about eroded that has been tied to a lot of interesting points in history highway 58 this is the cover my book all beach to bluegrass about I with 58 highway 58 stretches for 507 miles just above the North Carolina line in the Tennessee border 507 miles from east to west until 1996 when the Cumberland Gap tunnels bill this was the longest US Highway to be self contained within one state it keeps going and going and going and it doesn't go over that border a Virginia until the very last tip four-tenths up a mile it goes into Tennessee the rest militant the rest other is completely within Virginia here we are right about the middle highway 58 this is the four-lane section around just approach in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Martinsville area so here we've got a wonderful wonderful stretch up Highway and the speed limits when you go on somebody's bypass interrupter seventy miles an hour this is where we get to the end this gap right here is the Cumberland Gap and see how it is kinda dives down and this is where Daniel moon marched out to the west there's a lot of people have been out there before but he had been hired to build a road on out to the west to reached Kentucky's Bluegrass which is why the name in the book was called beach to bluegrass my dad grew up in Smithfield rescue area Richard had come out Richard tennis my daddy had come up with the title beach to bluegrass because I said I was writing about going from virginia beach to the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park come in Gap National Historical Park is the gateway to Kentucky this is what you see when you get beyond highway 58 and in fact in the upper left side of the screen is where the road is kinda veering off and stopping its gonna emerge on into 25 right in there this is actually standing on the pentacle rock at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and we are looking into Cumberland Gap Tennessee which is not inside a Virginia corsets family gap tennessee we're at this point we're not yet be on the farthest corner virginia that's over there to the right Virginia actually ends over on that mountain over there on the right this where the road begins begins in two different places we have statues at both places near one of them really have any the neither one have anything to do with highway 58 but this is where the road begins on 17th Street with the statue of John wearing in virginia beach he was a muscle man to hold back motorcycles with his tee if you might remember when I went to school with him so high school in the eighties I remember we I in and cancel junior high I had a gym teacher who had a wearing gym shirt on so that so I remember John wearing course now we have the statue of him next to the Dairy Queen on 17th Street we also have this guy the other part of highway if they were begins at 31st re this is the other highway 58 17 this business this is supposedly the bypass Laskin Road and King Neptune rose up from the sea there up almost ten years ago and they were constructing that statue back in now 5 and this is a just a wonderful way to begin this journey and as you see you're gonna go all the way from the beach to the Cumberland Gap this is what the beach would've looked like essentially to the Jamestown settlers as they came up in 1607 in April does anybody know where this might be yes yes false Cape State Park and this was a a ride I took down on the tram about ten years ago from the same bridge Beach and I think a lot of people you've never done it you have to go do that tram ride to go down and see this this with this wonderful state park to see what we used to look like and course the Jamestown settlers were the book begins and where that were the big journey in I think going across the state from beach to bluegrass it begins here in 1607 as the English were trying to reach this land of milk and honey this land of goal now in history class when I was growing up we learned that they got out on the boat they said a little prayer they put up a cross and that was it it's not what he did they did a little bit more than that making landfall the crew export water now the sandy shores of Cape Henry in Virginia Beach Virginia the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay they discovered a paradise that mister percy he had described as journalist fair meadows and goodly tall trees with such fresh waters running through the woods but that same day the English were ambushed mister pursing in his diary Road the savages creeping on all four from the hills like bears with their bows in their mouth charges very desperately in the faces the savages at the Sandhills wounded two men captain gave me a larger map the morn a sailor obviously these just begin the interview the foreigners as a threat three years the indians that lived in this coastal area and now comes these are dressed overdressed odd speaking fanciful strangers who acted like they own the place the English fired a musket in the Indians according mister percy retired into the woods with a great noise and so left us the next day being was walked a few miles inland about a fire with the natives have been roasting or stirs the Indians were gone having fled away to the mountains mister percy noted so the Explorers ate some the oysters which were very large indelicate and taste we'd take a few roister's first before we stop but the cross up and obviously this is not the original cross this was made out of country but this is approximately where the Jamestown summers been the first three days and before the you know went on up to Jamestown up the James River we don't really know where the stop we think they might have stopped at fort story we think they might stop were false Cape is we think they might be gone into a little in that that sealed up now but somewhere in that vicinity of Cape Henry is where they stop that's where I wanted that jury duty again because the jury I wanted to describe was starting off with this this competition that the English had to get to the west to that land of milk and honey and and to get over here to the shoreline it was the same Bay when they landed it was the same thing about a hundred and fifty years later when people were trying to go to the west and they work putting up to this place this is we're rich Indians right there at that little dot under that shelter that's Kentucky on the far end in Tennessee to the south this is that very far to the only way you can get there unless you like to climb mountains and scale-up rocks is you have to go into Kentucky on a trail to get to that final point that's why I wanted to call a pizza bluegrass because you're going from that point where Virginia started in April 16 07 to that final point where Kentucky against Kentucky in Cumberland Gap became known as the gateway to the west just as Cape Henry in the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay became known as the gateway to the new world one was the draw for america one was america's your fault we had a meeting your land in the Chesapeake Bay we had a media or land at Middlesboro just like God was trying to tell us we're the Virginia should be getting and this is a civil war cannon leftover from the days when the Cumberland Gap was being guarded assist very important passes believed to be a very important passage one art historian told me years ago when I was running an article for newspapers said I think the army's got bored here personally nothing really ever happened they always kept waiting and waiting and waiting to see what would happen here at the end highway 58 is such a diverse Road because you have it going from the big cities love Virginia and Virginia Beach and Norfolk and Portsmouth and onto a little bit at Chesapeake on out in the Suffolk and then you get out to these rolling hills around Brunswick County you go through little towns like Clarksville this is working is only lakeside town but what I wanted to do to was to find these intriguing stories this the Cavalier hotel bill before the Great Depression in 1927 with 500,000 bricks this marked a brand new chapter in the history up a little fledging resort known as Virginia Beach which had been founded in the late eighteen hundreds by where entrepreneurs who brought the rare road there and had a friends what became the Prince and hotel on the oceanfront the present Hotel in Fort Lee burned-down and a cup two decades later this one came up in its place and there was nothing in virginia beach like it this fancy place something happen here in 1929 there was a man who on the sixth-floor the Cavalier hotel nobody knows whether he was poster whether he fell but his mind the man's name was aid of course you might recognize him on board worry and and gore's beer aight of course felt it was there today they say you have a wedding at the Cavalier hotel and you take some pictures if you look at the at your pictures very very closely and see this ghostly intangible man that might be aight of course coming to join your wedding didn't say that he had any beer with this is the Frances Landhaus when I was a little kid at Arrowhead elementary school we learned that Adam third house was the oldest brick home in North America this home here too was also believed to been billed 1732 because there was a break inside the house said 1731 but as they come gone back in store and look at this little bit more the move that up a few decades the same thing with Adam Berger there's not quite as always it was but this is still a very spectacular home at about two hundred years all the Frances Landhaus and this was part of the state for a family that use the name Francis land over and over and over five six generations of the family was named Francis land this is one of the few landmarks that I looked at on highway 58 that is actually facing highway 58 took a few liberties to get of the court or by off by a mile or two and at one point 18 miles to find the birthplace a job Stewart Patrick counting because you're passing through the town the store but this one is facing right there win this was acquired by the city a virginia beach the City Council thought that this was extravagant to buy this thing this was once time known as Rose Hall was a dress shop GB City Council voted on buying have the council said yes the opposing have said paying seven hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars for this house and the surrounding 35 acres was quote extremely expensive and a case of excessive spending stepping into the fight mayor Jay Curtis Payne cast the deciding vote in eleven years later the Frances Landhaus open as a city-owned museum a Terpening the long-lost lifestyle vol princes and counting long back before we had a virginia beach when this area was known as princes and counting in the 16 nineties in right creeping into the early seventeen hundred's we had a lady in town down the Pungo area Muddy Creek and they said that she was weird as a wage they said that she could blight shirt cotton crops cause your howls to give sour male she could even showing herself grace Sherwood could shrink ourselves so small that she can fit inside about eggshell and then she would take this eggshell and scramble across the Atlantic Ocean in a single night should go to England and she would bring back abacha rosemary scrambling back and forth handling them will bow landing there on the beach going back down to Bongo and then she plan or rosemary people believed ah love this they believed to the point that this group all women strip search turned said she had weirdest which Martins on her body something had to be done about it and buy a link grace consented to what they wanted to do this very odd but simple test known as a trial by water in which her big storm was tied to her big toe or other big downside or other big toe and then she was cast in the water up the Lynnhaven River in 1706 she laughed about it too she knew what she was gonna do as soon as he got down on their River see on tyre itself the grander the caster in the county jail she died 1740 but people have not forgotten what happened there resort community down in virginia beach known as which doc point but years ago when my son I dedicate this book to when he was born in 2006 I had been researching that story some and I was looking in the newspaper right form restore was really an Associated Press story by grace Sherwood I thought this is weird why is this being run in the paper sitting in Bristol Tennessee in the hospital in July and 2006 three hundred years after the they were in the water are being governor Tim Kaine now US Senator had decided to formally exonerate gray Sherwood in the clear her no longer a wage not that he ever matter and today you can still drive down highway 58 right over which dirt road which should now properly be known as exonerated which doc bro this is a church within just a few steps of where we are right now and its it's a story up what happen to this beautiful town here on the water and what happened to it during the revolutionary workers it was anything but beautiful during the Revolutionary War and I think anybody that knows it's basically Norfolk history 101 if you know Norfolk history you're gonna know what happened to this town that there was not them really let it was known as chimney town because all you had during the Revolutionary War were chimneys popping up out of the rubble the point was you had this church right here saint paul's and this church the wall survived more done more had browning cannonball shot a cannonball as troops its the British troops shot a cannonball and head cast into the into the church course today it patched up there it's not its they had to put it back up and build on the 18 forties it was put back up with some cement but there was barred January for 1776 this was not the first for last and this is not the last time that something like this would happen on New Years Day in Norfolk during the war january first nineteen eighteen we had a huge fire ratchet down town fires and broke apart the businesses in downtown Norfolk the city soldiers sailors and Marines all came out to fight these fires water froze on their clothing icicles hung in there and one fireman was killed when he was caught beneath the burning timbers are the old monticello hotel estimated property damage was too million dollars the Elizabeth River is one other rivers and you cross when you travel across Highway 58 there's a shot there from downtown or hook a looking at down town over from Portsmouth and on the fairies this is the same a gentleman who was buried over in Portsmouth this comet or James Barron killer James Barron has was commanding a ship they got fired on by the British that led to the Embargo Act and eventually lead to the war of 1812 he's buried right next to the Commodore theater one other interesting places you will pass on highway 58 is for Kristanna Christ Anna Kristi Hannah I'm gonna say it all the different ways I've heard it because I don't want to be wrong all the same three or four different ways but it was name for Fort it was named for partially per Jesus Christ this is a port in Brunswick County and the wonderful thing about it was this story that goes along with it the little Indian children the seventeen hundred's a native americans become in study inside this for the English settlers early American settlers could teach them the three R's boss bible verses that sounded sweet good in everything else but the reason we really did is because just in case somebody want to tack as we could use his or Indian children they could double as hostages just in case the fort was attacked Brunswick County there we are on highway 58 the AL Philpott Memorial Highway runs like any is the original home a Brunswick stew unless you talk to people in Brunswick Georgia and they'll say you know where the home in Brunswick stew Brunswick stew got started while sleeping in 1828 only took some leftover bread some leftover vegetables some squirrel me do it all into a lot for his master and came up with this plan this is the Brunswick County Museum in downtown Lawrenceville was was a a stop in the Atlantic and ample railway at one time it was named for a horse Lawrence today they have this thing that if you get together with the virginians and the georgians they have what is known as the Star Wars to try to see who has the best do one time they were everybody was getting together in this Brunswick stew or and the virginians one in the mayor Brunswick Georgia ran over install the trophy as he didn't want to be a you wanna lose you will also pass here by bugs Alan way you're in north carolina this is John H car as a poor its looks like kar looks like you should say kar the family pronounce it as car we don't call that because up he was from North Carolina he was a congressman North Carolina we want to hold the bug guy the bug eyes and you will bug at is Island Buggs Island bugs Allen on for slave gets really confusing when you get out to the lake country's southern Virginia bugs alan is not even in the lake it is below the dam at the headwaters there now Blake casten which only has one namely gassed this is the same I'll what is below this is Oneg Island and Oconee GA Island was one of the scenes a Bacon's Rebellion report moved up to the burning in Jamestown but the open eighty I was actually buried under the water there in its it's a merge now but you can go to open eighty State Park and they won't have these replicas a Native American dwellings there's so many great state parks along Highway 58 from Oconee 82 this one right here this is the natural tunnel State Park in Scott County Virginia which gets confused a lot with the Natural Bridge up near Lexington which is just now if you've read the newspapers just now beginning to come into the state park system and that's going to be even more confusing the reason it's confusing is because for many years this was known as the Natural Bridges Scott County well people started so i think im oh man for britain at all it's all kinda the same one will always use a 102 years old years from Georgia she call up the state park manager and I'm at Ernies do all the talking she says she says mime my hand she was come up and and see natural tunnel one more time and they said well we're not running the chairlift this time here's please we don't know how long she has to leave when they came out it was November they'd already put the chair right way but they said you know what let's just do it be good stewards what show all state park for this lady she may never be back here again I got everything together at the whole thing's for couple days before there's post-show the knees call back said I'm sorry but my hand she wanted to go to Natural Bridge at same boat you gotta go see both national title is is very spectacular you can also go out to his door Martin station which is part of the Wilderness Road state Park in this is out in Lee County Virginia Joseph Martin built this station this is a replica of the station he came out from charlottesville race down in the 1770s to build up for before another group I'll a land prospectors got down there and he stayed for a few months the Indians rainy mommy went back the next year he stayed for another few months the Indians were any mall 78 easy finally get out there again he was able to stay there long enough about that time being a bird on the road on out to the Cumberland Gap in essentially what is a lot of what is now the the route 58 corridor and he was able to retire to a town that was named for him on highway 58 name Martinsville so Martinsville Joseph Martin went out there about ten to twelve years ago this fort was being built 2000 three and they used only the tools that they would have had on the frontier at the time so there was no chain saws there was no nothing electric they actually had to drop the logs are as they were building is that the state park and bring them in and they call this the most authentically recreated Ford in the United States very stone State Park if you wanted the the great story about various towns is the very tail win Jesus Christ died the theories that were dancing around the woods began to cry and their two years turned to stones and the stones were shaped like raw sex and that's what they look like now the scientists are gonna tell you on our plates were putting together on the rocks were doing this and all that so I like the fairy tale there but you that is what are the stories you can find their the take the ferry stones in the chair around everybody had a one-time and it carries around for good luck Grayson Highlands State Park is another one that you will pass on highway 58 these are the wild ponies up there were put there in 1974 by Manian bill pew and these wild ponies are much shaggy hair and what you gonna find out that she did T i must say pretty good teaching kitty cuz I hear that two ways to but these are kind of like their living in birth environment from the the ponies up on the Eastern Shore and their living on nom what used to be a logging ground and this was 4,500 feet in elevation other Grayson Highlands State Park as you can see the the Appalachian Trail runs through this area to at will burn Ridge this was volcano one time this is a are right near mount Rogers which is the tallest mountain in Virginia 5200 seven on the little bit bigger than the mountain that I climbed on when I was a kid growing up in virginia beach which was 66 feet high and it was a trash dump known as Mount Trashmore but now Rogers actually it's five thousand I got that up 5700 29 the 5700 29 fee is now Rogers so is more than a mile high and there's two ways to get there you need to go into Grayson Highlands State Park four miles and a half mile spur trail up or you comin from white top mountain the other way both these are accessible from highway 58 this is when we're up on white top mountain white-out mountain is the second-highest mountain it got its name a lot of people think because of the snow goes it snowing it actually was raising known as meadow mountain meadow mountain later became known as white top because it looks like from a distance that feel the grass still looking into the thats Marauders in the background still looking from grace in Holland State Park in all the wonderful rocks it'll pass through there on the Appalachian Trail you next see the Appalachian Trail Blazers right there that's going over will burn ridge this is the trio going right up to mount Rogers and noms when you get up there its Masi looks like a place for leprechauns would live and there's your your survey marker there Rogers the tallest mountain and again here's another Appalachian Trail marker this is at Buzzard rock known and on top a white top mountain again right off the highway 58 and this is now because a the the vultures than the people would call buzzards as they one around think about Virginia Beach Boulevard and now look at this thing think about how why Virginia Beach Boulevard is down at the town center and look at this scene this is the same Road continually going across virginian it is so curvy people saying that you will see you're following your own taillights as you go around the curves I'm and nine this is where Grayson County is one of the highest elevation counties in the state and it's on the crooked road music trio virginia's heritage music trail when you get out to steward highway 58 takes on this whole new thing because it goes in mainly for a two-lane has a few patches a four lanes but mainly it becomes a two-lane in Stuart when you start to get out with all this wonderful country music history when you get out the Scott County Virginia you get to the car hold the Carter Family fall AP Serena male AP carter was married to Sarah may be almost Sara's cousin his sister-in-law his brother ek married May bill and maybe all had three daughters one of which was June who married johnny cash AP in serra came up with all kinds a great songs with me the whole including the Wildwood flower keep on the sunny side and they came out and got discovered and a hot day in July they came out to Bristol Tennessee just below the border just a few feet below Virginia and they came out there in May bill was eight months pregnant the car had three flat tires on a twenty seven mile ride getting into Bristol they just kept changing the tires they brought out a little boy Joe Carter you set up your the Carter Family fold the stage and he's to make all Kandahar animal noises and things on the stage to entertain the people in between the music shows Jos is located in his older sister was there chief any my screen to shut him up which is gave him a bigger stomach ache while his parents were in their reporting some other first country music to be recorded in to be called country music that's why Bristol rather the day is known as the birthplace the country music there were two axe discovered in 1927 that summer one was the Carter Family buchanan gave country music this homespun melodies had made you tell stories maybe bill took the lead guitar in Maine made the guitar lead instrument yet this other guy broke up with his band he came down there too he was a railroad worker from mississippi named Jimmie Rodgers he was also discovered in Bristol made it not me there he was discovered on August 4th just as they're basically wrapping up the sessions cars record six songs he recorded two Jimmy me in for missus he was really not much of a way to keep his legacy going but the cars being only about 27 miles down the road or three flat tires away were down here the Carter Family fold in the daughter Jeanette in the Sun Joe came up with this plan in 1974 to turning old store the AP carter had just over fifty eight again turn it into a place for music 1976 they built a larger barn that is still being used today for Saturday night shows just about ninety-nine percent overall shows have to be acoustic there's only been a couple of exceptions Johnny Cash was only exceptions janette Carter the daughter that I knew janette who started the whole thing with she was the daughter VPN server she said Johnny Cash was electrified 1 I'm in so that's why he got play on stage Marty Stuart who's married into the family he also got to be a good friend of theirs in part a fundraiser they also let him play a lecture on there's been a car right there and noms she passed on a few years ago this is AP carter's birthplace and oak cabinets been restored it was actually fallen down on the farm on a cattle farm and now it's still on the national historic landmarks register this isn't so much a pickle Johnny and June this is the house adjani engine stayed at when they were in town we think I'm Johnny Cash in June Carter we think have them live in at the house on the way near Nashville that burned down after 12 BG's bought it we think Johnny and June in Jamaica for three weeks a year they would come out and stay here this was May bills or home may Billing Act if you've seen the walk the line movie ek was the guy may bills pretty big character in the movie ek was the guy when they're all having a family supper he would not shut up about going fishin he just kept talking about the fishing rod in the fishing rod nobody else was really wasn't only get time at all kinds of different stuff but this is where they would come and stay and after they passed on it went to John Kerr this is right around the corner Reiko in Scott County Virginia just of a 58 again and what happened here in 1929 may there was something that look like a dirty black cloud turned out it was a tornado that roll through the community in his school killed a dozen schoolchildren and the teacher became the worst tornado tragedy in history a virginian for as many fatalities as a has occurred just came right outta nowhere it is not an area that is known for tornados out there on though just three years ago we had one a come right through Glade Spring right near Emory and Henry College and noms and cause a lot of devastation there too and that's another scene Reiko this is the up a memorial they've done for the for the school building out there and this is the Red Cross cabin that was bill after the tornado tre to solve the Bob helpful victims the tornado the Carroll County Courthouse in Hillsville Virginia there something happen that mine Wilson likes to talk about in 1912 he seen bits and pieces are the Titanic movie and he seems to be fascinated with 1912 about how horrible it must have been to be on the Titanic and the Titanic did something with this particular courthouse doesn't make any sense but something happened here a month before the Titanic sank it started with a kiss and ended with the killing five people lay dead if the trial of Lord Alan turn into a bullet flying bloodbath in the Carroll County Courthouse when the smoke cleared the dusty Street town called Hillsville will be locked in legend and loaded with your talk about a morning-after on March 15th 1912 sleepy Hillsville found its way into the front pages of newspapers across the nation with headlines screaming like all tragedy and acted in a Virginia Court House newspapers remain so in trench with the story of the allen plan that for a solid month journalist file dispatches about the outlaw Alan family on the run until america's attention turned the ICE turned to the icy Atlantic and the sinking of a ship called the Titanic talk about sensationalism news accounts flew almost as manly as the bullets in the courthouse whipping up stories in all directions once said that store owner Floyd Allen tried to kill himself for the pocket knife another reported that is runaway brother Jason e Allen had been surrounded a stop called squirrel spur yet one more account said the jason is wife was killed in a subsequent shootout maybe have all those reports were accurate the story of the post-trial gunfight at jason is house the one where his wife was killed that never happened at all but talk about ironies unpretentious Hillsville is not blatantly trying to capitalize on the opening up this incident but court house tours are offered and in 2005 would be a counterpart to the Norfolk Historical Society the Historical Society of Carroll County movers library into the shooting site were both holes can still be seen on the front step up the 1872 courthouse the funny thing is there's nothing really fighting about this but the funny thing is is that the whole darn thing started at a church started at a church these boys work look they were at a corn shucking and whoever got the red ear of corn whoever found that entitle him to kiss the girl destroys while the boys found readier corny went up to a girl who had a boyfriend that boyfriend objected those boys gotta buy the lead to something else on something else and something else and eventually it all the way up to afford alan is standing here and they're getting ready to sentence him to a year in jail and he said I 8 going nobody knows who fired the first shot the fifty seven shots were fired in 90 seconds and the court house is still standing there for you to take tours the birthplace a catchy music this is a big mural on the Bristol Tennessee side of up State Street which is the street in Virginia in tennessee that goes right along the state line just below the state line is the grand guitar in Bristol Tennessee and you'll also find the burger bar which is a place in thats legendary story is that hank Williams might have stopped there on his final journey in 1952 became 1953 and the course he was later declared in West Virginia but some say the burger bar was not actually there though they claim that it was there that he stopped there some going back to the city directory I found that the burger bar was actually a laundromat at the time so probably did not stop there to get a cup of coffee a lot a person last along Highway 58 this is the last capital the Confederacy were Jefferson Davis been a week after the retreat from Richmond the record the old 97 would have gone down in history as just another train wreck people had gone down to this remains start looking at it and start writing poems and songs and people start fighting over who wrote the song burstyn who recorded person who owns the copyright to this that and the other everybody wanted to claim that they were the ones who wrote directly or 97 today you can go down today and will then see where do you have the story of the cracked cargo cars that flew up with the canaries the flu about %uh the wreckage again you're passing over so many great rivers this is the New River which runs backwards is a lot of people like to say runs from the south to the north and this is on a canoe trip with a Hungry Mother State Park right along 58 arm your girl right right along the edge about so many times you cross the Holston River three times as you go through on highway 58 you pass the north Sao in the middle forks you will come close to the scene which is South Holston reservoir South Holston lake which is the first the big Tennessee Valley Authority lakes on going on down into the mountains this is the Clinch River Clinch River got its name from a hundred and clench though people like this keep repeating the all engine that there's irishman fill out a raft any said Glenn should be french-made and that's how I got its name here's how a fifty a crossing over the Clinch River again lot different than the scenes you'd see around Hampton Roads there's so many wonderful scenes out in the Southwest Virginia area I've been writing about Southwest Virginia for a number of years the crooked road music trio which stretches over 250 miles what end up at this place this is of a 58 but this is breaks interstate park which is known as the Grand Canyon other cell or the Grand Canyon with clothes on breaks interstate park is shared by Virginia and Kentucky it's one of the very few Han follow these that are Park Center going into both states I wrote about this is my first book called Southwest Virginia crossroads which are about the 17 County southwest Iran ok and I rode the entire book kinda prove that the state did not stop in Roanoke this is another scene from a breaks interstate park that is the towers there's the first book I did this is the tower standing up in this is that the garden hole on the front cover the garden whole is a up take off point for the whitewater rafters in the whitewater rafting is very seriously they're going into our class 45 and some say six which is as high as you can go and breaks gorge another scene that I wrote about in my yard Southwest Virginia crossroads book was Drapers Valley which is over and the Pulaski County area and more recently wrote a book called Washington County Virginia then and now and I wrote about a little place here called dues payable junction dues payable junction Virginia population 154 looks like some over he on this is in Washington County Virginia not far from highway 58 not far from Bristol and the used to say that the only way you could count the population abuse pimple judges you would stand at the sign is this gentleman is you can all the houses that you would seem from this time trying to figure out who lives in those houses and then you write it down as the population is that will junction now the other thing about newspeople judges how to get its name well there was a couple like nothing herein are there up on a hill one guy said you know he gives me goose pimples to hear them yelling and screaming and that's our got its name because that will change in there's Washington County Virginia my my latest book that I do with Historical Society Washington County Virginia that is the Virginia Creeper Trail on the cover kinda been denouncing showing a wide the Virginia Lottery away at the bottom and what it looks like today it is also a place in the stop that I call the creeper country in my beats a bluegrass highway 58 book a row The Creeper Trail last week the great thing about the Virginia Creeper Trail is you get up they will take you on a show from damascus virginian and take you up to one top station and it is your job to peddle seventy miles but don't get too intently goes it's downhill the entire way it does not go well Hill at all for the 70-mile do you get back over to the shuttle and it is a quite an excursion annual pass by the waterfalls here on a white top Laurel Creek waterfalls complete ban on all along Highway 58 this is the page bottom falls outside independence also known as the powerhouse ball this is the same route 58 from Austin County book this is damascus as the the town where the Appalachian Trail will go right through the town this is known as the friendliest town on the trail and they have the trail this vessel that's what it looks like today there's the mask is many many years ago about a century ago you also pass right over the Appalachian Trail the Appalachian Trail cuts right across Highway 58 in Damascus and this was actually up this party the Appalachian Trail this was a a a park at one time and there was a railroad depot there to the left right of what was Norfolk Southern's abingdon branch it was the absolute became part over southern later but it was went close it was still part of northern western railway the having a branch this was a boy scouts Eagle Scout project a bill that sign because the medicine and Virginia on route 58 you come across a simple thing this is Dan miles a day and little white house this was bill at a tourist attraction it was bill when a man hand assert looms too many and monkeys on an island out here and you would ride around a paddle wheeler vote admit as a day and in the sixties and you have those little white house but sorta like a lighthouse but its 300 miles away from the Atlantic Ocean Mabry mill could have been called mayberry mill there's a man who was a main breed get tired to be in a may bring mayberry it was a Mayberry get her to be in Mayberry he shorten his name the may bring and it became the Mabry mill the Mabry mill a monkey with the camera could shoot a scene like this anybody can shoot a picture of the Mabry mill is just drop dead gorgeous it was made to be that way the May breeze enlisted they had a house there but when the Blue Ridge Parkway landscape architects got out there and they're getting a Blue Ridge Parkway dunno 469 miles Crossin over at route 38 right there are many as a day and they saw warehouse at headless he lived in I said they're not known live there anymore they're going to live in the log cabin that we're moving to the site and that was where they grew that was where they live when they ran their mill that's the story that you have out there today little little falls but right down the road you have the Mayberry trading post sorry again Mabry mayberry this is where the regular mayberry state after the May Brees broke off became kinda band different branch of the family this also is not too far from Mount Airy North Carolina course we all know who is buried now for Roanoke Island we all know who was came from Mount Airy North Carolina A&T group as we all know what may various posts today a linesman buried here this story goes is that any griffin's grandfather's would come up to sell ginseng roots at the old mayberry trading post and when the producers came out start looking for names to get into that series look at all the street names around Mount Airy they also kinda looked on the map so here's a Mayberry run over in Virginia wanna we named the town may vary and that's how it got its name we have covered bridges right along Highway 58 these are in Patrick County this is lover's leap right off the road this is the new this is a mountain that you will be climbing if you go from steward on her in Hillsville towards the Blue Ridge Parkway you're gonna be a mama number with us as you're climbing up onto parts of the blue ridge at that point but I found in working on this book in traveling down Highway 58 a natural tall a white top mountain in this place I found there were so many lovers leads maybe virginia state model should have been called Virginia is for leaving lovers there's another scene on the dot doesn't like this but that's a traditional everybody signing their names in the graffiti down below their the moonlight theaters 10 a handful drive-ins in the state is only about 10 if they had anymore the moonlight is currently not open you can see it from highway 58 when highway 58 leaves damascus it goes a to a little town called abingdon takes a turn and then it does one thing it gets on interstate 81 this is the only time that will do this across the whole state is when it will actually get on an interstate it will travel from exit 19 to exit 1 18 miles since I live in the area we used to say goes from the Cracker Barrel to the mall moonlight theaters just about in the middle love it and was built in 1949 its own original landmarks register if you know anything about drive in movie theaters recently there has been a big controversy in a big change in the industry to move to digital and not use I the film anymore so this unfortunately has not been one of the theaters has moved to the digital conversion so they can get the new movies and stay in business right now it's kind of in limbo but is a scene that you can see right of other highway 50 a be four there was K interstate 81 was going right down US 19 US 11 wanna pass by this place between bristol napping and it was known as the Robert E Lee motel was torn down a few years ago this is a postcard from the your place is another scene up with my washing County Virginia book the door to the hotel but they say the sign the sign was just so good this is now at a storage unit over in just across the street as you can read that stored walk in look up at Robert E Lee which you can stay there miss you asleep in your arms towards you other side of the road just a little bit to find jobs two were on jobs there was more a little town called here at just above Mount Airy North Carolina Patrick can you will pass through a town that was known as taylorsville one-time is now known as Stewart when the railroad came through their the renamed and he was born down at Laurel Hill which is a historic site and they have a lot of Civil War Reenactment at the scene a shot a year ago and now we get here why is Douglas MacArthur here you know his mother had a lot of ties to this area this became being a military job is kinda became the place for he would go was Norfolk and as a tales told that when he was a young boy 13 he was a newspaper boy here in the streets in Norfolk but as he was a newspaper boy he went out one day and he came back home and sold in the newspapers and his mother said dog what's wrong he says the other boys will let me so many newspapers and I said she said oh you're not a quitter wants to go out there to do it right so your newspapers tomorrow the next day he came back he sold every single newspaper he also came back with torn-up face in Torah numbers and ripped up close he fought all the other boys to sell his newspapers I kinda like to think that the man that's here helped us win world war two because he was such a great hard fight newspaper boy on the streets in or this is one of the canons that is morning downtown Martinsville the wall intimidating this cannon was brought here to the Henry County Courthouse Atlanta might and they could move it to the circus came to town one story goes that they got the circus the enlisted the circus elephants to movies cannons through the mud and today they point from the old Henry County Courthouse to uptown Martinsville they don't call it downtown does it up on a hill its uptown Martinsville that's the Henry County Courthouse this is to be a church built in 1830 1830 to this used to be a church it was known as an Opera House it is now the state theater Virginia the barter theatre that is what it looks like today I live about 10 miles the bar there and the barter theatre got its start back in the Great Depression in 1933 there was a man named Robert Porterfield who was an actor he was born in Austin bill Virginia Austin bills were Stephen Austin the father a Texas was also born we're all reported feeling grew up in Saltville Virginia Saltville Virginia jobs doers wife went there after jobs were lost his life when he left went to New York came back home in the Great Depression with a bunch of his buddies came to us all deal town about having them with a whole bunch a while in here you guys and some girls some women because of how the controversy because they were walking around the streets opens cigarettes but he said you know we got up why am everybody's everybody out here young farmers have got all kinds of vegetables I bet you can sell unless that's right a simple one week you know what we know how to do we gonna put on some shows were gonna take his old churches all our house this all sounds and temperance all we're gonna take the whole building what used to be the Town Hall and we're gonna put on some shows and they also were using the old Stonewall Jackson College in town events that became part the dormitories for these actors and if so how do we didn't we don't have any money this is just bring whatever you got and they brought whatever they could find they're all gone first guy got there with me and they grab the pig and they just tired at one point and squeal everything they tied up outside like a barker trying to get some attention some people would would grow an extra row all beings and their garden and say well that was for the bar then we'll take our beings we go in there and see your show people ladies would come in with cottage cheese they come in with tomatoes they come in one man came in with a cow came up to main street with a scale an email did any had this glass with a mini brought it up to the little girl the ticket booth she said outcry nail that may face out this is just dunno male for you to it get ass safe bet good NGC Annette three that's where you don't think Jason home no I'll G I is now open a signature whopper over there bother hello you okay now that you just mailed is she coming to you all the same Gege I for her arming more on offer is going to happen now perot dated anyway don't like that night after night turtles got loose the lobbying one man was pain and whether happen he was too cheap to give up the rope that was tied to so they just let the cab run and Showtime was delayed for five minutes ball one of the things that they trying to do was to use all counsel publicity so they put up the sign is it slow the actors are crossing across the road here on my answer here's all route 58 what was then route 11 but others mister Porterfield there on the right with a couple the actors and all counts actors went through this place earns borton I'm Kevin Spacey Frances Fisher who was the mother again Titanic she was the mother and the Titanic I'll you had grocery Packers burden on at Larry limbaugh Frank Burns from from mash was also there so there was tons of people that pass through the bar theater and it's still going on today up the story up going across Highway 58 following that southern border virginia is really following a state line its following from one-sided Virginia to the other and how did our state line get there Colonel William Byrd the second I got out to the Dismal Swamp you know we call the vast body of myron as it is unfit for respiration we should rain the whole darn thing turn into a farm George Washington agreed remember george washington won to come up grown rice in the Great Dismal Swamp he also wanted to drain it all these guys the adventurers bird ring in the Great Dismal Swamp somehow only pushed through the Dismal Swamp that's the most miraculous part two main that they pushed through their to get a state line Mart and from me on that small anything had to be easier that right they kept going out to these hills early member this technique way we got up to the Blue Ridge Peter Jefferson some others Peter Jefferson Thomas Jefferson's daddy moved on he got out there with the new survey picked up were stubborn left aw any when all the way over to something call Steve rock he stopped is run on that point there and that right hand corner in this map right below it says metromail metromail the same as white top mountain we look at a few minutes ago when Peter Jefferson got there at steep rocky said that said that's as far west as any white man whatever go the rest is all going to be the Indians and Native Americans water well that a course thirty years later people started going out there one was Richard Henderson was Thomas Walker these guys were looking at the state lines for North Carolina and Virginia all this area out here on the left the bottom left is now Tennessee but for many years it was North Carolina couldn't figure out where the state line was gonna go they couldn't figure out where steep rock was these timbers that they had marked with these not just these things a diet of another is no market configured anything so they had to start finding new places to start marching and they started going out to the worst so they were just below here white top mountain was a course gives you this view where North Carolina Virginia and Tennessee come together as they started going out to the west events so they had to figure out where with the state line go for a while the state line goes up over and back down again was what down as the of said 15 square miles Virginia ended up in what is now Johnson County Tennessee in Sullivan County Tennessee how did that happen once that there was a woman who gave favors to the surveyors alter the boundary one story said that the moon signers were too drunk to draw of the they were drinking moonshine they're too drunk to draw a straight line the iron ore deposits interfered with the compass readings to do that line around the moonshine stills to keep the stills inside North Carolina solved how the story mainly the thing was is that were four more lines drawn over the course of a century and that's how this confusing got there but they will really had to figure out what was going on when they got to this place here because here we are on what used to be known more commonly as mud street because it was Fulham I'd but obviously this was known as Main Street today it's known as State Street Tennessee on the right virginia on the left and in 1881 in this town 400 miles western or hook they had this plan and they said what the state line right down the middle of the road shook hands on 1889 to get out there again they said we gotta put in a water line okay above the water line right here more who owns or right there I said well i do all we do Tennessee no virginia does because the lines there they started getting so mad that the guys emerging in the guys from Tennessee got in the middle of this road with guns in them on a ditch they're getting ready to shoot each other over this water line thankfully one guy put them on another iPhone about everybody start allowing bristol's water works for one way but still they had to finally figure out where in the world is a state line because they had just all this confusion over all these years it went right into the early years up the nineteen hundreds in the 20th century had to take the supreme court to finally decide where will Tennessee and Virginia be separated they heard all kinds a testimony including a statement from an elderly woman she said now bremer Max Payne lot now running anti-civil why's that ma'am she said however I don't knowingly then there's a and you for reading Idaho my half-timbered me nasa will my own your your house is doing the same spot she just stood there shaking her head she said are now on a has always heard dick lamm it was milder in 10 or say this story I'll the border bash in my beach bluegrass book can inspire me to look a little bit more into the county that's just below Bristol mats were I did this book you're so loving county soloing Kenny is sold in County Tennessee happen this county was Virginia at one time this was the state line today this is boom Lake this is the dam on the Holston River where the little boys are is mold North Carolina where those guys are on the other side on that for bank that was Virginia when you cross that river cuz they had no idea where that state line was they're using and state line for several years as the boundary and from there I didn't know the rule book a fun little book called finding frank mister the lost a capital there's a lot of confusion over what was be more tennessee was formed for briefly was known as a state known for benjamin Franklin and hundred years after it was the state capitol building mysteriously disappeared on a trip to Nashville and I wrote this book is a fun little fiction Larkhall are younger readers like it and it does have one chapter that comes to to Franklin Virginia a lot of it takes place in Tennessee but one point the characters to get lost on highway 58 had a though that in there the marble another ghost tales of Tennessee and Virginia is a book that I did as a branch or beach to bluegrass and one of my favorite stories this one was the story of the ghost that smokes cigarettes at the AP Baldwin gymnasium a bball was a school principal 33 years at the school he smoke so many cigarettes he had a hard time coming up climb up the stairs he his hands would turn yellow from smoking all the cigarettes he gotta hear this school in Russell County Virginia the funny thing is that you've ever traveled south west virginia you won't talk about highway 58 this is the strange thing what I wrote about in beach bluegrass the 507 miles is the bottom or 58 there's a whole different confusing thing in Abingdon in which there is another 58 58k a lot of people that will go to Saint Paul in Castlewood over to Norton Big Stone Gap down to Pennington gap eventually Jonesville so there's to 58 out there and at one point there as many as 45 miles away from each other or other side to these mountains this highway 58 a will go through Russell County Virginia close to sort out go home nigger and when mister baldwin here who this gymnasium was named for many died in 1981 the ghost stories began people start saying they could see these red tips lit cigarettes up in the AP Baldwin gymnasium folly there was a night in the nineteen nineties to teachers in the cobblestones went into the gym just after baseball practice just after 7:30 dollar whites for all except for one light that state appearance for flinging it turned blood red next game something up the signing up in a up in the balcony what looked like this silhouette look like this man wearing a trenchcoat you will call on the teacher said whatever where you can see cover knows about the global cigarette you can see the little red glow the teacher said the silhouette then went from one into the batting cage all the way other almost an instant now the stones they screamed and ran out Jim teachers tiptoed up to that now opening 10 the teacher said that you found ashes on the floor with a smoking apparition had stood to this day nobody can explain why they see these things but people say that they still see these red tube lit cigarette use year-round ask right around nine o'clock in the summertime at the mall in gymnasium they say that is the sign up the principal who never left school this is the reynolds homestead were able rentals grew up RJ reynolds grew up this is just off a 58 Patrick counting this is a up historic site its own by Virginia Tech and it's a focus over the last chapter of a book I did call upon submerging as Blue Ridge Highlands also focus over a chapter that they don't be too in beach to bluegrass as I did Hansa Virginia's Blue Ridge Highlands this book grew out of beach to bluegrass in the fact that I had done a little goes tailhook and people began to start telling me all these go stale so here I was out traveling around shows and things and book fairs and festivals and stuff people that have you heard about this place have you heard about the man that used to make with me in this bed and breakfast and they said that used to settle down is rocking chair open wall wine and I said no anna's that have you heard about this place here which is on the cover in this is up in Salem Ore a woman woke up and a goes was supposed to be thought she was an attorney from Nashville and said that this goes was gonna see donor chic screen with the ghost the ghost spring right back at her this is the Great Dismal Swamp and the Great Dismal Swamp has that wonderful waco in the middle over the Great Dismal Swamp used to be twice what it was what it is today or so much of its been drained for the developments in this area the late drama on 3100 acres is much bigger than the other natural freshwater lake in virginia which is mount lake up in Giles County Virginia here we have the story of the ghostly lady over the lake goes back and forth with her lover in a canoe and she's canoe is powered by job they have all lamp that's powered by fireflies the Corsa scientists say this is foxfire in sum the other explanations and then gases and Sat that's coming up but some others like the stories and and go with that dismal town and the Great Dismal Swamp I'll lot of people talk about what was the birthplace neighbor George Washington how many places are named for George Washington where I live in Washington County Virginia used to be this big claim that that was the first place name for George wash with the first county in a man don't know there was another county name for for that and I said well have you ever been a really great gizmos lawmen that's what I'm showing you know this is the washington bitch I said you gotta find the washington did before you go to the downing this is the late drama this is not wait you're a dirty dancing fan you'll recognize a lot of scenes from right here this is a this is a big chapter in my Hansa virginia's worries alan's book this is the lake that when Christopher Guest or just pronounced in different ways when he went up there in the 1700 he whole although everyone else doesn't worry said I have found this what is now behind Virginia Tech on the mound is I found this magical pool of water will twenty years later people with back no matter what are you talking about this like a little Honda there may be no this is the lake that's gonna hurt did earthquake shake this way can go back in for the double-a falling comes and goes and comes and goes it became a resort back in the eighteen fifties this is the Virginia Cavan and in dirty dancing this was the home or baby Houseman stay this is the beach that was in the scenes this balanced in this chain and and noms these polls here actually constructed for the movie Patrick Swayze I believe trip for one or the other characters tripped over this as they're walking up the hill onto the kitchen same because they can't could never do a sequel to this movie today because look the lake is down so far it's coming going coming on one other stories my heart surgeons were it sounds because the story of the lady whose father Bill that hotel and today they say that she is haunting the place while the store is my beach to bluegrass book is about this the Berry Hill Plantation other place you will pass not far from on highway 58 and southpaw style and they have claimed that there's ghosts and stuff there all the time but to wrap up to nine on a table story again about having misses the house I house this started as a that looks like more than a house this was singling a house for Francis Preston and his wife Sarah Sarah came from good stock her own goal was none other than Patrick Henry her daddy was General William Campbell who led the battle over mountain men down to Kings Mountain he led the I'll down to the the the British 10 the turning point so the American Revolution this later became the more the washing College for Women and Abingdon just across the street is the bar the year the State Theatre virginian and when it was the Martha wash in college for women who look like this the suspended in the air a just after the civil war it started at the Civil War in 1860 just a year before the war started as when it became the college and there's all kinds of stories that are related to this place bill clinton stay here was a tailor stay here jimmy carter is stated this place but the story up the person that people talk about the most is not the person who stayed there but it's the day met the girl that everyone wants to talk about her name is Beth bath was a student at the Martha Washington when he was a college and when it was a college for the summer work a min missing see it sat on a lot since then when it became the more the washing hotel today she had a boyfriend who was singing she course being fine southern girl she fell in love and she wanted to take care for yankee sweetheart as the girls will tell say many years later she had a violin and she would play this by Landis to her union soldier sweetheart 1 I'm the mansard play something bad I'm going I'm going to die she began to play her violin he died and later she died victim a typhoid fever today they say if you go to the Martha Washington and what used to be the Martha Austin College can you go there on a full moon night you can still hear her plan that violent one time there was a man who's that I've heard I've heard a virgin musical ghost and I daughter looked at him and an overnight sent sir at I'm sorry I'm you for one to I've heard your musical ghost this ghost you got your brochure I read about it I heard about I am here at and I said sir that's just something the grocer Evans not be fine would you like a glass a water even said yeah I heard in insisted so not order one upstairs in the house keeper one up stairs and they had a bellhop still on duty in they went on a they're all standing outside this man's room and you're listening and they're here in not nothin no man just looking at them and they're all gonna love each other but but but we gotta be polite and they heard pain the nursing home to buy land and how stern look at each other I'm and maybe there is a goes here in the 90 order ran back downstairs and discover the demand call went downstairs say there was a musical ghost wasn't this room and in this room was a concert violinist schedule to play later that night and every 100 college am sir


Early memorial efforts and Washington Memorial Park

The idea to construct a Masonic memorial for George Washington was first proposed in 1852 by the Washington area's "mother lodge," Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 (located in Fredericksburg, Virginia).[17] Funds were sought from Grand Lodges (state-level Masonic organizations) throughout the United States to construct a memorial Masonic Temple with a large statue in the vestibule.[18] Enough funds were raised to commission a life-size bronze statue of Washington in full Masonic regalia from a sculptor named Powers who was living in Rome, Italy.[19] The statue reached Alexandria in early 1861, just before the outbreak of the American Civil War.[19] It remained on display in Alexandria until the summer of 1863, when it was moved to Richmond, Virginia.[19] The statue was destroyed in the fire which occurred as Richmond surrendered to the Army of the Potomac on April 3, 1865.[19]

Plans for a Masonic memorial moved forward again in 1909 after work on a competing memorial began. The proposed site for the new memorial was Shooter's Hill, which at one time had been seriously considered by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson as the site of the United States Capitol building.[20][21] On May 8, 1900, citizens of Alexandria formed the "Washington Monument Association of Alexandria" (WMAA), a nonprofit organization whose mission was to build a memorial to George Washington in the city of Alexandria. Little was accomplished in the organization's first few years of life, but in February 1908 the WMAA purchased an option to buy a 50-acre (20 ha) tract of land on and around Shooter's Hill and the nearby Alexandria Golf Course.[22] Most of the land immediately on either side of King Street was subdivided into housing tracts and sold, with 25 acres (10 ha) on top of Shooter's Hill reserved for a memorial.[23] The sale of the housing subdivisions paid for the purchase of the entire tract, with enough left over to provide for construction of a memorial.[23]

Within a month of the purchase of Shooter's Hill, the WMAA decided to build a park rather than a memorial.[24] About 15 acres (6.1 ha) were set aside for the George Washington Memorial Park, while another 4.5 acres (1.8 ha) were set aside for a small memorial within the park.[24] The new subdivision, named Fort Ellsworth (after an American Civil War fort which used to occupy Shooter's Hill), was platted in November 1908, and public streets laid out.[25][26] The park was ready for dedication on April 30, 1909—the 120th anniversary of the inauguration of Washington as President. Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 (George Washington's Masonic lodge, as well as the lodge he led as a Worshipful Master) was asked to preside over its dedication.[27] President William Howard Taft, Vice President James S. Sherman, Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon, Virginia Governor Claude A. Swanson, Virginia Lieutenant Governor J. Taylor Ellyson, the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, Baltimore Mayor J. Barry Mahool, and numerous other dignitaries attended the dedication ceremony.[28] (Shooter's Hill was incorporated into the city of Alexandria on April 1, 1914.)[29]

Formation of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association

There were several reasons why Masonic bodies finally began to build a memorial. The construction of George Washington Memorial Park sparked renewed Masonic interest in building their own memorial. But another reason was the safety of items owned or used by George Washington ("Washingtoniana") and which were now owned by the Alexandria-Washington lodge. The lodge had suffered several fires over the previous century, and a number of these historic items were destroyed.[14][30] Constructing a fire resistive building which would more safely house these important items was a major factor in pushing the Masonic memorial forward.[14][30][31]

In late 1907 or early 1908, Alexandria Commissioner of Revenue Charles H. Callahan (the deputy master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22) proposed to his fellow Masons that, at last, a memorial to George Washington should be built.[2][32][33] Callahan proposed the construction of a $10,000 memorial temple.[34] In early 1908, the Alexandria-Washington Lodge formed a "local memorial temple committee" to research the costs and obstacles involved in building a memorial temple.[2] The committee passed a resolution asking Joseph Eggleston, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, to approve the creation of a memorial temple and to assist in creating a national memorial association in which all Masons and Masonic organizations could participate.[2]

On May 7, 1909, the Grand Lodge of Virginia called upon all grand lodges in the United States to meet in Alexandria on February 22, 1910, to discuss plans for organizing a George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association whose purpose would be to construct a memorial temple.[34][35] President Taft, Representative Champ Clark, Secretary of War Jacob M. Dickinson, and Virginia Governor William Hodges Mann all spoke at the February 22 meeting.[36] The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association (GWMNMA) was formed at this meeting, and plans were adopted to raise $500,000 to go toward the cost of construction and another $500,000 for an endowment and maintenance fund.[37] Thomas J. Shryock, Grand Master of Maryland (and a former Treasurer of Maryland and Brigadier General in the Maryland National Guard), was elected president of the GWMNMA.[38]

At this point, the GWMNMA only planned to construct a Masonic temple, not a giant memorial.[37] One floor was to be set aside for use by Masonic lodges, and one or more fire resistive, secure rooms in the temple were to be used for the display of Washingtoniana and historical documents owned by the Alexandria-Washington Lodge.[37] By February 1911, the GWMNMA had ruled out all locations except Alexandria as the site for its memorial temple, and fund-raising activities were being planned.[39] A more formal association structure was also adopted at this time.[40] But except for fund-raising activities, little was done in the association's first five years of activity.

Site selection

Nearly everyone involved in the project in its early years agreed the memorial temple had to be built in Alexandria due to Washington's extensive ties to that city.[2] George Washington Memorial Park seemed a good location, but this park was still privately owned by the WMAA.[41] In September 1915, the Alexandria-Washington Lodge offered to buy several lots on top of Shooter's Hill for $1,000.[41] At about the same time, the city of Alexandria discussed whether it should ask the WMAA to turn over the remainder of George Washington Memorial Park to the city.[41] The lodge suggested that 28 acres (11 ha) of the eastern slope of George Washington Memorial Park be retained as a public park, while the rest of the tract could be used for any purposes the city wanted.[41] This plan was not acted on. By December 1915, the city had purchased all of Shooter's Hill and George Washington Memorial Park from the WMAA except for a 2-acre (0.81 ha) area (lots 29 through 38, inclusive, of block 5)[42] on the north slope of the hill.[29] In October or December 1915 (sources disagree on the date), the Alexandria-Washington Lodge purchased the north slope of Shooter's Hill (an area about 400 by 200 feet (122 by 61 m)) for $1,000.[43][44][45] Under the terms of the conveyance of the deed, the Masons were required to build a memorial temple (costing no less than $100,000) to George Washington at the top of the hill within 10 years or they would be forced to turn over the land to the city of Alexandria.[29]

With land secured, the Masons began making plans to build a memorial. In 1917, the Alexandria-Washington Lodge reported that the intent remained to construct a $500,000 building to house the Washingtoniana (valued at $2 million) which the lodge held.[44] The GWMNMA had raised $5,000, and another $20,000 in donations was anticipated.[43][44] GWMNMA President Thomas J. Shyrock died on February 3, 1918, and Louis Arthur Watres (former Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania and a former Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania) was elected president as his successor.[2] At its annual meeting just two weeks later, the association approved the employment of an architect to begin developing plans for the memorial. Watres departed for New York City to interview architects. On the train, he met Harvey Wiley Corbett of the New York City firm of Helmle & Corbett (and coincidentally a Freemason).[46] The GWMNMA selected Corbett to be the chief architect.[47][48][49][9]

By February 1922, the GWMNMA had radically revised its plans for the memorial. Now the association planned a building which would cost $1.5 million, with another $400,000 set aside for landscaping the grounds and $500,000 as an endowment for perpetually maintaining the memorial.[50][51] The directors of the GWMNMA also approved a new charter for the organization, inspected the building site, and approved blueprints for the building.[51] The state of Virginia approved the revised charter for the GWMNMA on March 16, 1922.[52]

Early designs

Model of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in 1922. The model shows clear differences in the design of the tower and landscaping from the final building.
Model of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in 1922. The model shows clear differences in the design of the tower and landscaping from the final building.

Corbett planned a three-story memorial temple topped by a three-story tower. The first three floors (which constituted the temple and the base of the tower) would be built in the Neoclassical style, while the tower would be a variation on the setbacks popular in Modern architecture.[48] The structure was to be built entirely of masonry, with almost no metal used in its construction (except for reinforcing rods in the concrete).[32][53] The rationale for this decision was that a building constructed purely of stone would be the most permanent structure possible.[32][53] The firm of Osgood & Osgood of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the consulting engineer.[49][54][55] Daniel E. Moran (of the firm Moran, Maurice & Proctor of New York) designed the building's foundation; Gunvald Aus was the structural engineer; the firm of Clarke, McMullen & Riley (of New York) was the mechanical engineer; and Carl Rust Parker of Olmsted Brothers was the landscape architect.[56] The general contractor was the Percy Cranford Co., but the actual masonry work was done by the Samuel Miller Co. (both companies were located in Washington, D.C.).[56]

Corbett's initial design was for a memorial about 200 feet (61 m) high.[57] Corbett drew his inspiration from the restoration of the lighthouse at the port of Ostia Antica near Rome.[8][58] The first floor was occupied by a main hall with a colonnade on either side and clerestory windows, at the back of which a large statue of Washington would reside.[57] Historic murals would be painted on the walls.[57] To the right and left of the main hall would be large meeting rooms (one for the use of the Alexandria-Washington Lodge and one for use by other Masonic bodies).[57] To the left of the main hall there would also be a small room which would contain a replica of the original Masonic lodge room in which Washington himself had presided.[59]

Additional details and apparent design changes were revealed in July 1922. Although the building was still just 200 feet (61 m) in height, the press now reported that the building would be built specifically in the Greek and Romanesque Revival styles and be constructed of white marble and white concrete.[60][61] The atrium of the building (as the first floor main hall was now called) was now slated to contain space along the walls which could be used by Grand Lodges to memorialize their prominent members, while the rooms around the atrium would be dedicated to the various Masonic "appendant bodies" (jurisdictional bodies, social groups, youth and women's organizations, etc.).[60] The plan called for the second floor to be used as an art gallery as well as a museum, and for the museum to not only honor Washington but also other famous Masons from Virginia.[60] The memorial was still intended to house Washingtoniana and contain a replica of the original Alexandria-Washington Lodge's meeting room.[60]

A major revision to the memorial plans was made in February 1923. The GWMNMA approved constructing the building entirely of granite (rather than marble and concrete), a change which increased the cost of the structure to $3 million.[62] Including landscaping and the endowment, the total cost of the structure had risen to $4 million.[63]

These plans were revised and elaborated on again by April 1923. Now the memorial was to stand 330 feet (100 m) high.[54] The atrium on the first floor was specified to be 45 feet (14 m) wide by 80 feet (24 m) deep.[54] With the clerestory windows, this hall would be 60 feet (18 m) in height.[54] Meeting rooms would still surround the atrium.[54] The second story, now 45 by 60 feet (14 by 18 m) in size with a high ceiling and extensive windows (to let in large amounts of natural light), was still slated to house the Washington museum.[54] The purpose of the third floor was not yet agreed upon.[54] The tower above the third floor now contained an observation deck forming a seventh and ultimate floor at the top of the tower.[54] The new plans specified that terraces would lead from the front steps of the memorial down to the street below.[54] The cost, however, was still budgeted for $4 million.[49]

The final major change in the memorial came in early 1924. The height of the tower had been decreased at some point to 280 feet (85 m).[61] But in February 1924, architect Corbett raised the tower's height back to 330 feet (100 m).[61]

Construction of the building

Building the foundation

Given the size and weight of the memorial, even in its early design stages, a solid foundation for the structure was critical. An initial test borehole into Shooter's Hill (which reached a depth of 200 feet (61 m)) found no bedrock, leading to concerns that the site might not be a suitable location for the building.[30] Daniel E. Moran, the foundation engineer, further investigated the earth beneath the building.[64] Moran drilled 125 feet (38 m) below the lowest point of the foundation and found gravel, hard clay, and sand.[30][64] Soil experts in New York City and with the United States Geological Survey analyzed the soil and provided a guarantee (backed up by a bond) that no settling of the building would occur due to soil conditions.[30][64]

Ground for the memorial was broken at noon on June 5, 1922.[1] Louis Watres, president of the association, and Charles H. Callahan, vice president, broke ground in a driving rain.[1] The shovel and pick used to break ground, as well as four small stones from the first two spades of earth turned, were preserved by the Alexandria-Washington Lodge.[1] Excavation of the memorial's foundation began a few days later, with Cranford Paving Co. of Washington, D.C., doing the work.[1][56] The foundation was roughly hemispherical to provide the greatest stability,[30] and 25 feet (7.6 m) of the top of hill removed (lowering the elevation to just 108 feet (33 m)) in order to accommodate the 177-foot (54 m) wide by 195-foot (59 m) long foundation.[65] To ensure that the clay remained damp and did not dry out, which would cause the building to settle, a concrete pad 168 by 248 feet (51 by 76 m) was laid on top of the clay. This pad was 9 feet (2.7 m) deep in the center but only 6.5 feet (2.0 m) deep on the edges, and consisted of 9,000 cubic yards (6,900 m3) of concrete and 720 short tons (650 t) of reinforcing steel rods. The pad was allowed to set for several months before work began on the foundation itself.[66] The basement of the building was as large as the first two floors combined and was intended to house the structure's mechanical plant.[67] Although steam shovels were used to excavate the foundation, the earth was carried away by mule-drawn wagons.[30][68] A wide road was constructed to the top of Shooter's Hill to permit the transport of earth off the site and construction materials to the hilltop.[68]

By July 1922, the GWMNMA had received $700,000 in donations and another $900,000 in pledges.[60] Some time in the spring of 1922, the GWMNMA also obtained title to the 32-acre (13 ha) tract encompassing the rest of Shooter's Hill.[60] About 22 acres (8.9 ha) of the tract, valued at $1 million, was purchased from the city of Alexandria at almost no cost (essentially making it a gift from the city).[2][60] The total size of the tract owned by the Masons was now 36 acres (15 ha).[2]

By January 1923 the foundation was almost completed and the granite walls for the first floor were rising. Work proceeded very rapidly through June.[69] By February 1923, $1 million had been spent on constructing the foundation and walls and on landscaping.[62] Topsoil for the landscaping came from the Earl Strong Co. of Alexandria, the grass seed from O.M. Scotts and Sons of Ohio, and other trees, shrubs and landscaping products from C.F. Armiger of Washington, D.C.[56] Revenues easily exceeded these expenditures, as $1.8 million had been received in donations and pledges.[63] The same month, the GWMNMA expanded its board of directors from nine to 12.[63] By April 1923, the foundation had been fully excavated and the foundation walls constructed.[70] The Washington Post reported that the concrete foundation was the largest ever cast in a single piece.[56][71] The foundation (of articulate girder design) was 39,000 square feet (3,600 m2) in size, 4.5 to 9 feet (1.4 to 2.7 m) thick, and contained 9,000 cubic yards (6,900 m3) of concrete.[56][67] Plows pulled by mules had reshaped the side of the hill into its terraced form,[68] and most of the landscaping was now done.[70] Total cash donations received by April 1923 totaled more than $1 million.[70] Concrete for the first floor was poured in June 1923 and once it had set, the eight green 20 short tons (18 t) granite marble columns in the atrium were set in place. Each green marble column was 40.5 feet (12.3 m) high and 2.5 feet (0.76 m) in diameter when finished.[72] To prevent the columns from twisting or slipping, a mortise and tenon was used. A mortise approximately 3 feet (0.91 m) deep was created in the floor and a tenon carved on the bottom of the column base. A small amount of mortar mixed with small flat discs of metal was used to help fix the tenon into the mortise. Between the base and the first drum (or section of the column), between the drums and between the top drum and the capital were placed wedge-shaped thin sheets of lead to inhibit slippage.[73] By October 15, the first floor and granite outer walls were complete.[69]

Laying of the cornerstone

Laying of the cornerstone of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, on November 1, 1923.
Laying of the cornerstone of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, on November 1, 1923.

Laying of the memorial's cornerstone occurred on November 1, 1923. Planners had initially proposed that cornerstone be laid on November 4, 1923—the 170th anniversary of George Washington's initiation into Freemasonry.[30] But because November 4 fell on a Sunday in 1923, the ceremony was scheduled for November 1.[30] The ceremony almost did not occur. A short time before the event, contractors discovered that the cornerstone for the memorial had been cut too small.[30] A new cornerstone was quickly fashioned and completed just in time.[30] Alexandria Mayor William Allen Smoot declared a holiday, and all businesses closed except for banks and the U.S. post office.[74] The United States Navy light cruiser USS Richmond and a U.S. Navy destroyer anchored at the Alexandria torpedo factory as part of the festivities.[75] Trains ran every three minutes into the city of Alexandria in order to accommodate the crowds.[74]

An estimated 14,000 Masons, dignitaries, United States armed forces personnel, police, and others marched in a parade from the Alexandria waterfront to Shooter's Hill to kick off the event.[74] During the parade, four United States Army Air Corps planes circled overhead.[75] Among the dignitaries present at the 1:00 P.M. cornerstone-laying event were President Calvin Coolidge, now-Chief Justice of the United States William Howard Taft, Virginia Governor Elbert Lee Trinkle, and Alexandria Mayor Smoot.[74][76][77] Charles H. Callahan was master of ceremonies,[77] and the Rt. Rev. James Edward Freeman, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, provided the invocation and benediction.[74][77] President Coolidge laid the cornerstone using the same trowel Washington used on September 18, 1793, to lay the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building (the trowel was owned by the Alexandria-Washington Lodge).[76] Loudspeakers were used to broadcast the speeches of President Coolidge and the other speakers to the crowd, and a temporary radio station (operated by radio station WCAP) was set up on Shooter's Hill to broadcast the proceedings nationwide.[74][75] (Both the loudspeakers and temporary radio station were the same which President Warren G. Harding had used during the laying of the cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial.)[75]

Every U.S. state deposited an item into the cornerstone.[74] Other items deposited in the cornerstone were an American flag; a bronze medal celebrating the inauguration of Warren G. Harding; a bronze plaque containing the names of the architects, consulting architects, landscape architects, engineers, and contractors working on the memorial; a Christian Bible; a lambskin apron; a copy of William Joseph Williams' 1794 portrait of George Washington in Masonic regalia; several books and pamphlets concerning the life of Washington and the history of Freemasonry in America; and the names of the board of directors and officers of the GWMNMA.[74] Beneath the cornerstone was another container, which held several dimes, copies of the Constitution, copies of the Declaration of Independence, books, and other items.[68]

Construction milestones

Construction proceeded slowly after the cornerstone was laid. This was because construction stopped every winter to ensure that the memorial remained free of moisture, frost damage, and the effects of cooling (to improve the fit between stones).[61][72][78][79] The Helmle & Corbett architectural firm did an extensive study of stone buildings in Europe, and determined that working during good weather was the best way to construct a durable building.[79] During 1923, the GWMNMA raised another $500,000 in cash donations, which brought the total received to $2 million.[61] The granite for the memorial came from quarries in New Hampshire,[78] and was provided by the Maine & New Hampshire Granite Corp.[56] Some of these blocks were as much as 20 feet (6.1 m) long.[80]

By the time of the GWMNMA's annual meeting in February 1924, construction on the first floor was almost complete.[61] The first five terraces above the street (the "lower terrace") were built using Potomac bluestone for the walls, while the walks were graveled. The topmost sixth terrace (the "upper terrace", which encircled the building and its main entrance) was constructed with Conway Pink Granite for a base. The base was 13.875 feet (4.229 m) high and 3.33 feet (1.01 m) thick. The upper portion of this wall was concrete. More than 2,200 cubic yards (1,700 m3) of concrete and 60 short tons (54 t) of steel reinforcing bars were used in this part of the wall.[81][82] The GWMNMA believed that the second floor would be finished by the end of the construction season in the fall of 1924,[61] and that the entire structure would be done by late 1927 or early 1928.[78] The association also decided that a statue of Washington should be placed in the memorial atrium, and that this statue should be a marble copy of Jean-Antoine Houdon's 1788 statue of George Washington (which stood in the rotunda of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond).[61] In May 1924, the GWMNMA resodded the terrace and spent $6,000 on a new gateway and entrance to the memorial at the foot of Shooter's Hill.[78]

A damaged column was donated to a local veterans group to create this memorial to World War I veterans near the GWMNM.
A damaged column was donated to a local veterans group to create this memorial to World War I veterans near the GWMNM.

The 1924 construction year ended in December with the installation of eight green marble columns (each weighing 11 to 18 short tons (10.0 to 16.3 t)) in the first floor atrium.[32] Each column was 18 feet (5.5 m) high and 4.5 feet (1.4 m) in diameter,[83] and arrived at Alexandria's Union Station by train from Redstone, New Hampshire.[68] One columnar section was damaged, and given to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The VFW turned it into a memorial to American war dead, and erected it in front of Alexandria's Union Station.[83] In December 1924, it was estimated that the building would be complete in three to six years.[32]

Work on the building slowed in 1925 due to the difficult nature of completing the roof and raising the tower.[72] About 5,500 cubic feet (160 m3) of pink Conway granite (also quarried near Redstone) was received in May 1925 and used to build the memorial hall on the second floor.[72] The walls of the hall were already 32 feet (9.8 m) high, and about 14 feet (4.3 m) of granite needed to be raised on the northeast and south sides of the hall to complete them.[72] (They were 50 feet (15 m) when finished in December 1925.)[72] Sixteen columns of St. Genevieve marble, quarried in Missouri, were procured and placed around the perimeter of the second floor auditorium to help support the auditorium roof.[72] Each column was 18.5 feet (5.6 m) high and 2.3 feet (0.70 m) in diameter,[72] and weighed 56 short tons (51 t).[84] Once the columns were in place, a jack arch was constructed above them. The arch had two cross-members (each consisting of five stones weighing a total of 70 short tons (64 t)) supported by four 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide, 50 feet (15 m) long steel rods placed in shallow grooves on the underside.[85] The GWMNMA anticipated spending $595,000 in construction funds in 1925,[72] and raised another $500,000 in cash donations.[53]

In 1926, the GWMNMA appropriated another $500,000 to continue construction on the memorial.[86] The first event held in the memorial was the February 22, 1926, GWMNMA annual meeting.[53] The group reported that $2 million in cash donations had been received thus far, and $1.8 million expended.[53] Eight pink Conway granite columns—each 40 feet (12 m) high and weighing 68 short tons (62 t)[64][79]—for the portico were raised into position in October 1926, nearly completing this portion of the structure.[87] Also nearing completion was a massive bas-relief sculpture of Washington's head in profile, designed by sculptor Gail Sherman Corbett (wife of architect Harvey W. Corbett).[56][88][89] G. Fred Coles, who helped execute the statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, did the carving of the sculpture on-site in the summer of 1927 from Corbett's maquette.[89]

At the group's February 1927 meeting, the GWMNMA officers reported raising another $125,000 in cash donations.[90] Six months later, the roof over the first three floors was put in place. The concrete roof was designed by Gunvald Aus, who also designed the Woolworth Building in New York City.[64] Pouring of the concrete roof began on August 22, 1927,[64] and was completed on August 30.[79] Steel for the roof was provided by Concrete Steel Co. of Washington, D.C.[56] The Vulcanite Portland Cement Co. of Philadelphia provided the cement,[56] and Cranford Construction Co. poured the roof.[79] A total of 71 short tons (64 t) of steel reinforcing rods were used in the roof, which contained 953 cubic yards (729 m3) of concrete.[79] The roof was 74.75 feet (22.78 m) wide and 110 feet (34 m) long—reportedly the largest concrete roof in the world at the time.[64][71][79] The roof was supported by four steel-reinforced concrete beams, each beam 72 feet (22 m) long and 14.5 feet (4.4 m) deep.[64][79] Each beam varied from 1 to 5 feet (0.30 to 1.52 m) in thickness, contained 7.5 short tons (6.8 t) of steel reinforcing rods, and weighed 98 short tons (89 t)).[64][79] The beams were supported at the front of the building by four of the pink Conway granite columns.[64][79] At the four corners of the roof were concrete piers, each 9 square feet (0.84 m2) in size.[64][79] Spandrel beams between the columns—6.3 feet (1.9 m) wide at the bottom, 9 feet (2.7 m) wide at the top, and 24 feet (7.3 m) deep—also supported the roof.[64] The roof was waterproofed, sealed, and covered with copper sheeting by the New York Roofing Co. and the Ehret-Warren Co.[56][91] In August 1927, it was believed the building would be finished in another three to five years.[79]

At its February 1928 annual meeting, the GWMNMA agreed to spend another $500,000 in the coming year on construction costs.[92][93] The association also agreed to increase the endowment fund to $1.5 million, for a total cost of building, grounds, and endowment of $5 million.[92][93] At this time, it was estimated that the building could be completed if another $500,000 was raised in 1929.[92][93] The Grand Lodge of the state of Virginia announced at the meeting that it had agreed to fund the construction of bronze doors for the memorial at a cost of $10,000.[67][93] At the close of the meeting, the GWMNMA established a formal dedication date of 1932 for the memorial.[94]

In February 1929, the GWMNMA learned that $400,000 in cash donations were received in 1928.[95] When work on the structure began again in March 1929, the terrace and lawns were resodded.[71] The first Masonic degrees were conferred in the unfinished memorial in mid-October 1929.[96] The first Blue Lodge meeting to be held at the memorial occurred on November 14, 1929.[97] With so many skilled workers unemployed due to the Great Depression, the association was able to hire more men at lower wages than before. By February 1930, the tower section had risen to 190 feet (58 m) above elevation, 50 feet (15 m) more than the construction schedule anticipated.[98] At the GWMNMA annual meeting, the association voted to establish a $1 million endowment fund to maintain the memorial after it was completed.[99] In 1930, the association spent $225,000 on the memorial.[100] That same year, GWMNMA President Watres donated a large Celesta-like set of chimes for the memorial's tower.[67][101] The tower was completed, and floors for the eighth, ninth, and tenth levels installed.[102]

Work on the exterior of the memorial ended on February 8, 1931.[103] The Grand Chapter of Virginia of Royal Arch Masonry donated the aluminum double-keystone symbol and light at the top of the building.[67][100] The fixture, the largest of its kind in the world at the time, was in place by February 1929 but not yet illuminated (as exterior lighting systems were still being installed).[100] The $17,000 light fixture is 19 feet (5.8 m) high, made of aluminum, and has its own independent power supply. Claude Haynes, a steelworker employed on the memorial since 1923 and a member of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, completed the light by installing the aluminum sheeting on it on February 8.[103] Construction of decorative items, flooring, landscape drainage, marble walls, and plumbing continued throughout 1931 and was expected to be complete by February 1932.[100] Work on the outbuilding housing the memorial's boiler room began in late March 1931.[104] The brick building was constructed by the Temple B. Greenstreet Co. of Washington, D.C., and the brick smokestacks built by the Alphonse Custodis Co. of New York.[56] A steam tunnel 8 by 8 feet (2.4 by 2.4 m) square and 600 feet (180 m) long carried heat to the building.[105] The outbuilding's two low-pressure boilers and the memorial's interior radiators were supplied and installed by the American Radiator Co.[56] Interior heating and ventilation units and ductwork were provided by the B.F. Sturtevant Co., Benjamin F. Shore Co., and Buffalo Forge Co.[56] Modern thermostats provided by Johnson Service Co. were used to control the heating and cooling.[56] The furnaces used heating oil for fuel, and were installed by the Automatic Heating Corporation of Washington, D.C.[56][106]


The George Washington Masonic National Memorial was dedicated on May 12, 1932. Planners had hoped for a dedication date of February 22, 1932—the 200th anniversary of Washington's birth.[100] But the structure was not ready in time, as many of the interior details had not yet been agreed on or installed,[56] electrical and plumbing work had not yet reached the third floor, and the George Washington National Bicentennial Commission had already scheduled numerous programs for February.[105] Initially, May 13—the 325th anniversary of the founding of the English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia—was chosen as the date for the dedication. But since the number 13 was considered unlucky, May 12 was chosen instead.[107]

Even with an extra two months, the contractors still rushed to finish the building.[108] The huge granite steps leading up to the main entrance were not in place (and would not be until 1940).[109] Among the rooms being prepared at the last minute was the 1,000-seat circular auditorium at the rear of the second floor.[108] Workers laid a cement floor for the auditorium (although this would later be replaced with marble).[108] The marble wall material in the auditorium came from the Hilgartner Marble Co. of Baltimore, while the seating and woodwork came from the American Seating Co. of Grand Rapids.[56][108] The fan-shaped ceiling and the frieze in the auditorium were designed by Louis Ludwig of Washington, D.C., while the installation of the ceiling and the frieze was done by the A.W. Lee Co. of Washington.[56] Contractors were also busy installing sashes, windows and ventilation grillwork throughout the building, and laying a cement floor in the memorial hall on the second floor.[108] Bronze was used for the sashes, doors, doorjambs and other exterior work where connection to the granite was required, and these items were installed by the William H. Jackson Co. of New York.[56] The interior and exterior ironwork was supplied by the Alexandria Iron Works and the Washington Stair and Ornamental Iron Co.[56] Other than the auditorium, no attempt was made to complete the first floor, the lodge rooms on the second floor or any of the tower rooms in time for the dedication.[108]

The memorial had been constructed without incurring any debt. From the start of the project, the Masonic bodies involved in the memorial's construction resolved not to sign any contract or begin any work until the money for such efforts was in hand.[110] At the time of the dedication, not a single bond had been sold or loan sought to fund the building's construction.[110]

A number of special events marked the dedication ceremony. More than 100 special trains carried an estimated 150,000 spectators into Alexandria.[2] Many attendees slept in railway sleeping cars (which remained parked in the city's rail yards) because hotel accommodations were lacking.[2] The U.S. Navy sailed the historic wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate USS Constitution to Alexandria for the dedication.[111] Three United States Coast Guard cutters and a U.S. Navy submarine also anchored in the Potomac River for the ceremony.[112] The United States Post Office Department established a special temporary ceremonial post office at the site of the memorial to postmark letters and postcards with the memorial's name and location and the date of the dedication ceremony.[113] (More than 200,000 letters were postmarked at the ceremonial station that day.)[114] The United States House of Representatives adjourned because most House members were attending the dedication event.[115] Most members of the United States Senate also went to the dedication, as did a number of foreign ambassadors.[2]

A continuous heavy rain dampened the May 12 festivities.[116] Only about 20,000 people (rather than the anticipated 150,000) lined Alexandria's streets to view the parade.[116] Originally estimated to incorporate 20,000 participants, only 15,000 marched in the parade through Alexandria to the memorial prior to the dedication ceremony.[2][112][116] More than 5,000 U.S. military personnel and 3,000 Knights Templar (the third part of the York Rite system of Masonic degrees) marched in the procession.[2][112] The contingents took more than two hours to pass the reviewing stand.[116] Representatives from every branch of Freemasonry in the U.S. attended and many representatives from overseas Masonic lodges were also present.[2] President Hoover and nearly his entire Cabinet attended the dedication.[2][34] When the President and his party arrived at the memorial site, the Constitution, the three Coast Guard ships and a battery of the 16th Field Artillery fired a 21-gun salute.[2][112][116]

Due to the heavy rain, the ceremony was moved from the portico of the memorial to the newly completed auditorium.[116] Several items of Washingtoniana were employed during the dedication. Among these were the Bible which Washington used when initiated into Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4 in 1752, the trowel and gavel Washington used while laying the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building, the Bible on which Washington took the presidential oath of office and a silver urn made by Paul Revere which contained a lock of Washington's hair.[2][30][117] A special Masonic ritual was written for the dedication.[117] The ceremony incorporated a 4-foot (1.2 m) high model of the memorial (manufactured by inmates at the Lorton Reformatory),[34] and the pouring of wine, oil and corn (Masonic symbols) from gold and silver pitchers onto the model.[2][117] The pitchers were made by metalsmith Olaf Saugstadt.[2] The invocation was given by the Rt. Rev. W. Bertrand Stevens, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.[116] The benediction was given by Dr. William J. Morton, Rector of Christ Church, Alexandria (the church where Washington worshipped).[116]

Construction of the interior

A portion of the Grotto room on the third floor of the memorial, the first room finished in the tower.
A portion of the Grotto room on the third floor of the memorial, the first room finished in the tower.


Construction on some of the exterior and nearly all of the interior of the memorial continued after its May 1932 dedication. Sheet metal for interior window sashes, doorjambs and other moldings, fixtures and fittings was provided by G.O. Robertson of Delaware; Ernest Gichner of Washington, D.C.; and the E. Van Norden Co. of New York. The Hires-Turner Glass Co. of Rosslyn, Virginia, provided the windows and stained glass. The lighting fixtures were supplied by the Sterling Bronze Works, while electrical supplies were furnished by the National Electrical Supply Co. of Washington and A.L. Ladd of Alexandria. Four firms oversaw the plumbing and sewage work: Earl Riley, the D.C. Engineering Co., Potomac Clay Works and the Thos. Somerville Co. The interior heavy hardware as well as some heavy internal equipment was supplied by Henry H. Meyer & Co. of Washington, D.C., while lighter hardware and fixtures were supplied by Worth Hulfish & Sons of Alexandria, Baldwin-Stuart Co. of Hartford, Connecticut and Sargent & Co. of New York. Many of the non-marble floors were covered in cork (provided and installed by the David E. Kennedy Co.) and carpeting was provided by Woodward & Lothrop (the department store chain). Acoustic tile was used in many rooms to dampen the echoes produced by the granite walls. This tile was provided by the George P. Little Co. Terrazzo (faux marble flooring) work was done by the V. Foscato Co. of New York. Much of the interior woodwork was supplied by W.A. Smoot & Co. of Alexandria. Interior painting was done by the W.W. MacCallum Co. of Alexandria, while the terracotta (unglazed baked ceramic) decorations were provided by Ernest Simpson of Alexandria. The aluminum for interior work was supplied by the Aerocrete Corporation and worked and molded into forms by the Aluminum Company of America.[56] Gold vein and Tennessee pink marble were used to line the walls of the first floor atrium and the second floor memorial hall and ceilings on both floors were plastered. But by the end of 1933, no heating had been installed in the second floor hall.[118]

Despite the immediate flurry of work on the memorial after its dedication, construction and decoration of the interior slowed significantly over the next two decades. The Great Depression and World War II left both funds and building materials in short supply.

The association wished to complete the memorial hall, the north lodge room and the Alexandria-Washington replica lodge room on the second floor of the memorial. To complete the rooms and hallways leading to them would cost about $193,000. Although fund-raising for the effort began, in 1936 the organization learned that it had to complete the library and elevators in the tower first.[119] In February 1931, Florence M. Lemert, widow of Rae John Lemert, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Montana, donated more than 6,000 books and manuscripts about Masonic history and Masonry to the memorial as a means of founding a national Masonic library.[120] With these books in danger of deterioration, a library had to be constructed immediately and at least one elevator installed in order to reach the library room in the tower. Additional landscaping had to be done in order to reduce the fire danger in the area, walls had to be erected around the land to prevent the public from cutting across the property and roads had to be re-graveled and maintained.[119]

In 1935, the GWMNMA set aside the fourth floor as a "States Memorial Hall" (where each state's Grand Lodge could recognize its famous Masons), the sixth floor as a Masonic library and the eighth floor as a museum.[67] The third, fifth and seventh floors had not yet been assigned a function.[67] But these plans were not carried out. After the death of Louis Watres in June 1937, Dr. Elmer R. Arn, Past Grand Master of Ohio, was elected president of the association as his successor.[3] Four large lighting sconces were added to the second floor memorial hall in 1938, with the $4,000 cost of their installation paid for by the General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star.[121] In 1939, the granite steps leading up to the portico, the walls containing the patio which surrounds the memorial and the stone balustrade for the granite steps were installed.[109] Several hundred plants were also added to the landscaping.[109]


The U.S. Dept. of Commerce donated equipment in 1942 to have the exterior of the building and the keystone light atop it lit.
The U.S. Dept. of Commerce donated equipment in 1942 to have the exterior of the building and the keystone light atop it lit.

In February 1941, the association reported its first big fundraising season since the memorial's dedication, receiving $100,000 in cash donations.[122] In 1941, the association raised an additional $70,000, leaving it with total funds on hand of $225,000.[3] By now, the total cost of completing the structure had risen to $6 million.[3] The GWMNMA agreed to spend $60,000 in 1942 in order to finish the south lodge room on the second floor[123] and dedicate it to the Blue Lodge. The sum also would cover the cost of finishing the room in the southwest corner of the second floor to house the Alexandria-Washington Lodge's Washingtoniana.[3] Five empty lots on Shooter's Hill were also purchased in 1942, so that a large building could not be built next to the memorial. Additionally, the United States Department of Commerce provided, free of charge, equipment for lighting the building and tower as an aid to aviation. The association paid to have the equipment installed. In February 1942, Representative Sol Bloom donated an oil painting of Washington in full Masonic regalia to the memorial that year as well.[3] Bloom was a member of Pacific Lodge No. 233 in the state of New York and had served as director of the Washington Bicentennial Commission. Artist Hattie Elizabeth Burdette painted the picture in 1932. Actor Tefft Johnson modeled for the portrait, posing in the Masonic apron and wearing the same jewel Washington himself had worn. The chair in the painting also belonged to Washington and the pedestal and background cloth belonged to the Alexandria-Washington Lodge. The painting had been used to advertise the Washington Bicentennial and Bloom donated it to the memorial in memory of his wife (who had died in 1941).[124]

The Blue Lodge room and Alexandria-Washington Lodge replica room were finished in late 1942. During the following year, one of the granite columns in the memorial cracked and was repaired.[124]

Work on the interior did not really begin in earnest until after the war.[14] It was not until May 1945 that the room dedicated to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (the Shriners) on the north side of the first floor was begun.[125] Placed in the finished room was an original oil painting of Shrine co-founder William J. Florence (valued at $5,000), a copy of the Shrine's Ritual in the handwriting of co-founder Walter M. Fleming, a collection of jewels, and other items.[126] In time, the Shriners would furnish two more rooms on ground floor at a total cost of $168,000.[126][127] In 1946, the association received a major donation of about $154,700 which went to its maintenance fund (which now had to be at least $3 million to generate enough funds to keep the structure maintained).[128]

At the GWMNMA's annual meeting in February 1947, the Alexandria-Washington Lodge Replica Room was dedicated. The association also voted to allot one of the rooms in the unfinished tower to the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (also known as "the Grotto"), which had raised $25,000 to finish the room. The Supreme Council, Scottish Rite (Southern Jurisdiction, USA) donated $100,000 to finish the north lodge room on the second floor and dedicate it to Cryptic Masonry. Prior to this donation, the association was unsure whether appendant bodies of Freemasonry should be allowed to occupy rooms in the memorial. The Southern Jurisdiction's donation effectively ended this debate. It also encouraged many Grand Lodges (state organizations) of Masonry to make large donations to the memorial, bringing new life to the memorial's fund-raising efforts. The association also agreed to expend funds to build a kitchen and dining room, hang bronze doors on the first floor and install bronze grillwork for the heating and ventilation system on the first floor.[129] Two other major decisions were made in 1947 as well. Long-time memorial architect Harvey W. Corbett presented his plans for completing the memorial's interior and sculptor Bryant Baker discussed his plans for a life-size statue of George Washington to adorn the memorial hall.[128] The Order of DeMolay, the young men's affiliate of Freemasonry, had won the association's approval for a campaign to raise money for a bronze statue of George Washington back in 1934.[130] Baker proposed a marble statue that would cost $50,000 to $60,000 and stand on a pedestal worth $7,000 to $10,000. The association also began work on its first elevator. The Otis Elevator Company was awarded this contract on October 23, 1947. Designed to fit into the southeast stairwell, the company overcame the 7.5 degree incline of the stairwell by putting wheels on one side of the elevator car to keep it vertical.[129] The memorial's dining room was completed at the end of 1947, and its first use was for a meeting of the GWMNMA in February 1948.[131]

The Grotto dedicated its finished room (designed to house its archives) on the third floor of the building in February 1948.[127][132] The association, meanwhile, outfitted the first floor auditorium with handrails and bronze windowsills and HVAC ventilation grills.[129] The association also made the decision to begin fund-raising for a number of other projects at the memorial. These included designing, manufacturing and installing stained glass windows in the second floor memorial hall, designing and painting murals on the walls of the memorial hall, finishing the roof over the auditorium and portico, installing marble over the rough cement in the interior stairwells and replacing the large wooden doors at the memorial's entrance with bronze doors.[133] That same year, President Harry S. Truman[134] presented the memorial with a replica of the Great Seal of the United States which was 7 feet (2.1 m) in diameter and lit from within.[135] The sign had originally topped of the United States Government Printing Office headquarters, but had been damaged by lightning.[135] Removed and listed as scrap, a Freemason noticed the sign in a government warehouse and asked that it to be donated to the memorial.[135] A presentation ceremony was set for June 24, 1948. Truman's arrival at the presentation was significantly delayed, for he had spent the morning giving military orders to begin the Berlin airlift.[135]

By September 1949, the memorial was still "nowhere near finished."[136] None of the tower rooms in floors three through nine were finished, although the observation deck was under construction.[136] The Scottish Rite agreed to fund the observation deck.[127] The observation deck was accessible only by a circular stairway.[136] In late 1949, the Cryptic Lodge Room (also known as the "North Room") was finished[137] and the two elevators were installed on the north and south side of the building.[136] The room contained seating for 450 and an organ (which was used for the first time during the room's dedication ceremony).[137][138] To avoid piercing the second floor's memorial hall, the elevators slanted inward at 7.5 degrees.[9][136][139] They were 61 feet (19 m) apart on the first floor, but only 4.5 feet (1.4 m) apart at the observation deck.[136] They were the only slanting elevators in the world when installed,[136] and the motors for them had to be passed up through the shafts in order to get them to the roof.[140] Other decorative changes were made by late 1949 as well. A woven Persian carpet, the largest in the world and worth $1 million, was donated to the memorial by Sarkis Nahigian (a Masonic member from Chicago).[136] (It was installed in the Alexandria-Washington Replica Lodge Room. But it had to be folded in order to fit in the room, which caused wear on the rug. The rug was removed after several years and reinstalled in the memorial hall on the second floor.)[129] In the Memorial Hall, two stained glass windows designed and manufactured by Robert M. Metcalf were being installed. Bronze doors, grillwork and window sashes had been installed throughout the first floor, the first floor assembly hall was completed, the kitchen and dining room were finished, the north and south corridors on the first floor were completed and an addition to the heating plant installed.[141] The "Hall of Presidents" was also finished. This walkway on the upper level of the auditorium contained plaques depicting Presidents of the United States who were Masons.[142] The Shriners, too, completed their rooms on the first floor.[143]

At some point during 1949, Bryan Baker's sculpture of George Washington was changed from marble to bronze.[136] The statue and its base were both paid for that year.[141]


One of the murals in the Memorial Hall, painted by Allyn Cox in the 1950s.
One of the murals in the Memorial Hall, painted by Allyn Cox in the 1950s.

Baker's 17-foot high (5.2 m) bronze statue of Washington was finally unveiled on February 22, 1950.[130] President Truman, past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, dedicated the statue and delivered a major foreign policy address at its unveiling.[130] The same year, muralist painter Allyn Cox was hired to paint murals throughout the memorial depicting allegorical Masonic events from history as well as scenes from the life of George Washington.[144][145] The Grand Lodge of California donated the funds for these murals.[146] Cox also designed six stained glass windows for installation above the murals,[146] each depicting a famous Masonic patriot (such as Benjamin Franklin and Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette).[147] The windows were executed and installed by stained glass artist Robert Metcalf.[146]

In 1951, the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons agreed to fund the completion of the room on the fifth floor and dedicate it to Holy Royal Arch Masonry.[127] That same year, two more Metcalf windows were installed in the memorial hall, the chimes were installed on the 10th floor, and a ladder (acting as a staircase) was placed to provide access to the 10th floor from the ninth floor. A water tank was installed on the fifth floor (to help ensure high pressure) and plumbing extended to the eighth floor, and air conditioning placed in the second floor South Lodge Room. A spiral staircase was added between the third and ninth floors to provide an emergency exit.[148] It was also in 1951[148] that the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania sponsored the completion of the memorial's sixth-floor main library.[127] Outside the memorial, the northwest parking lot was paved and two flagpoles placed outside the main entrance.[148]

Work on the memorial continued in 1952, although most of the work was not finished until a year later. The ninth floor observation deck remained unfinished (although money had been donated to enclose it in a suicide-proof iron cage), and only two floors were open to the public. But the sixth floor library was dedicated on February 22, and later that year Allyn Cox's sketches for the memorial hall murals were approved.[149] Finally, with the second-floor auditorium nearing completion, the memorial association authorized the expenditure of funds for the Moller Organ Co. to begin design and construction of a pipe organ for this space.[150] By early 1953, however, the observation deck was finished and opened for use, and the second inclined elevator began to be installed.[151] Problems with the shaft, however, delayed its completion.[150] Additional internal construction was also completed at this time. The building plans had called for two sets of stairs to descend from the second floor's memorial hall to the first floor's assembly hall. These stairs had never been completed, however, and the space had been used for storage for years. Now funds were available to build the staircases. In order to do so, the unfinished space beneath the main portico was turned into a storage room, and the stairs were installed. Contractors also resealed the exterior of the tower and the second floor roof parapet to prevent water from leaking into the memorial.[151] By the end of 1953, the remaining stained glass windows in the memorial hall were installed.[150]

In 1954, the 42-rank Moller organ was installed in the main auditorium.[152] The $50,000 for the organ had been donated by the Grand Lodge of New Jersey in 1930.[67][150] The marble staircases between the first and second floors were also completed,[153] and the fifth floor with its Royal Arch Masonry room was almost finished as well.[154] The memorial association now began reconsidering some of its plans. It was clear now that there was no need for a "States Remembrance Room" on the fourth floor, and that the eighth floor did not have enough space to hold all the Washingtoniana in the possession of the Alexandria-Washington Lodge. So the association resolved to make the fourth floor a Washington museum, while leaving the eighth floor open.[154]

Allyn Cox's mural on the south wall of the memorial hall was completed in early 1955. Although a mural on the ceiling of the memorial hall had also long been planned, the association decided to forgo this.[155] In February 1955, Theodor Vogel, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodges of Germany, presented the memorial association with intricate wood carvings depicting the Four Crowned Martyrs (in this case, Claudius, Castorius, Nicostratus, and Symphorian). The carvings were hung in the memorial library.[156] That same year, the Knights Templar asked that their assigned room be moved from the seventh to the eighth floor.[127] This request was quickly granted, although it left the seventh floor unoccupied. Throughout the year, Allyn Cox continued to work on murals in the Royal Arch Masonry room and on the mural on the north wall of the memorial hall. At the end of the year, the north and south steps from the parking lots to the first floor were completed. William and Annetta Childs of Oklahoma donated an electronic, automated carillon to the memorial, which was installed in the tenth floor.[157]

The following year, the north side elevator was finally completed.[157] With the elevators freed from the need to carry construction materials and workmen, the tower was finally opened to the public.[158] A number of exterior projects remained, however: granite facing for the upper terrace walls, bronze trim for the main doors, bronze lighting standards for the portico, granite facing for the lower terrace walls, and granite facing for the back of the auditorium. Some interior work was also needed. For example, holes had been drilled in the marble floor of the memorial hall so that electric plugs could be installed for lighting fixtures.[159] The unassigned seventh floor finally found a sponsor as well. That year, the Grand Central Council of Cryptic Masonry agreed to sponsor the floor, and by year's end had raised half the funds necessary to complete and furnish the floor.[160]

The Royal Arch Room was dedicated on April 20, 1957, by Vice President of the United States Richard Nixon.[161] The four bays in the room remained unfinished for many years, however, and were curtained off.[162] The same year, the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions of the Scottish Rite dedicated the George Washington museum on the memorial's fourth floor[163] (although there were no display cases or other furnishings to permit the Washington museum to open).[159] The day before Easter (April 20), the Knights Templar dedicated their eighth floor chapel. At year's end, the second of Allyn Cox's murals for the memorial hall was completed.[160]

Work on the seventh-floor Cryptic Masonry room was well under way by late 1957[160] and the room was dedicated on February 12, 1958.[164] A change was made to the portico as well that year. The portico had been designed so that large bronze plaques could be installed on either side of the main doors. Fundraising for these plaques had not gone well, leaving two gaping holes in the marble walls. The memorial association decided that marble, rather than bronze, plaques be installed in these spaces. Quotations from George Washington's Masonic correspondence were selected and inscribed on these marble plaques. Additionally, the bronze doors for both sets of elevators were also installed (at a cost of $18,000).[165] At the end of the year, the memorial association spent more than $108,000 to finish the granite facing of the auditorium.[164]

In 1959, a large bronze bust of Washington by sculptor Donald De Lue (commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, and originally destined for their headquarters) was donated to the museum.[163] The Scottish Rite offered to finance the completion of the fourth floor's museum.[164]

1960s and 1970s

In 1962, artists Dwight Franklin and Robert N.S. Whitelaw completed 12 dioramas (worth $75,000) to be placed in the assembly hall and which depicted key incidents in Washington's life.[166] These dioramas had been part of the original decorative scheme for the memorial, with eight dioramas (two for each corner) to be placed in the assembly hall. Due to a dispute over the subject matter, 12 rather than eight dioramas were ordered.[167] Air conditioning was added to the North Lodge (form the Cryptic Lodge) Room in 1963.[168]

But despite these achievements, by 1964 the memorial still wasn't finished. More than 150,000 people a year were visiting the memorial, but the Washington museum was still unfinished.[169] A major push to finish the museum came after 1966, when Washington's descendants—Anne Madison and Patty Willis Washington—donated the Washington family's collection of papers and memorabilia to the museum.[9] The donation included a large portrait of George Washington and his family, as well as the Washington family Bible.[170] Only after this donation was made were funds for the museum's completion finally raised.[171]

The late 1960s saw the completion of the memorial. In February 1966, Senator Everett Dirksen (a Mason) dedicated the George Washington museum on the memorial's fourth floor.[172] The dedication meant that the final room in the tower was now complete and open to the public. In 1967, the city of Alexandria changed the street layout around the memorial. As part of this alteration, the memorial granted the city a 12-foot (3.7 m) wide access path (or "alley") between the memorial's access road and Park Road.[170] Since the back wall of the auditorium had never been faced with granite, the protruding steel reinforcing bars had rusted. These were removed in 1968, as they were no longer fit for use. Finally, in 1970, the 40-year-old oil-burning heating plant was replaced with new natural gas-burning boilers, the city of Alexandria donated a back-up electrical generator to keep the tower lit in case of blackouts, additional lighting for the tower was installed, and additional landscaping work completed.[173]

The memorial was considered complete in 1970.[14][174] However, the granite facing still remained incomplete. The memorial association finally raised the funds to finish the facing in July 1972, and the facing was finished in March 1973.[175] The tower, too, remained only partially lit. But the Grand Lodge of New York provided the funds to finish the lighting, and the final tower exterior illumination was completed in the summer of 1973.[176]

About the building

The memorial at sunset on July 30, 2011.
The memorial at sunset on July 30, 2011.

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is Neoclassical in style.[48] Portions of the building are also in the Greek Revival and Romanesque Revival styles.[60] The columns which form the portico, are in the first floor assembly hall and the second floor main hall, and on the first tier of the tower are Doric.[67] However, the columns on the second tier of the tower are Ionic, and the columns on the third tier of the tower are Corinthian.[67]

The memorial consists of nine floors. The first (or "ground") floor appears, from the outside, to be part of the foundation. In the center of the first floor is the Grand Masonic Hall. The Grand Masonic Hall features eight large green granite columns, four on each side of the hall.[67] The Grand Masonic Hall is 66 feet (20 m) long, 66 feet (20 m) wide, and 20 feet (6.1 m) high.[67] The 12 dioramas commissioned in the mid-1960s are located in this hall.[31] At the western end of the hall are short steps which lead up to an alcove in which a bronze bust of George Washington was placed in 2008.[177] The semicircular alcove surrounding the bust contains murals depicting Masonic events in the life of Washington. For many years, the Great Seal of the United States donated by President Truman to the memorial in 1948 was displayed in this hall, but it was removed in the late 1990s.[135] Large, medium, and small meeting rooms are on the north and south sides of the Grand Masonic Hall. All three rooms on the north side contain exhibits which document the history and activities of the Shriners.[8][14] Many of the models in these rooms depict Shriner charities, and one model is a miniature mechanical version of a Shriners' parade.[14][80] The medium-sized room on the memorial's southwest corner contains an exhibit about Freemasonry in general.[14] The medium-sized meeting room (the George Washington Room) and large-sized meeting room (the Andrew Jackson Room) on the south side are generally closed to the public but can be rented as meeting space.

A portion of one of the murals in the Cryptic Masonry room on the seventh floor.
A portion of one of the murals in the Cryptic Masonry room on the seventh floor.

The second (or "main") floor appears, from the outside, to be the main level of the memorial.[31] The Parthenon-inspired portico with its Doric columns forms the primary entrance to the memorial.[67] The portico is supported by eight fluted columns of pink Conway granite 5.92 feet (1.80 m) in diameter and 33 feet (10 m) high,[67] each weighing 63 short tons (57 t).[146] The bas-relief medallion of Washington in profile which is incorporated into the pediment above the portico is 7 feet (2.1 m) across.[67] Bronze doors lead the way into the memorial. Once inside the memorial, to the left is the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 Replica Lodge Room, which faithfully duplicates the look of the lodge room at the time Washington presided over the lodge.[14][31] This room contains several items which belonged to Washington as well as historic items (such as furniture) from the Alexandria-Washington Lodge.[31][80] Behind the Master Mason's chair in this room is the William Joseph Williams portrait of Washington in his Masonic garb.[31][178] Along the south side of this floor is the South Lodge Room,[14] which replicates the Neoclassical look of the Alexandria-Washington Lodge when it was located in the Alexandria City Courthouse. This room is used for meetings of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 as well as other Masonic lodges who wish to use it for meetings while visiting the memorial.

The main feature of the second floor is the Memorial Hall, which is 100 feet (30 m) long, 66 feet (20 m) wide, and 51 feet (16 m) high.[67] Eight green granite columns (four on each side) support the roof of the Memorial Hall.[31][139] Each column is 38.5 feet (11.7 m) high, 4 feet (1.2 m) wide at the base, and weighs 63 short tons (57 t).[146] On the western end of the hall is the 17 feet (5.2 m) high bronze statue of Washington in Masonic regalia.[31][80] It weighs 7 short tons (6.4 t).[139] The floor is composed of Tennessee marble in a geometric design, and the walls are of Missouri marble.[146] In the corners of the Memorial Hall are four 8-foot (2.4 m) high bronze lamps, donated by the Order of the Eastern Star (a Masonic social organization composed primarily of women).[146] On the north and south sides of the Memorial Hall are murals by Allyn Cox depicting Washington attending a service at Christ Church, Alexandria and of Washington (in Masonic garb) laying the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol building.[9][14][139] The murals were photographed in their entirety for the first time in 2000.[179]

Behind the Memorial Hall to the west is the semicircular Memorial Theater,[180] which was designed to seat 1,000.[67] (After being reconfigured, it seats just 358 today.) The Memorial Theater features a fan-shaped ceiling and 16 St. Genevieve marble columns around its perimeter.[108] Around the mezzanine are 14 bronze bas-relief portraits of Presidents of the United States who were Freemasons.[181] Behind the stage is the portrait of Washington donated by Rep. Sol Bloom. In the balcony in the theater's eastern end is the Moller organ donated by Grand Lodge of New Jersey.[67] On the north side on the first floor is the North Lodge Room.[14] An open-beam arched ceiling marks this room, which is in the half-timbered style and has balconies on three sides and a stage in front.[182] This is the meeting room of Andrew Jackson Lodge No. 120, as well as other Masonic lodges who wish to use it for meetings while visiting the memorial.[182]

The altar in the chapel in the Knights Templar room on the memorial's eighth floor.
The altar in the chapel in the Knights Templar room on the memorial's eighth floor.

The tower contains the third through ninth floors. The tower is divided into four sections, each smaller in circumference than the one below.[9] There are two floors in the first, second, and third section, but only one floor in the fourth section. The third floor contains exhibits about the history, charitable activities, and socializing that various Masonic bodies engage in. The third floor used to be solely dedicated to the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm ("the Grotto"), and housed the organization's archives.[8][14] But beginning in February 2012, the third floor was renovated to contain displays about other appendant bodies as well (although the Grotto's display in the room remains by far the largest).[183] The fourth floor contains the George Washington Museum, which is maintained with funding from the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of the Southern and Northern Jurisdictions of the United States.[14] The Donald De Lue bronze statue of Washington is located in the museum,[184] which also contains many items used or owned by Washington.[8] The fourth floor is double the height of the third floor, with a mezzanine that contains additional exhibits. The fifth floor is the same height as the third floor, and is dedicated to exhibits and symbols important to Royal Arch Masonry.[8] This floor is in the Egyptian Revival and ancient Hebraic architectural styles.[14][80] It also contains a replica of the ark of the covenant (curtains automatically open and close to reveal the replica to visitors).[80] The sixth floor contains the Memorial Library.[14][180] This floor is double the height of the fifth floor, and like the fourth floor contains a mezzanine. The seventh floor is the same height as the third and fifth floors, and is dedicated to Cryptic Masonry (the second part of the York Rite system of Masonic degrees).[8][14] The room is a symbolic replica of the legendary crypt beneath the Temple of Solomon where secrets and treasures were kept.[14] It also contains murals which depict key events mentioned in Cryptic initiation rituals (such as the murder of Hiram Abiff, architect of Solomon's Temple). The eighth floor is the same height as the seventh floor, and contains a chapel dedicated to the Knights Templar.[14][80] It is in the early French Gothic architectural style. Like the fourth and sixth floors, it is double the height of the third and fifth floors but it lacks the mezzanine found on the fourth and sixth floors. The stained glass windows in this chapel depict four scenes from the Christian Bible:[80] Jesus healing the blind, the Sermon on the Mount, the crucifixion of Jesus, and the ascension of Jesus into heaven. The ninth floor is the same height as the third, fifth, and seventh floors, and contains both the Tall Cedars Room and the observation platform. The Tall Cedars of Lebanon is a social group for Master Masons, and their room on the ninth floor depicts King Solomon's throne room and symbols important to this group.[14] The observation platform, which rings the exterior of the ninth floor, is accessible only from this room.[14]

The structure is capped by a step pyramid with seven steps.[9][185] The light fixture atop the pyramid is in the shape of a double keystone (a shape which is of symbolic importance to Freemasons).[80]

The memorial sits on 36 acres (15 ha) of parkland.[80] Since the GWMNMA is a nonprofit organization, the memorial and its land are not taxed.[80] The first and second floors are open to all visitors,[31] but visitors are required to be accompanied by a docent when visiting the other floors.[8] Tours occur every hour.[8] Tours were free for most of the memorial's history, but a fee began to be charged in 2010.[139]

Building operations

The Square and Compasses, a large Masonic symbol built of concrete, was added to the memorial in 1999.
The Square and Compasses, a large Masonic symbol built of concrete, was added to the memorial in 1999.

Finances and organizational changes

The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is the only Masonic building supported by all 52 grand lodges of the United States.[80][180][186] By 1983, the memorial had 35 full-time staff and an annual budget of $500,000.[80] At that time, each person initiated into Freemasonry in the United States paid a one-time-only $5 fee which was deposited in the memorial's building maintenance fund.[80]

But despite this income and its endowment, the memorial faced a severe financial crisis in the 1980s.[187] A significant decline in the number of Freemasons in the United States led to strong declines in donations to the memorial's maintenance and endowment funds.[187] The building needed significant repairs, but making them left the maintenance fund exhausted.[187] For the first time in its history, the GWMNMA considered taking out a loan to pay for the repairs and the upkeep of the memorial.[187] The financial crisis was avoided when several Grand Lodges adopted a per capita assessment on their members to keep the memorial afloat, and the GWMNMA began a series of fundraisers and the sale of gifts to generate additional income.[187]

In 1993, to make the memorial a more central part of the cultural life of Alexandria, the memorial began renting out its meeting rooms, assembly halls, and theaters to private groups for various kinds of functions.[178] In 1994, the memorial's operating budget was $600,000.[178] By 2000, the GWMNMA's endowment had grown to $12 million.[188] But revenues were still inadequate. In the 1920s and 1930s, many Grand Lodges had enacted a per capita assessment on their members to provide general support for the GWMNMA. But by 2003, only one-quarter of all Grand Lodges still did so.[189] That year, the GWMNMA began pushing Grand Lodges to assess an automatic per capita contribution again.[189] The program met with some success. But despite this growth, in 2004 the endowment was still only half the size it needed to be.[190]

The GWMNMA also made some organizational changes. Between 1910 and 1951, the association had had just three presidents (Shyrock, Watres, and Arn). The GWMNMA board of directors decided that imposing term limits on the office of the president would give board members a chance to become president and implement new ideas more frequently. In 2004, the GWMNMA amended its constitution to impose a limit of three one-year terms on presidents of the association.[191] In 2008, the number of presidential terms limit was reduced further to two one-year terms.[192]

For the calendar year 2008,[193] the GWMNMA had 21 staff, total revenues of just over $1 million, total expenses of about $1.6 million, and total assets of about $15.8 million.[194] The association's endowment, however, was not as robust as it had once been. About $500,000 had been spent (primarily on building repairs), and losses due to the economic downturn were significant (close to $2.7 million).[194] The endowment had dropped from about $11.8 million at the end of 2007 to about $8.7 million at the end of 2008.[194]


Major changes have occurred to the memorial and the nearby area since it was completed in 1970. The King Street Metro station opened about three blocks from the memorial in November 1983.[195] Storm windows on the exterior of building were also replaced about this time, at a cost of $75,000.[80] Microwave transmission antennas were added to the top of the memorial in 1990 to help the City of Alexandria improve police radio transmissions in the area.[196]

For the memorial's 60th anniversary in 1992, the George Washington museum exhibited a special collection of Washingtoniana. A rhinestone Past Master's Masonic "jewel," owned by Martha Washington and sold by the Washington family at the time of her death was part of the display.[9] Also loaned to the museum was the desk in the Maryland Statehouse on which Washington resigned his commission in the Continental Army at the end of the American Revolution.[9] The Washington museum's collection was recataloged at this time as well.[9] This led to some historic discoveries. It had long been known that the Washington family Bible had a half-page of the family torn out, but the recataloging discovered that one of Washington's descendants had ripped it out to go into the cornerstone of the Washington Monument on July 4, 1848.[9] A map, hand-drawn by Washington to show the route a British military expedition took to Ohio in 1790, turned up in a desk.[9] Also uncovered was a book on the use of artillery sent to Washington by a Scotsman, and a 1798 encyclopedia (the first printed in America) specially ordered by Washington.[9] Researchers also uncovered a print of Washington's deathbed scene, and the stub of a candle carried by Freemasons in a ceremony after his death.[9]

In 1999, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial was branded for the first time as a Masonic building. Although twin sidewalks used to run directly up the eastern slope of Shooter's Hill toward the memorial's front steps,[80] these were partially replaced by curving cement paths and a large Square and Compasses (the Masonic symbol) in a landscaped setting.[14][197] The new symbol cost $250,000,[198] and is 70 feet (21 m) wide by 60 feet (18 m) long.[197] (It is visible from aircraft landing at nearby Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.)[197]

A number of renovations and repairs were made to the memorial in 1999 and 2000 as well. The Tall Cedars of Lebanon paid for the cleaning and restoration of its room on the ninth floor about this time.[199] The ninth floor chapel suffered water damage in the early and mid-1990s, but the Knights Templar organization repaired and repainted this space in 1999.[199] At the same time, the Grotto began a project to refurbish the murals and decorations in its room, while also researching and preparing for a later installation of new exhibits and displays.[199] In the fall of 1999, the York Rite organization installed an exhibit in the south hall on the memorial's first floor which explained the rite's charities, degrees, and goals.[200] Scheduled for completion in 2000 were a lawn sprinkler system on the east side of the hill, refurbishment of the boilers and the kitchen, installation of air conditioning in the Memorial Theater and library, upgrades to the elevators, repairs and upgrades to the electrical system, upgrades to make the memorial more ADA-compliant, removal hazardous materials (such as asbestos), repaving of driveways and parking lots, waterproofing of the portico and the tower, and a general refurbishment of the interior.[187][201][202] The cost of these upgrades was in excess of $500,000.[203][204] The same year, the memorial hired staff to begin a major renovation of the George Washington Museum and its exhibits,[171] and began a major landscaping effort to restore the grounds to their original condition.[204]

But despite these repairs, by 2002 the memorial still had almost $795,000 in deferred repairs.[205] Some of the larger and more costly projects which were needed included removal and resetting of the granite front steps, purchase and installation of emergency generators, replacement of the fresh water mains, installation of a tuned mass damper to prevent wind damage to the tower, installation of emergency lighting, and a structural survey of the memorial.[206] In 2003, the Northern and Southern Jurisdictions of Scottish Rite of Freemasonry agreed to provide $200,000 to fund the renovation of the George Washington museum.[189] The renovations were to be completed by August 2003.[189] In February 2004, renovations to the exhibits in the three Shriners' rooms on the first floor were also complete.[207] By fall of that year, the sidewalks on the north side of the memorial had also been replaced,[208] and in 2005 retaining walls around the Masonic symbol on the east side were built.[209] Aircraft warning lights were installed atop the memorial in early 2006, and security lighting installed in the parking lots.[210] But while welcome, these were not the major repairs the GWMNMA said it needed to make.

In anticipation of the association's 100th anniversary in 2010, the memorial underwent significant repair.[14] The GNWMMA Board of Directors approved a significant expenditure of funds to make these changes.[211] The Main Assembly Hall was renamed the Grand Masonic Hall,[211] and restored to its original condition.[212] The "Grand Masonic Hall" was also enclosed with glass and doors, permitting it to be used as a conference center.[211][212] Air conditioning was installed throughout the building, elevators reaching to the first floor added, the roof over the second and third floors repaired, the memorial made even more handicap-accessible, the main front granite steps removed and reset, and a security and surveillance system installed.[211][212][213] The hallways around the Grand Masonic Hall on the first floor were repainted, new lighting installed, and a new photo exhibit ("The Golden Age of Masonic Architecture") placed on the walls.[14][214] The room containing the historic replica of the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 meeting room was also renovated and updated, to better display the Washingtoniana in the room.[215] A new exhibit, "The Form and Function of American Freemasonry," was added to the first floor to help explain what Freemasonry is and what its symbols represent.[14][212] Also planned were an exhibit (intended for the Grotto's third floor room) about Freemasonry's appendant bodies and a history of the memorial and its relationship with the city of Alexandria.[216]

Several new exhibits and permanent displays were added to the memorial in 2010 as well. On February 22, 2010, the GWMNMA unveiled a new painting by artist Christopher Erney depicting George Washington as a Freemason.[217] The memorial also unveiled a new temporary exhibit, "The Freemasons' White House Stones." The exhibit displayed stones which had been marked with Masonic symbols by some of the Scottish workmen during the construction of the White House in the 1790s.[218] Although some stones were permanently cemented into place in the fireplace in the White House basement kitchen, others had been unearthed during the structure's renovation from 1949–1951.[218] President Truman sent each Grand Lodge and Masonic body in the U.S. one of these stones.[219] The new exhibit reassembled most of these stones again in one location for the first time since 1951.[219][220] A new, permanent exhibit was "Founders' Hall," which featured busts of Charles H. Callahan, Thomas J. Shryock, Louis H. Watres, and Elmer R. Arn.[221] The GWMNMA also received $50,000 from the California Grand Lodge to plant trees throughout the grounds.[222]

New programs

The GWMNMA has voiced concern that the memorial seems isolated from the life of the city around it, and the association has worked to improve its relationship with the surrounding community. For example, in February 1994, the memorial held its first "open house."[178] The memorial was opened to the public for the first time without the need for a guide, and numerous objects and documents related to Washington from Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22's private collection were put on display.[178]

The memorial also opened its grounds to archeological digs in 1994. Estimates of human occupation on Shooter's Hill go back as far as 3,000 BC.[223] Shooter's Hill had been occupied by Native Americans, a mansion (in the 1830s and 1840s), a log cabin, Fort Ellsworth, a reservoir for the city's fresh water system, a park for outdoor dancing, and the Alexandria Golf Course among many others.[223][224] Alexandria city archeologists used ground-penetrating radar to help identify sites of interest on Shooter's Hill, including a brick foundation wall.[224][225] In the dig's first three seasons, a stone ax, pieces of ceramic pots, Civil War ammunition, various kinds of colored glass, a piece of jewelry shaped like a scarab, a Colonial-era mug imported from England, Native American spear points, a silver-plated spoon, a stoneware jar, and the bisque heads of dolls manufactured in Germany were found.[223] In 2002, the memorial opened an exhibit designed to showcase some of the archeological evidence unearthed on the memorial grounds.[226]

Crime at the memorial

The memorial has been the target of criminal activity several times in its history. The first set of incidents occurred in the 1960s. Twice the Cox murals in the second floor Memorial Hall were vandalized. The first time was about 1960, when someone cut into one of the murals and removed a fist-sized portion of the canvas.[227] The second time was in March 1965, when two portions of a mural were cut out.[227] The vandals were not caught, but the murals were repaired. The memorial's grounds have also been vandalized numerous times. In the 1960s and throughout the 1970s, vandals uprooted trees, sawed the tops off the memorial's many evergreens (for use as Christmas trees), smashed windows with stones, held drag races on the lawns, and cut fences down for use as firewood. At one point in 1973, the vandalism was so severe that security guards with attack dogs had to patrol the grounds at night.[228]

The memorial has also drawn unwanted attention from potential terrorists. In April 2005, Syed Haris Ahmed, a naturalized American citizen and student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, took videos of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial as well as the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, the headquarters of the World Bank, and other buildings and infrastructure in the D.C. area.[229] American law enforcement authorities later learned that Ahmed had shared the video with Younes Tsouli and Aabid Hussein Khan (men later convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United Kingdom).[229] Ahmed was arrested in March 2006, and convicted in 2009.[229]

In media and popular culture

A scene from the 2007 mystery-adventure film National Treasure: Book of Secrets was filmed in the Memorial Theater.[139][230] The stage in the theater was a stand-in for a lecture hall.[230] An additional scene was filmed in the Memorial Hall.[231]

The memorial also figured briefly in author Dan Brown's 2009 best-selling novel, The Lost Symbol.[139][232] The memorial is discussed in chapter 78, but not visited by the novel's protagonists.[233] When the book was released in 2009, the memorial attracted widespread media attention. The Discovery Channel filmed a portion of a documentary about Freemasonry at the memorial in August 2009 (it aired in October 2009).[234] Brown himself recommended that The Today Show co-host Matt Lauer visit the memorial, and Lauer subsequently filmed a segment in the Royal Arch room (it aired September 14, 2009, the day before Brown's book was released).[234] NBC Nightly News interviewed memorial staff around the same time, and Dateline NBC recorded a portion of a segment on Brown's book at the memorial as well (it aired October 16, 2009).[234]

C-SPAN aired a special program about the building, George Washington Masonic National Memorial, on December 21, 2010 (the 100th anniversary of the creation of the memorial's governing association).[235]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Start Alexandria Memorial Temple." Washington Post. June 6, 1922.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Shepperson, Charles M. "Masonic Fete Draws 150,000 to Alexandria." Washington Post. May 12, 1932.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Dr. Arn Heads Masonic Memorial Unit for Fourth Term." Washington Post. February 24, 1942.
  4. ^ a b "Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties [for National Register of Historic Places]: 8/03/15 through 8/07/15". National Park Service. August 14, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Ferris, p. 21.
  6. ^ Kruh and Kruh, p. 41.
  7. ^ a b Morris, p. 18.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hutton, Margaret. "George Washington Masonic National Memorial." Washington Post. No date. Archived November 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Accessed 2011-03-21.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Conroy, Sarah Booth. "Those Revolutionary Masons." Washington Post. February 16, 1992.
  10. ^ a b Colbert, p. 14.
  11. ^ Smith, p. 79.
  12. ^ Shooter's Hill is named for the Shooter's Hill area of South London. The Smith family, which owned Shooter's Hill, came from the Shooter's Hill area of London and claim descent from the explorer Captain John Smith. See: Smedes, p. 12; "Smith, William Morgan, M.D.", p. 555-556. However, some archeologists believe the name was derived from the last name of an inhabitant in the 1740s. See: Allen, Mike. "City's Hill Holds 5,000 Years of History." Washington Post. May 22, 1997.
  13. ^ Voges, p. 198; Connelly, p. 125.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Seghers, George D. "The George Washington Masonic Memorial Centennial Celebration." Scottish Rite Journal. January–February, 2001. Archived 2013-01-13 at
  15. ^ Sullivan, Patricia (August 4, 2015). "Alexandria's Washington Masonic Memorial named a national landmark". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "NHL nomination for George Washington Masonic National Memorial" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  17. ^ Lichtenstein, p. 27; Brown, George Washington, Freemason, p. 305; Walker, p. 112.
  18. ^ Lichtenstein, p. 27-28.
  19. ^ a b c d Lichtenstein, p. 28.
  20. ^ Rothery, p. 5; Laughlin, p. 17; Stevens, p. 243.
  21. ^ Native Americans used Shooter's Hill as a seasonal base for hunting and fishing as far back as 3,000 BC. The first dwelling built by European settlers was constructed there in 1781. A plantation owner built a mansion on the hill in the 1830s, but it burned to the ground in 1842. A log cabin, a small frame house, and a large brick house occupied the site until 1861. The site also was used as a laundry and barracks after the Civil War. See: Allen, "City's Hill Holds 5,000 Years of History," Washington Post, May 22, 1997.
  22. ^ "Gets Option on Park Site." Washington Post. February 27, 1908. This tract of land is today approximately bounded by Russell Road, Walnut Street, Upland Street, and Roberts Lane.
  23. ^ a b "Monument to Washington." Washington Post. July 1, 1908.
  24. ^ a b "Push Public Park Plan." Washington Post. August 5, 1908.
  25. ^ "Alexandria Park Assured." Washington Post. November 8, 1908.
  26. ^ The street built on the southeast corner for Shooter's Hill would later be renamed Callahan Drive. See: "Early Construction of the Masonic Memorial." Alexandria Times. March 26 – April 2, 2009.[dead link] Accessed 2011-03-24. Until the 1970s, the star-shaped outline of Fort Ellsworth could be seen from the memorial's tower. Gunpowder, spilled into the soil during the Civil War, served as a rich fertilizer which made the grass far more luxuriant than any surrounding the site of the former fort. But in 1974, the Ellsworth Gardens condominiums were built on top of this site, obliterating what remained of the fort. See: Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 103; "Ellsworth Gardens." Washington Post. March 30, 1974.
  27. ^ "Masons Asked to Preside." Washington Post. January 11, 1909.
  28. ^ "Dedicate Park Today." Washington Post. April 30, 1909.
  29. ^ a b c "Temple Plans Drawn." Washington Post. December 1, 1915.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Dafoe, Stephen. "The George Washington Masonic National Memorial." Masonic Magazine. April 6, 2010.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i Solomon, Mary Jane. "The Father of His Fraternity." Washington Post. February 19, 1993.
  32. ^ a b c d e "Work on Alexandria Masonic Temple to Cease for Winter." Washington Post. December 26, 1924.
  33. ^ Callahan was born in 1858 at Aquia Mills, Virginia. He married Mary Elizabeth Appich in October 1891. He was a clerk and bookkeeper for his father until 1905, when he was elected deputy commissioner of revenue for the city of Alexandria. He was elected commissioner in 1907. See: "Callahan, Charles H.", p. 682.
  34. ^ a b c d Shepperson, Charles M. "Symbolic Corn, Wine and Oil to Be Poured on Realistic Copy." Washington Post. May 1, 1932.
  35. ^ "Temple for Alexandria." Washington Post. February 15, 1910.
  36. ^ "Taft to Address Masons." Washington Post. February 4, 1910; "Temple for Alexandria." Washington Post. February 15, 1910.
  37. ^ a b c "Masons Plan Temple." Washington Post. February 23, 1910.
  38. ^ "Masons Announce Plans." Washington Post. February 9, 1912.
  39. ^ "Taft to Meet Masons." Washington Post. February 22, 1911.
  40. ^ "Alexandria Will Be Host." Washington Post. February 18, 1911.
  41. ^ a b c d "Park May Get Temple." Washington Post. September 29, 1915.
  42. ^ This area included the crest of Shooter's Hill and the north slope extending toward Park Road.
  43. ^ a b "The George Washington National Masonic Memorial Association." New Age Magazine. March 1917, p. 127.
  44. ^ a b c "Temple of Masons Washington Shrine." Washington Post. April 1, 1917.
  45. ^ Riddell, John P. "Charles H. Callahan... A Man of Vision, A Man of Action." The Light. Fall 2000, p. 6. Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 8-9.
  47. ^ Caemmerer, p. 1140.
  48. ^ a b c Stoller, p. 42.
  49. ^ a b c "$4,000,000 Memorial to Washington." Manufacturers' Record. November 8, 1923, p. 91.
  50. ^ "Plans Big Temple to First President." Washington Post. February 20, 1922.
  51. ^ a b "$2,400,000 Memorial Engrosses Masons." Washington Post. February 21, 1922.
  52. ^ "Virginia Charters Masonic Temple." Washington Post. March 17, 1922.
  53. ^ a b c d e "Masons of Nation Have First Meeting in Alexandria Fane." Washington Post. February 23, 1926.
  54. ^ a b c d e f g h i Osgood, S. Eugene. "George Washington National Masonic Memorial." The American Tyler-Keystone. March 1923, p. 50.
  55. ^ Reynolds, p. 154.
  56. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Many Companies Assisted In Building Great Temple." Washington Post. May 12, 1932.
  57. ^ a b c d Corbett, Harvey W. "Architectural Models of Cardboard, Part II." Pencil Points. May 1922, p. 32.
  58. ^ Clute, p. 19.
  59. ^ Corbett, p. 32-33.
  60. ^ a b c d e f g h "Begin Mason Shrine to First President." Washington Post. July 1, 1922.
  61. ^ a b c d e f g h "Masons Raise Half of $4,000,000 for Washington Shrine." Washington Post. February 22, 1924.
  62. ^ a b "Memorial Building to Be Solid Granite." Washington Post. February 23, 1923.
  63. ^ a b c "Officers Elected by Masonic Body." Washington Post. February 24, 1923.
  64. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Masonic Memorial Construction Work Nearing Completion." Washington Post. August 13, 1927.
  65. ^ Riddell, J.P. "How High is the Memorial?" The Light. Winter 2000, p. 5. Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  66. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 10.
  67. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Memorial Site Once Was Land of Washington." Washington Post. June 11, 1935.
  68. ^ a b c d e "Early Construction of the Masonic Memorial." Alexandria Times. March 26 – April 2, 2009.[dead link] Accessed 2011-03-24.
  69. ^ a b Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 17.
  70. ^ a b c Lusk, George L. "Annual Meeting of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial." The American Tyler-Keystone. April 1923, p. 72.
  71. ^ a b c "Washington Temple Work Starts Again." Washington Post. March 31, 1928.
  72. ^ a b c d e f g h i "$375,000 Expended on Masonic temple on Shooters Hill." Washington Post. May 25, 1925.
  73. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 29.
  74. ^ a b c d e f g h "14,000 to March as Masons Lay Memorial Cornerstone." Washington Post. October 31, 1923.
  75. ^ a b c d "Cruiser Richmond Will Arrive Today to Honor Masons." Washington Post. October 30, 1923.
  76. ^ a b Price, Harry N. "President to Lay Stone For Masonic Memorial." Washington Post. November 1, 1923.
  77. ^ a b c "14,000 Expected in Line of Masonic Procession." Washington Post. November 1, 1923.
  78. ^ a b c d "George Washington Temple Work Will Be Resumed May 1." Washington Post. April 20, 1924.
  79. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Pouring Concrete for Masonic Roof Completed Today." Washington Post. August 30, 1927.
  80. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Burgess, John. "The 'Secret' That Everyone Is Able to See." Washington Post. April 24, 1983.
  81. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 26.
  82. ^ Potomac bluestone, also known as "Potomac Blue Stone" and "Sykesville Gneiss", is a 500 million year old schistose gneiss that contains garnet, mica, and quartz. Leaching of the garnet from the rock over time leaves the stone looking rusty in color, not blue. It is a commonly used building material throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. See: Moore and Jackson, p. 5, 62.
  83. ^ a b Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 27.
  84. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 37.
  85. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 40.
  86. ^ "Masonic Memorial Group Will Open Convention Monday." Washington Post. February 18, 1926.
  87. ^ "Columns in Place for Masonic Temple in Alexandria Park." Washington Post. October 18, 1926.
  88. ^ American Art Annual, p. 473.
  89. ^ a b "Woman Dares Dizzy Heights Carving Washington Head." Popular Mechanics. September 1927, p. 417.
  90. ^ "Alexandria Session of Memorial Group Reelects Watres." Washington Post. February 23, 1927.
  91. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 30.
  92. ^ a b c "Masons to Discuss Financing Temple on Shooters' Hill." Washington Post. February 2, 1928.
  93. ^ a b c d "Grand Lodge Votes $10,000 for Doors for Masonic Fane." Washington Post. February 20, 1928.
  94. ^ "Washington Memorial Temple Heads Elected." Washington Post. February 23, 1928.
  95. ^ "Temple Fund Aided by $400,000 in 1928." Washington Post. February 22, 1929.
  96. ^ "Alexandria Masons Plan Temple Rites." Washington Post. August 5, 1929.
  97. ^ "Masons Planning for Unique Rite." Washington Post. November 10, 1929; Shepperson, Charles M. "First Service Held in Masonic Temple." Washington Post. November 17, 1929.
  98. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 48.
  99. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 48-49.
  100. ^ a b c d e "Work on Exterior of Temple Is Ended." Washington Post. February 9, 1931.
  101. ^ "The George Washington National Masonic Memorial." The New Age Magazine. February 1957, p. 117.
  102. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 49.
  103. ^ a b Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 53.
  104. ^ "Workers to Start on Memorial Unit." Washington Post. March 21, 1931.
  105. ^ a b Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 54.
  106. ^ "Finest Materials Used in Structure." Washington Post. May 12, 1932.
  107. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 56-57.
  108. ^ a b c d e f g "Masonic Dedication Plans Being Rushed." Washington Post. April 23, 1932.
  109. ^ a b c "High Masonic Chiefs to Meet Here Friday." Washington Post. February 18, 1940.
  110. ^ a b "Memorial to Date Free of All Debts." Washington Post. May 12, 1932.
  111. ^ "Old Frigate to Aid Masonic Ceremony." Washington Post. April 25, 1932.
  112. ^ a b c d "Temple Dedication Plans Completed." Washington Post. May 11, 1932.
  113. ^ "Memorial Postal Station Decreed." Washington Post. May 8, 1932.
  114. ^ "200,000 Letters Sent In Memorial Cachet." Washington Post. May 14, 1932.
  115. ^ "Most of House Members Will Attend Dedication." Washington Post. May 12, 1932.
  116. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lofty Temple Dedicated By Masonic Rite." Washington Post. May 13, 1932.
  117. ^ a b c "Masons to Display Relics." Washington Post. April 4, 1932.
  118. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 63.
  119. ^ a b Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 63-64.
  120. ^ Tatsch, p. 85; Bessel, Paul M. "Library Corner." The Light. Spring 1999, p. 6. Archived December 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  121. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 66.
  122. ^ "$100,000 Given to Washington Memorial Unit." Washington Post. February 23, 1941.
  123. ^ Brown, George Washington, Freemason, p. 427.
  124. ^ a b Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 67.
  125. ^ "Shriners' Room Is Dedicated in Alexandria." Washington Post. May 22, 1945.
  126. ^ a b Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 68.
  127. ^ a b c d e f Turnbull and Denslow, p. 287.
  128. ^ a b "Masons Swell Temple Fund By $154,699." Washington Post. February 23, 1947.
  129. ^ a b c d Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 69.
  130. ^ a b c Folliard, Edward T. "Talk at Dedication of Washington Statue Regarded as Defense of Russian Policy." Washington Post. February 23, 1950.
  131. ^ "Many Here to Honor Washington Today." Washington Post. February 22, 1948.
  132. ^ Hollinger, John R. "Grotto Room Dedicated in the George Washington Memorial." The New Age Magazine. April 1948, p. 252.
  133. ^ Brown, History of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial..., p. 70.
  134. ^ Truman had served as Grand Master of Masons of Missouri from 1940 to 1942, and was a 33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General and honorary member of the supreme council of the Scottish Rite's Southern Jurisdiction in 1945. The Masonic Presidents Tour - Harry Truman - Thirty-third President Archived July 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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  137. ^ a b "Alexandria Temple Unit Dedicated." Washington Post. December 4, 1949.
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  208. ^ "Wish List – 2004." The Messenger. Fall 2004, p. 3.
  209. ^ "Wish List – 2005." The Messenger. Spring 2005, p. 3.
  210. ^ "Wish List – 2006." The Messenger. Spring 2006, p. 3.
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