If you have ever traveled around the border of the District and Maryland/Virginia, it’s likely that you’ve noticed the District’s Boundary Stones, which are just what they sound like – simple stone markers set up to demarcate the 10-square-mile border of our Nation’s Capital.
On April 15, 1791, the Freemasons of Virginia and the District of Columbia (then members of the Grand Lodge of Maryland), were invited to Jones Point, Alexandria to lay the first Boundary Stone of the District of Columbia. The event was also attended by Major Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker; the first surveyors.
For more than one-hundred years, the 40 Boundary Stones were left relatively unsupervised. Many were knocked down, chipped away, and left to the elements; one was even believed to have been used for target practice. However, interest in the stones began to resurface after D.C. historian Marcus Baker published a report in 1897 on the condition of the stones, which spurred the public to action. And in 1916, The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) took on the responsibility to preserve and protect these historical markers and began to erect small iron fences towards that effect. They have been the faithful stewards of these D.C. landmarks ever since.
The Mary Desha Chapter of the D.C. DAR quickly mobilized to replace the iron gate. And on May 26, 2018, the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia was invited to help mark the rededication with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony. RW Bro. Alan Gordon, Junior Grand Warden of the District of Columbia, assisted in the ceremony and provided brief remarks on the shared history of the DAR and the Freemasons and the importance of preserving this significant part of U.S. and D.C. history.