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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The National Arch at Valley Forge

 
 
The National Arch at Valley Forge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, February 22, 2007
1. The National Arch at Valley Forge Marker
Inscription.  George Washington, Valley Forge and Freemasonry represent patriotism, freedom and brotherly love to all Freemasons. Washington served as Master of his Masonic Lodge at the same time he was President of the United States. Through the preservation of this National Memorial Arch in 1996 – 1997, the Freemasons of Pennsylvania sought to honor the memory of George Washington, a national hero, patriot and prominent Freemason, and to honor the brave men who endured the winter encampment at Valley Forge in 1777 – 1778.

“We, as Freemasons, believe our children and their children need to know that the men in 1777 cared about freedom. They need to know that Freemasons in 1996 still care about freedom.”
Edward O. Weisser, R.W. Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, March 15, 1996

Sidebar:
A National Treasure

The National Memorial Arch was authorized by Congress in 1910 as a tribute to George Washington and his army who endured the winter encampment at Valley Forge in 1777 – 1778. It was designed by Paul Phillipe Cret, a prominent Philadelphia architect, and
Marker in Front of the Memorial Arch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, February 22, 2007
2. Marker in Front of the Memorial Arch
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dedicated on June 19, 1917. Although it had stood for nearly 80 years as a symbol of the triumph achieved by Washington, by the mid 1990’s the Arch was in need of major structural repairs. It was cordoned off and closed to the public for safety reasons.

During 1996 – 1997, the Freemasons of Pennsylvania contributed more than one million five hundred thousand dollars necessary to preserve the Arch to its original grandeur.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable EventsPatriots & PatriotismWar, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington series list. A significant historical date for this entry is March 15, 1918.
 
Location. 40° 5.477′ N, 75° 26.326′ W. Marker is in Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania, in Montgomery County. Marker is on S Outer Line Drive, on the left when traveling south. Marker is on the auto tour road in Valley Forge National Historical Park, on S Outer Line Drive, at stop three of the driving tour of Valley Forge. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 420 Gulph Rd, King of Prussia PA 19406, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Freemasons of Pennsylvania (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Glover’s Brigade (about 500 feet away); Massachusetts Monument
The National Arch (north view) image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 20, 2010
3. The National Arch (north view)
To the officers and private soldiers
of the Continental Army
December 19, 1777     June 19, 1778
(about 500 feet away); Pennsylvania Columns (approx. 0.2 miles away); Poor’s Brigade (approx. 0.2 miles away); Maine (approx. 0.3 miles away); DeKalb's Division (Learned's Brigade) (approx. 0.3 miles away); Valley Forge Hut (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Upper Merion Township.
 
More about this marker. The marker contains a number of photographs of the Arch. On the upper left is a photo of the renovated Arch, courtesy of John H. Ansley. At the bottom of the marker is an old photo with the caption “Original construction nears completion as workmen set keystone during the original construction circa 1912.” Next to this is another photo, courtesy of Jonathan Wilson, of workmen during the restoration. It has a caption of “Nine tons of structural steel was welded into place in the two attic rooms at the top of the Arch to provide the necessary support as part of the preservation project.” To the right is work-in-progress photo with the caption “Scaffolding completely surrounds the Arch during the preservation project in 1996 – 1997.” Finally, the upper right of the marker features a photo of the “Signing ceremonies for Pennsylvania Freemasons to preserve the National Memorial Arch, March 15, 1996.”
 
Also see . . .  National Memorial Arch, Valley Forge National Historical Park. National Park Service website. (Submitted on September 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.) 
 
The National Arch (south view) image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, February 22, 2007
4. The National Arch (south view)
Naked and starving as they are
we cannot enough admire
the incomparable patience and fidelity
of the soldiery
West Side of National Arch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, February 22, 2007
5. West Side of National Arch
Commander in Chief
George Washington

Major Generals
DeKalb, Mifflin, Greene, Steuben,
Lafayette, Stirling, Lee, Sullivan

Brigadier Generals
Armstrong, Patterson, DuPortal, Poor, Glover, Scott, Huntington, Smallwood, Knox, Varnum, Learned, Wayne, McIntosh, Weedon, Maxwell, Woodford, Muhlenberg, Polaski
East Side of National Arch image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, February 22, 2007
6. East Side of National Arch
And here in this place of sacrifice in this vale of humiliation in this valley of the shadow of that death out of which the life of America rose regenerate and free let us believe with an abiding faith that to them Union will seem as dear and Liberty as sweet and Progress as glorious as they were to our fathers and are to you and me and that the institutions which have made us happy preserved by the virtue of our children shall bless the remotest generation of the time to come.
Henry Armitt Brown
The National Arch at Valley Forge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, August 15, 2015
7. The National Arch at Valley Forge
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,655 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   3. submitted on March 20, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   4, 5, 6. submitted on September 28, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.   7. submitted on August 17, 2015, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.

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