Tenleytown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Rock Creek Park
National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
At 409 feet above sea level, this site is the highest point in Washington, D.C. It is no coincidence that in 1861, the Union army designed one the largest and most heavily armed Civil War fortifications at this location.
Originally named “Fort Pennsylvania,” and renamed after Major General Jesse L. Reno, this site was the epicenter of the Union's northern defenses of Washington, D.C. With a commanding view of the surrounding countryside, Fort Reno presided over three major roads that converged at Tenleytown: River Road, Rockville Road (today Wisconsin Avenue NW), and Brookville Road today Belt Road NW). Together with an attached artillery battery (Battery Reno), the fort's grounds stretched over 70 acres, including barracks, camps, and a parade ground.
During the July 1864 Confederate raid on Washington, D.C., Fort Reno's signal tower was the first to observe the advancing troops. The fort's 100-pounder Parrott rifle fired rounds 3.5 miles north, killing Confederate soldiers near present-day Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. After the war, the army abandoned Fort Reno. By the late 1800s, most traces of the fortifications were gone, making way for the creation of several reservoirs and later, residential development in the north. To the south and west of the fort, African Americans, including those who had
The benchmark was placed by the Washington, D.C. Surveyors Association after surveying and establishing the highest natural ground of the District in 2007. The wayside and the benchmark for the highpoint were made possible by the donations of the Highpointers Foundation in cooperation with the Highpointers Club.
Following the dedication ceremony in April 2008, the highpoint officially became known as Point Reno. The higher land behind the fenced area is man-made and, therefore, not the highest natural point.
The natural highpoint is marked with a nearby benchmark. Can you find it?
Please visit the Ft. Reno home page on the Rock Creek Park website https//www.nps.gov/rocr/index.htm to learn more about the Foundation's education, support and conservation of the highest natural point in each of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C.
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Defenses of Washington series list.
Location. 38° 57.114′ N, 77° 4.571′ W. Marker is in Tenleytown in Washington, District of Columbia. This marker is in Fort Reno park Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1022 Madison Drive Northwest, Washington DC 20004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Fort Reno (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Fort Reno (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Reno (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Fort Reno (about 500 feet away); Three R's (about 600 feet away); The Civil War Defenses of Washington (about 600 feet away); Reservoir / Reno City (about 600 feet away); Schools (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tenleytown.
1. Two nearly identical markers
There are two nearly identical NPS markers in Reno Park. They differ only slightly in their wording. This one, closer to the Point Reno benchmark, says “The natural highpoint is marked with a nearby benchmark. Can you find it?” where the other one says “The natural highpoint is marked with a benchmark just 180 feet north east of this sign. Can you find it?”
— Submitted June 30, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 30, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 235 times since then and 29 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 30, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.