King of Prussia in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Remembering Valley Forge
The People’s Park
— Valley Forge National Historical Park —
Preservation came about from citizen action and advocacy. Their common vision was the preservation of a significant place that had inspired the Continental Army, and that continued to inspire Americans a century later.
In 1879 a citizens’ group sold $1.00 shares to preserve the small house which General Washington had used as his headquarters. In 1893, in response to citizen concern about performance, the Pennsylvania legislature created a state park here, and began to purchase the land on which the soldiers had encamped.
The states represented at the 1777 encampment were invited to erect commemorative monuments. Individual organizations also honored their ancestors’ contributions. Here [in a photo at the bottom of the marker], the Daughters of the American Revolution
To honor the history of the place, the state transformed the farming landscape into a stylized commemorative park with tour roads and monuments. They removed industry, restored encampment-era buildings, and planted thousands of trees to create an evocative landscape. They chose to provide scenic beauty and expansive views for an emotional connection to history, rather than a dry but accurate restoration of the 1777 landscape.
With a groundswell of support from citizen advocates, President Gerald Ford signed legislation making Valley Forge a national park at the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1976. The tradition of citizen stewardship continues today as volunteers and partners participate in the ongoing work of advocacy, preservation and interpretation.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 40° 6.137′ N, 75° 27.603′ W. Marker is in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Valley Forge Road (Pennsylvania Route 23), on the left when traveling east. Marker is on the tour road in Valley Forge National Historical Park at stop 6, Washington’s Headquarters. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: King of Prussia PA 19406, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are Commander in Chief’s Guards (within shouting distance of this marker); Did You Know? (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); North of the River (about 400 feet away); War Comes to Valley Forge (about 400 feet away); Why Valley Forge? (about 400 feet away); Washington’s Headquarters (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Washington’s Headquarters (about 500 feet away); The Village of Valley Forge (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in King of Prussia.
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains a picture of a crowd at Valley Forge and has a caption of “Valley Forge was a popular place for patriotic outings and rallies as early as the 1820s. The 1877 Centennial celebration of the encampment attracted 40,000 people and was essential to building public support for preservation of Washington’s Headquarters. The spectacle was illustrated in the renowned Harper’s Weekly.” Four photographs appear along the bottom of the marker. These depict the Washington’s Headquarters house in the late 19th century, the DAR unveiling of a monument in 1911, a road in Valley Forge before the establishment of the park, and President Ford signing the Valley Forge bill in 1976.
Also see . . . Valley Forge National Historical Park. National Park Service website. (Submitted on March 25, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Notable Places • War, US Revolutionary •
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Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 25, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 832 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 25, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 4. submitted on April 17, 2019, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. 5. submitted on March 25, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.