Lance Humphries' claim that Baltimore's Washington Monument is the first in the country could certainly be debated ("Who dubbed Baltimore 'The Monumental City?'" Aug. 16). The Washington Monument located on the Maryland section of the Appalachian Trail on South Mountain was completed in 1827 while Baltimore's was completed in 1829.
The recent celebration of the 200th anniversary and a well done renovation is based on when the cornerstone was placed — 1815. There's no documentation as to when a cornerstone was placed on the South Mountain monument — or even whether it it has a cornerstone — but a marker states, "Volunteer villagers of nearby Boonsboro celebrated their Independence Day July 4, 1827 by building and dedicating this monument to the memory of George Washington."
As is often the case, many monuments, buildings and developments have starts and stops because of funding, wars, economics, etc. It would seem to me that the day the project is available to all is the day to celebrate. The Washington Monument on the Applachian Trail was certified a Maryland Historical Monument in March 1972 and a National Historical Monument in November the same year. And part of the certified status is that it's the first.
Regina Minniss, Baltimore