|To see the results of our 2nd Forensic Genealogy Survey, click here!
|Answer to Quiz #75 - September 3, 2006
|Photographed and submitted by Dale Niesen.
|How many steps do you have to climb to get to the top of this monument?
The Bunk Hill Monument, Charlestown, MA
has 294 steps
(Some sources say 295.)
Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
|Quiz Tip: Search for writing in the picture that indicates where it was taken.
|Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston
The Bunker Hill Monument, erected to commemorate
the Battle of Bunker Hill, is the first public obelisk
erected in the United States. The 221 foot (67 m)
granite obelisk was erected between 1827 and 1842 in
Charlestown, Massachusetts with granite quarried in
Quincy, Massachusetts and conveyed to the site by
the first railway in the United States, built specially for
that purpose. There are 294 steps to the top.
Interestingly, the Bunker Hill Monument is not on
Bunker Hill but instead on Breed's Hill, where most of
the fighting actually took place. The Monument
Association, which had purchased the battlefield site,
was forced to sell off all but the hill's summit in order
to complete the monument.
The monument was erected to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first major
conflict between British and Patriot forces in the Revolutionary War, fought there June
17, 1775. The first monument at the site was created in memory of mason and fallen
Bunker Hill hero Joseph Warren in 1794 by King Solomon's Lodge of Masons and was
initially an 18 foot (5 m) wooden pillar topped with a gilt urn. In front of the obelisk is a
statue of Col. William Prescott, another hero of Bunker Hill. A native of Groton, he
coined the famous Revolutionary War phrase, "Don't fire 'til you see the whites of their
An exhibit lodge built adjacent to the monument in the late 19th century houses a statue
of Warren and a diorama of the battle.
Bunker Hill is one of the sites along the Freedom Trail and is part of Boston National
Special Mention to Evan Hindman for submitting the most complete answer:
When I first saw the picture, I thought it was the Bunker Hill Memorial (I saw it from
the interstate 20 years ago while on a business trip), but then I looked again because I
didn't remember the "turrets" at the top. The closer examination revealed the
While looking for the answer, I ran across the following Senate Report 107-036
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES
APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2002.
The bill shows an item "Boston NHP, MA (rehabilitate Bunker Hill monument)" for an
expenditure of $3,751,000. Perhaps that is the effort going on in the photo.
As for dating the photo, I took a look in the photo web site www.Flickr.com. That site
allows people to post and share their photographs. By looking at the various submittals
to the site, I found that there was scaffolding on the structure this summer! I was able
to narrow the date of this summer's installed scaffolding from late May until late
August. I looked at a live webcam this morning and see that there is no scaffolding
I also found a photo of the sign with the number of steps on it. I've attached it.
I realize that a budget item in 2002 may not correlate to scaffolding this summer, but
you know how fast the government moves!
Fun quiz this week!
The location was found by searching through
the branches of the Boys and Girls Clubs of
Boston and noting the proximity of the
Charlestown clubhouse (15 Green Street) to the
monument. (See the map at
n.pdf) The church shown to the right of the
Boys and Girls Club appears to be First Church
Charlestown, United Church of Christ, 10
Green Street. (See photo at
www.firstchurchincharlestown.org) From the
angle of the street pointing towards the
monument, the picture was taken from a tall
building on the northwest side of Austin Street
between Rutherford Ave (Hwy 99) and
Lawrence Street (south of Main Street) Google
Maps has an excellent satellite photo of this
area, clearly showing the multi-level roof of the
church on Green Street.
The Bunker Hill Monument Association was incorporated
in 1823 for the purpose of purchasing the battlegrounds of
June 17, 1775 and constructing on the site a suitable memorial.
The Association appointed a Board of Artists to recommend a
form for the monument. The Board, which included Daniel
Webster, Gilbert Stuart and Loammi Baldwin, a noted engineer,
is credited with being the monument's designer.
Construction, under the direction of architect Solomon Willard,
began in 1827, but work was frequently halted as available
funds were depleted. To bring the project to completion the Association in 1838 began
to sell off the ten acres of the battlefield as house lots, eventually preserving only the
summit of Breed's Hill as the monument grounds. On June 17, 1843, with Daniel
Webster as orator, the completed monument was dedicated.
The Bunker Hill Monument Association maintained the monument and grounds until
1919 when it was turned over to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1976 the
Bunker Hill Monument was transferred to the National Park Service and became a unit
of Boston National Historical Park.
The Bunker Hill Monument, made entirely of granite taken from a quarry in Quincy,
MA, stands 221 feet tall and has 294 steps.
Hours: Visitor lodge and exhibits open daily, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., except on
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The monument is open to climb from
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. For more information please call (617)242-5641.
For more information about the Bunker Hill Monument, visit the Boston National
Historical Park website.
|Comments from Our Readers
I was 99% sure it was Bunker Hill , but the scaffolding at the top threw me a bit, so I
googled for images just to verify it.
Also- the street signs looked like Boston signs (white on green), and although I couldn’t
make out the plates, the coloring was consistent with MA plates; the stone building with
the dormers is also very similar to the buildings in the Fenway area, where I went to
PLUS, I knew you were in Boston for the conference, and like to tie things in……
What can I say—it just looked like Boston to me! Mary Fraser
I didn't know right away but after I saw Boston on one of the buildings, I had a strong
suspicion. I googled Bunker Hill. Same shape but different viewpoint.
The rest is history.
Betty and I did New England years ago - we spent several hours in Boston in the area
of Faneuil (? Hall - the buildings in the picture with the dormers reminded me so much
of Boston, and then I Googled Images for Bunker Hill monument the way you taught
me. Thanks,Teach!! Mike Pfister
it's the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston, Massachusetts - and when we visited there in
2000, I climbed every single one of them!!!! It doesn't LOOK very tall - but don't try
going up!! Elaine C. Hebert
I confess that I live in Boston, so I have some familiarity with the memorial (though I
haven't been there in ages). The buildings looked "Bostony" to me, and the sign about
the boys and girls club clued me in. I couldn't perfectly read the town sign, but it's
length and shape suggested Charlestown to me.
At first I thought this was the Astoria Column in Astoria, Oregon but the top is different
and the surroundngs didn't quite fit. Then I noticed the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston
sign and that told me it must be in Boston, but it looks round in the picture and the
Bunker Hill Monument is an obilisk so that didn't make sense either. But on closer
examination I think it is the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlstown, Mass. after all, and if
that's right there are 184 steps to the top...way more than I want to climb!
I did not recognize the monument and was not sure what country it
was in. Then I enlarged the picture and saw the American flag so then
I knew United States. From that I decided that the architecture looked
like Boston. Then did a google and found a picture and then the
name. Alice Hix
|Congratulations to our winners!
Evan Hindman Jim Colvin
Pinky Palladino Sue Edminster
Rick Norman Emily Aulicino
Judy Pfaff Carol Phillips
David Lepitre Mary Fraser
James Capobianco Marty Guidry
Bill Utterback Bill Burrows
Sue Edminster Diane Rogers
Delores Martin Debbie Sterbinksy
Elaine C. Hebert Alice Hix
Stan Read Robert A. Drusse
George Wright Rick Mackinney
Debbie Wesley Vicki Hilb
Bill Hurley Sandy Fahrnbruch
John Chulick Fred Stuart
Elizabeth Mackie Bob Witherspoon
Mike Pfister Polly Kimmitt
Betty Ann Tyson Randy Seaver
Marilyn (So I Lied) Hamill
If your name has been omitted from our list of winners, please let us know. It was unintntional.
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