Feb. 21, 1885: The Washington Monument, built with a core of granite quarried in Maine, is dedicated in Washington, D.C. Construction on the monument began in 1848 but was suspended for 23 years for a variety of reasons, including the Civil War.

Maine also supplied granite used in many other prominent late-19th-century construction projects, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Yorktown (Virginia) Monument, the Chicago Board of Trade Building and San Francisco’s Hibernia Bank Building.

A view of the almost-completed Washington Monument, taken from the Main building of the Department of Agriculture, probably in 1880. Photo courtesy of the National Archives

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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