By Ross Schipper
On June 4, 2014, exactly 80 years to the day after its original dedication by the Western High School History Club, a restored Daniel Boone Monument was rededicated and unveiled on the grounds of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. A project of the Burleith History Group, the restoration received generous financial support from the Burleith Community Fund and the Western High School Alumni Association.
The restored monument houses two plaques. The larger is an exact replica of the original plaque presented to Western High School on May 11, 1926, just three years after the start of the Shannon & Luchs Burleith development responsible for the majority of the row houses in our neighborhood. This large plaque bears an image of Daniel Boone based on an 1861 engraving by American artist Alonzo Chappel. The original plaque, cast from metal recovered from the U.S. battleship Maine, disappeared sometime after 1974. The smaller plaque, which originally told the story of the monument, was updated to cite its 2014 restoration. The restored monument honors an icon of our nation's history and stands as a symbol of the pioneer spirit of discovery.
In the fall of 2014, as construction began as part of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts modernization effort, the newly restored monument was hidden from view by a large wooden fence erected as part of that effort. The Burleith Citizens Association was assured that the monument and its two plaques would be protected. After nearly three years of activity near the monument, that fence has now been removed, once again exposing the restored Boone monument to public view.
When you get a chance, take a stroll along 35th Street. Near the corner with Reservoir Road, you will see this magnificent monument. As promised, it has survived all the construction activities totally undamaged. This July 17 photograph shows the monument in its glory lit by a morning sunrise.