Monumental Makeover


Our Revolutionary War memorial gets a makeover.

Today I saw some men digging out a large stone memorial having to do with George Washington in front of the water facility on Queen Lane. Does this have something to do with the country’s current race issues?

Oh no, Trump was right – you tear down one Confederate statue and where does it end? Apparently one reader thought the Revolutionary War Memorial at the Queen Lane Reservoir was next.

The monument commemorates the encampment of Washington’s Continental Army on the site in 1777 (before and immediately after the Battle of the Brandywine).

Fortunately, the men with shovels weren’t there to tear down one of the oldest monuments in the Falls (no easy feat for a granite, iron, and concrete monolith) but to build it up – a crack in the foundation had been discovered by Philadelphia Water Department workers at the Queen Lane station and reported to the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution (PSSR).

The Society — formed in 1888 to honor and perpetuate the ideals, courage and sacrifice of those who served in the Revolution — sprung into action, repairing the statue in a matter of weeks, according to PSSR member Wayne Ralph Strasbaugh.

It’s amazing it’s held up as well as it has given its age – it was one of the first monuments the PSSR erected in the city in 1895. The crack has been the only structural damage it’s sustained.”

Smog has been another matter at the heavily trafficked intersection. “There’s been quite a buildup on the surface of the memorial over the years,” said Strasbaugh. “All the exhaust has really made it dingy.” The PSSR plans to power wash and clean the entire surface before its rededication ceremony on Saturday October 7. “We want to make the monument as bright and visible to passersby as we can.”

PSSR Color Guard. (Photo courtesy of PSSR.)

The rededication ceremony will feature the PSSR Color Guard and a few words by Society President Murray Gordon about the encampment, the Society’s efforts to preserve revolutionary war history in Philadelphia, and its gratitude to PWD.

We’re extremely grateful to them — and to Jerry Kuziw the Manager of the Queen Lane Plant in particular — for their cooperation in facilitating our restoration project,” said Strasbaugh.

For more info about the PSSR, visit

Rededication Ceremony at Queen Lane Reservoir
When: Saturday October 7
When: 10:30AM – 11:30AM
Where: Corner of Queen Land and Fox Street

Following the ceremony, the Society will attend the Revolutionary Germantown Festival. It’s a fitting stop, considering the Society’s involvement in restoring structural features of Grumblethorpe, the historic Germantown mansion that played a part in the Battle of Germantown.

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