boundary stones

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D.C.’s coolest treasure hunt

When I first started dating my now husband, he mocked me for living across the river in Alexandria. “Actually,” I told him. “Alexandria was part of the capital city’s original parameters.” In fact, the original boundary markers, 40 of them, still stand where the original surveyors, as outlined by George Washington, placed them in 1792 and 1793. They were laid out a mile apart in D.C.’s famous diamond shape, designating the new capital city’s 100-square-mile location. They’re the oldest federal monuments in the country—and, given that they’re tucked away in people’s backyards, amid Potomac River brambles, behind cemetery tombstones, under a lighthouse, even hidden in plain sight along some of the region’s busiest roadways, they make for a perfect treasure hunt. That’s what David and I did. Over the course of two summers, we biked to every single one of them. And he proposed to me on the last one…