DAR Member Cleans Up Plaque at Washing Rock State Park

Monument Receives Some TLC from the DAR

Submitted by Holly Dunbar

With America’s 250th birthday on the horizon, a member of Elizabeth Snyder-Continental Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) went to new heights to help preserve a local landmark. After receiving approval, Erin Fountain spent an afternoon cleaning the DAR chapter’s plaque on the monument at Washington Rock State Park in Green Brook.

“It is important to me to help preserve history for future generations,” said Fountain who heads the chapter’s historic headstone cleaning project. “It also helps me to connect with my ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War.”

George Washington spent more than 40 percent of the war in and around the Watchung Mountains. According to local tradition, the outcrop at Washington Rock was used as an observation point by the Commander in Chief in 1777, while his Army was camped at Middlebrook.

(above) Erin Fountain cleaned the DAR chapter’s plaque on the monument at Washington Rock State Park in Green Brook.

Although it became a popular attraction, the site was threatened by encroaching trap rock quarries in 1909. That prompted the husband of Mary McCutchen, a charter member of Continental Chapter DAR, to purchase 20 acres of land that included Washington Rock and to deed the property to the State of New Jersey.

The DAR then led efforts to construct a monument at the site, a cairn of local stone forming the base of a large flagpole. The plaque placed on the monument reads: “From this rock, General George Washington watched the movements of the British forces during the anxious months of May and June 1777. Erected by The Continental Chapter DAR, and the People of Plainfield and North Plainfield. 1912. Lest We Forget.” 

“Visitors to the park were asking me about the history of Washington Rock and if it was real,” said Fountain. “That is why we need to care for these monuments that tell the story of our past.”

The DAR is a service organization that promotes education, historic preservation, and patriotism. Membership is open to women descended from a patriot of the American Revolution. Based in Green Brook, Elizabeth Snyder-Continental Chapter serves areas of Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties. New members are welcome. Contact the chapter at ESCchapterDAR@gmail.com.

Courtesy photos