Friday, June 7, 2013

Prospect Hill Monument, Somerville, Massachusetts

Prospect Hill Monument

As you travel from Boston towards New Hampshire on Route 93, you can see a large hill in Somerville, with a tower and an American Flag waving day and night.  This is Prospect Hill, which was of strategic importance to Charlestown and Boston during the Revolutionary War.  It was originally called “The Citadel”.   Nearby is Union Square, which was an old mustering station for the Union during the Civil War. 

The castle tower you see today was built in 1902 to commemorate the soldiers of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  There is an annual ceremony here every year to raise the “Grand Union Flag”, an early version of the US flag with thirteen red and white stripes.  It is a local myth that George Washington was the first to raise the Grand Union flag here on Prospect Hill on 1 January 1776, but historians have shown that it was flown earlier in other places.   Still, the tradition continues every year…

I had driven by this hill for many, many years.  One day we were coming home from one of my daughter’s crew races on the Charles River, and we had a camera.  So we stopped to take these photos of the Prospect Hill Monument.  Enjoy!

The Prospect Hill Monument "The Citadel"

From this aminence
on January 1, 1776
The flag of the United Colonies
Bearing thirteen stripes and the crosses
of Saint George and Saint Andrew
First waved defiance to a foe.

"The Flower of the British Army"
Prisoners of War
Who surrendered at Saratoga
Were quartered on this hill
From November 7, 1777 to October 18, 1778
Guarded by American Troops
under General William Heath.

On this historic hill
Answering their country's call
in 1862
Encamped the soldiers of Somerville
Whose record of patriotism and fortitude
in the Civil War
Is Worthy of highest honor
and commemoration

The view of the Boston skyline from the top of Prospect Hill Monument

The tower interior

Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. You always teach me something I didn't know before! I have driven on 93 many times and have never noticed Prospect Hill. If I had, I would not have known what it was all about. It is an imposing fortress, and it surely looks well defended with the gratings and barred windows and what must be an iron door with inside bars across it. I'm impressed that it commemorates both the Revolutionary and the Civil War.