George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Parkway

History

HISTORY & CULTURE

The George Washington Memorial Parkway stands as a memorial to George Washington. It connects historic sites from Washington's home at Mt. Vernon, past the nation's capital, to the Great Falls of the Potomac, where Washington demonstrated his skill as an engineer.

Along the way, visitors to this historic roadway can explore our Nation's history, from George Washington to World War II and beyond. These places are all linked by this planned and landscaped road, the first section of which was completed in 1932 to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington's birth.

Considered a commuter route by many local residents, the Parkway offers the traveler much more than convenience. It is a route to scenic, historic and recreational settings offering respite from the urban pressures of metropolitan Washington. 

The parkway provides a pleasant day from Mount Vernon to Great Falls, passing through the same lands George Washington frequently traveled by horse. The Parkway links a group of parks that provide a variety of experiences to more than 9 million people each year.

There are many ways to explore the Parkway. Ranger led programs are available year round daily at Great Falls Park, Clara Barton National Historic Site, Glen Echo Park, and Arlington House. Programs are available by reservation at many other locations including Turkey Run Park, Fort Marcy, Claude Moore Farm, Theodore Roosevelt Island, Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove, Dyke Marsh, and Fort Hunt Park.

In addition to the links on the right, these websites offer more information for those wanting to learn more.

Mount Vernon

Claude Moore Farm

Glen Echo

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Fort Hunt

The Fort Hunt Oral History Project

During World War II, Fort Hunt was home to two highly classified military intelligence programs. Now, sixty years later, the men who once served this country in a top-secret assignment are being given the opportunity to finally tell their stories.

Fort Hunt was built just before the Spanish-American War. It served as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp until World War II. During the war, Fort Hunt became an interrogation site for German prisoners of war. It was known as Post Office Box 1142, and those who worked there were under direct orders to refer to the location only by that address.

In an effort to better understand the unspoken history of Fort Hunt, the George Washington Memorial Parkway initiated research into this incredible story. Clues uncovered in recently declassified military documents have led park rangers to the names of veterans who served at Fort Hunt.

Park rangers are conducting a detailed oral history program that will permanently record the stories and history of Fort Hunt. If you, or someone you know, served at Fort Hunt and would like to be a part of this project, please contact the park.