Placed under the authority of President George Washington, the D.C. Boundary Stones were laid out along the former D.C. boundary lines between 1791-1792, marking the border between Washington, Virginia and Maryland. Of the original 40 stones, 36 survive today with the other four stones having been replaced by replicas. With the Alexandria Retrocession of 1846, a process where land seized by the Federal government in 1790 was returned to Virginia, many of these stones do not actually mark the current D.C. border. A vast swath of the stones exist in the Northern Virginia communities of Alexandria, Arlington and McLean. The rest of the stones run along the District's Southeast, Northeast and Northwest borders. Today these stones symbolize not only boundaries between states and the District of Columbia, but also boundaries between different segments of society. Some of the stones are located in very wealthy areas, while others are in economically challenged areas known for gun violence, homelessness and poverty. The condition of some of the stones reflects this. This website aims to provide a better understanding of the stones to people who are curious to learn more about their significance through the use of QR codes which are placed on many of the fences surrounding the stones. By clicking on "Individual Stones" at the top of the page, you will see a list of hyperlinks that will take you to a page dedicated to each
stone which lists its location, nearby features, and other interesting information.
1. "Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia,"
Boundary Stones of the District of Columbia, February 4, 2020,
2. "Modest Monuments: The District of Columbia Boundary Stones,"
Library of Congress, United States Congress, May 17, 2017,
3. Richard Brownell, "The Alexandria Retrocession of 1846," Boundary Stones WETA's Local History Blog, July 8, 2016, https://boundarystones.weta.org/2016/07/08/alexandria-retrocession-1846.
4. See note 1 above.