Unearthed monument to George Washington rededicated in Beckley - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Unearthed monument to George Washington rededicated in Beckley

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BECKLEY, WV (WVVA) -

Dozens gathered in uptown Beckley to see the unveiling of a piece of American history that was almost lost forever.

An historic plaque commemorating what would have been George Washington's 200th birthday was unexpectedly unearthed on election day last year.

Around the nation, Americans celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington in 1932.

Commemorative markers were placed across the country, planted alongside American Elm trees.

Over the years, many of these plaques became missing artifacts, seemingly lost forever.

"I'm sure the tree must have died or got removed one way or another, and they probably took the monument and pitched it over to the side and before long, dirt and silt and gravel covered it up," Tom Sopher said.

According to Raleigh County Historical Society President Tom Sopher, crews working near the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building uncovered the 85 year old piece of American history.

"I said, 'We need to do something with this,'” Sopher said. “We need to preserve it one way or another.”

“We are going to leave it right where it belongs, we're going to leave it on the property and make sure that it's here for a long long time,” Sopher continued.

Bill Lester is the president of the West Virginia chapter of the "Sons of the American Revolution."

Lester spoke of Washington's importance as one of America's founding fathers, going beyond his success as a general and president.

"He made many trips south to convince the leaders of those colonies to get on board meet and change the Articles of Confederation into a better form of government," Lester said.

Local historians say they hope this small monument leaves a big impact.

"Its great when somebody comes back this back door and they say, “Hey what's this marker here?' And then they research it and they get the story," Sopher said.

The monument can be found by accessing the side of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building from the Mcreery St. side of the building.

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