BOONSBORO, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Park Service says visitors to Washington Monument State Park near Boonsboro may find the viewing platform closed this month.

The agency said Thursday that preventive maintenance could temporarily close the 34-step stairwell. The stone tower stands atop South Mountain on the Washington-Frederick county line.

The 34-foot monument was erected in 1827 by local citizens. It’s billed as the first monument to George Washington, predating both its famous counterpart in Washington and the 208-foot Washington Monument in Baltimore.

Officials say the repair work will be done by April 30.

It’s all part of an effort to spruce up the park and nearby Gathland State Park before the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of South Mountain in September.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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