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After 75 years on display in same place, historical marker relocated

It took several hours, help from several town employees, the supervision of a stone mason and a large crane to move a 3.5 ton monument that has made its home in front of the downtown courthouse for nearly 75 years.
The monument was moved to a new location on the northwest corner of Courthouse Square on May 15.
Jonesborough resident Alfred Greenlee looked on as crane operator Bill Hicks moved each piece of the massive five-piece structure made of Crab Orchard marble.
He remembered when the monument — which is also a fountain — was placed at the front of the courthouse steps in 1931.
“I was just a small lad then, but I remember it well,” he said.
More than 30 years later, in the late 1960s, Greenlee was called on to rework the plumbing in the fountain. It was operational after that, but had stopped working in more recent years.
The monument recognizes historic landmark dates in Washington County.
It is inscribed with information explaining that the area was first known as Washington District, “the first governmental division ever named in honor of George Washington,” formed in 1776. It also shows the date Washington County was officially formed — 1777.
The town of Jonesborough’s establishment by the North Carolina’s Act of 1779 is also memorialized on the monument, as is the town’s role as the capital of the State of Franklin from 1784-85.
In its new location, the monument will be fully restored, with new plumbing in place so it can again be used as a fountain, according to Town Operations Manager Craig Ford.
“I think people can really enjoy it more over here in the shade and near seating,” he said.
The relocation of the monument will also provide more open space in front of the courthouse for Music on the Square and other events centered in front of the courthouse, Ford added.
The stocks and the cannon that had been located where the monument now sits have been removed.
According to Jonesborough Tourism and Marketing Director Alicia Phelps, the stocks have been installed in the picnic area at the Jonesborough Visitors Center.
New signage accompanying the stocks includes the words “Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee.”
Meanwhile, the Heritage Alliance is now in possession of the WWI cannon that had been on display.
It is being refurbished so it will be moveable. Once that is done, it will be placed in the Jonesborough-Washington County History Museum at the Visitors Center, according to Heritage Alliance Director Deborah Montanti.