The Monument Park sign is riddled with errors

In the Northwesternmost corner of Point Roberts lies a very small park with a comparatively large attraction.  Boundary Marker #1 for the 49th Parallel. The park is home to a great switchback trail that leads 170 feet down to the beach, but there’s something else which caught my eye while visiting. The sign next to the monument. It has an important typo that has been left uncorrected for 24 years. The sign reads as follows:


On June 15, 1886 Great Britain and the United States of America established the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada.

This obelisk was made in Scotland and placed on this western point of the boundary in 1885 marking the longest undefended border in the world.

The Monument and Park was restored by the Tsawwassen Boundary Bay Lions Club, the Point Roberts Senior Center, and Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department Staff.

This sign was placed here on June 15, 1996 marking 150 years of peaceful coexistance between our two nations.”

Before we get to the main event there are a few things we need to address. “coexistence” is spelled incorrectly. That should be embarrassing enough on its own, but there’s more. “Staff” shouldn’t have been capitalized. Yikes. Being even more pedantic, 1996 didn’t mark 150 years of peaceful coexistence between the two nations either. Decades after the border was established the Fenian raids occurred.

It should also be “The monument and park were restored” not “The Monument and Park was restored” While “Monument Park” might be a proper name, when referred to individually the words “monument” and “park” should not be capitalized. This is already a disaster, but we’re not even done.

Time for the big one. You might have caught it even if you’ve never taken a history class. Why was the obelisk placed in 1885 if the border wasn’t even established until 1886? Wait a second. They say 1996 marks 150 years. 1996-150=…..Oh no… That’s right. The 49th parallel was established on June 15th, 1846. They were a whole 40 years off the mark.


This article has been amended to include another error brought to our attention.

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