site was selected by Washington himself, and is on the exactmeridian of Washington City, a mile due east of the Capitol, and isdue south of the Executive Mansion (now called White House.)It was intended to build it by subscription, and to make it 600 feethigh; the highest structure in the world: but the subscriptionsceased before the Civil War came on, when the obelisk was but 54feet high, and work ceased. The corner stone was laid by the GrandLodge of the District of Columbia on the 4th of July, 1848, and it was dedicated by the Grand Lodge in 1885.In 1882 Congress made an appropriation to finish the Monument,and it then passed into Government possession. It was determinedthat the foundation was not strong enough, and Col. Thos. L. Casey,of the U. S. Engineers, was accorded high honor for the masterly manner in which he accomplished the difficult work of underpinning and strengthening the foundation, which he did before adding a single course of stone. The shaft is 55 feet square atthe base and 555 feet high. Its weight is estimated at 81,120 tons.The walls, at the base, are 15 feet thick. There is now an elevator inthe monument, so its ascent is not hard. There is a spiral stair casereaching nearly to the top from which stairs the many memorialstones may be examined. Among the first contributions were beautiful stones from MasonicLodges, from the States, many cities, Societies, etc.The memorial stones, up to the present, number 151, but theSecretary of War has recently refused the Grand Lodge of Louisianathe privilege of placing a stone, and has said he will permit noneothers excepting from States.