If you are a regular park user or if you just so happen to just stumble upon it, you will notice many things: the restoration efforts, the waterfalls, or the meadows, for instance. The park is constantly grasping and shifting your attention from one detail to another. Among all the perceivable details, we tend to overlook small elements that can shift our perspective of the park. For example, the marker stones.
“Beatrix Farrand used stones, either in singles, pairs, or in series, to mark the beginning of a path, line its route, or call attention to a view or feature,” notes the National Park Service’s Cultural Landscape Report for Dumbarton Oaks Park. The report also indicates that although the larger stones in the park indicate an intersection or specific feature, they are also used to attain your attention to a certain panorama.
Next time you are down at the park, search for such stones. Let the inner child in you climb up on them and explore the different views each can offer. These marking stones tend to be disregarded by most park visitors, but take some time to notice and use them, and you might just discover something new about Dumbarton Oaks Park.
Written by Maria “MJ” Aguilar, Restoration Technician