Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
D.C. has plenty of obscure memorials and monuments to hunt down, but none might be harder to actually find than the 10-foot-long semicircular Milford pink granite bench honoring Jean Jules Jusserand, the French ambassador and close confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. The location of the Jusserand memorial, off Beach Drive, is appropriate: Jusserand was the only diplomat in town who reportedly could keep up with Roosevelt on his notoriously grueling nature hikes through the wilds of Rock Creek Park. Like Roosevelt, Jusserand was an avid bird watcher and was said to have joined the president skinny-dipping in Rock Creek. If you drive north on Beach Drive from Piney Branch Parkway, you might be able to catch a quick glimpse to your right. To best access the memorial, follow the main trail parallel to Beach between Pierce Mill and Piney Branch. Look for the historic marker right off the trail and gaze across Beach. To get a closer look, you’ll have to cross the busy road. Unfortunately, the setting is no longer as bucolic as when Jules and Teddy explored it.