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2006 Visitation up at Fort Frederick State Park

2006 Visitation up at Fort Frederick State Park

The annual attendance for Fort Frederick State Park in 2006 was nearly double than that of previous years. The State Park's staff knew the visitation numbers were up over the prior year, but were surprised to find out that there were almost twice as many visitors.
"This has been the busiest year at Fort Frederick that anyone can remember," said Park Manager Angela Hummer. "We rechecked our car counter about four times during the year to be sure it was working properly. We could not believe the figures, and we triple checked the math." More than 82,000 people visited the park in 2006, according to Hummer. This increased numbers of visitors includes people who stopped into the park's visitors center. "We also saw an increased number of people who traveled on the C&O Canal Towpath and made a point of visiting the fort, and a lot of people who heard about the park, and simply came for camping or deer-watching."
Fort Frederick State Park celebrated its 250th anniversary May 26-28, 2006. According to Hummer, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) was instrumental in promoting the event, and bringing the park publicity.
"This anniversary event brought name recognition and an enhanced image of Washington County," said Tom Riford, President and CEO of the CVB. "It's terrific that the State of Maryland, Washington County's government, and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau all worked together to help bring positive attention to Fort Frederick. This marketing worked. National and regional media carried articles about the fort and its anniversary, while attendance to the park significantly increased during the entire year."
Fort Frederick was built in 1756 by Maryland soldiers to protect English settlers from their French and Indian allies. It is the only colonial militia-built fort in the country. The fort was named in honor of Maryland's Lord Proprietor Frederick Calvert, Sixth Lord Baltimore, and was utilized in various capacities throughout its history. Historians credit Maryland's Governor Sharpe for building the fort, said to be the largest British colonial stone fortifications built during the French and Indian War.
The fort now operates as a living history museum. Surrounded by a pristine setting, Fort Frederick is a reminder of events that made America, and stands as a monument to the memory of Governor Sharpe and Maryland's contribution to our history.
Fort Frederick is located west of Hagerstown, at Big Pool (Exit 12 of I-70). After serving as "Western Maryland's First Homeland Security" it was owned for a number of years by a freed African-American family (the Nathan Williams family). Williams was known for helping escaped slaves travel north to freedom.
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