Article Archive >> Autumn Tourism
Funkstown--Little Milling Town
Funkstown--Little Milling Town
Funkstown, situated east of Hagerstown near the Antietam Creek, originally began as 88 acres of land. In 1754, Frederick Calvert sold this underdeveloped area to Henry Funck, a German immigrant. Henry and his brother Jacob laid out the town, originally named Jerusalem, in 1767.
The Antietam Creek surrounded Jerusalem on three sides, allowing it to operate as a milling town.
There were mills of various kinds--including a powder mill that supplied Washington's army during the Revolutionary War. Henry Funck built the largest mill--a flour mill--in 1762 to the rear of the town's present fire hall. This mill operated until sometime in 1929, when fire quickly destroyed it. The powder mill went first--blowing up in 1810.
Jerusalem was a center of activity for the frontier in its early years. Local commerce included, besides the flour mill and powder mill, a paper mill, a saw mill, a woolen mill, a wagon yard, a brickyard, iron furnace, and several inns and taverns. As with many of our area's towns, the National Pike ran right through Jerusalem in 1823. The Pike then contributed further to the money-making activity of the town. With its quaint appearance and friendly residents, the community became a favorite stopping place for travelers. In a recreational area called Electric Park, located near Antietam Creek and reached by a swinging bridge, area businesses and residents set up a carousel, a dancing pavilion, boat rides and many other forms of entertainment for its visitors. Funkstown was bustling.
The riches withered when the railroad popped up a mile to the west of the town in 1832.
Nevertheless, the community incorporated as a municipality in 1840 under the name Funkstown (a shortening of Funck's Jerusalem Town).
On July 10, 1863, during the Confederate Army's retreat from Gettysburg, a diversionary battle took place in Funkstown, while General Lee instituted a nine-mile battle line from Williamsport to St. James. The battle that occurred in the town and in the surrounding area ended with 479 soldiers killed or wounded. Funkstown residences became hospitals.
Those wishing to ride from Hagerstown to Funkstown on a streetcar from 1901 to 1948 cost only a few cents. Unheard of nowadays. Antietam Creek and a huge waterwheel built in it, furnished the power for this miracle trolley.
By 1904, the final section of track from Boonsboro across South Mountain to Myersville was completed, and travelers could then enjoy a scenic two-hour, 29-mile trip between Hagerstown and Frederick. That section closed down in 1938, although other sections of the 87.5-mile Hagerstown and Frederick Railway survived until mid-century.
Today, with roughly 1,146 residents, Funkstown is a growing, energetic rural community. With over 250 years of history, the natural beauty of this small town draws visitors far and near. The Antique stores, quaint shops, pubs, and small-town cafăs along the main street lend a helping hand.
<< back to Articles on Autumn Tourism
<< back to All Articles