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Article Archive >> Summer Tourism

Places to...take in history

Places to...take in history

Our past is an important part of our lives. From Colonial America (1492-1763) to the Civil War (1860-1865) to Depression & WWII (1929-1945) up to Modern Era (1946-present) there are so many amazing facts that we should know. Taking in history is fun and educational. Here are a few places to Take in History in the Washington County, Maryland area...

Antietam Battlefield, one mile north of Sharpsburg, Maryland, on Route 65., is the Civil War site that was established by Act of Congress on August 30, 1890, marking the end of General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North in September 1862. The battle claimed more than 23,000 men killed, wounded, and missing in one single day, September 17, 1862, and led to Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Places to see: Bloody Lane, Burnside Bridge, wood fences, cannon displays, National Cemetery, monuments and much more. The Visitor's Center, with Museum Store, Audiovisual Program, Interpretive Programs, and tours, is open daily this summer until 6:00p.m.
Boonsborough Museum of History, located at 113 North Main Street, Boonsboro is a great place to visit for those interested in artifacts collections such as historical furnishings, personal artifacts, tools and equipment, photographs, archaeological items, paintings, decorative arts, and costumes and textiles. Facilities include a library, exhibits, archives, and oral history tapes.
Camp Harding County Park is the fourth of Washington County's fourteen park facilities. Located within this nineteen acre park are two picnic pavilions, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, drinking fountains, softball field, volleyball, basketball and horseshoe courts, parking and a boat ramp. Trout fishing and canoeing are available on Licking Creek, which represents the park's southern boundary. Camp Harding County Park is located between Clear Spring and Hancock with access via U.S. Route 40 West.
C&O Canal National Historic Park, stretching 184.5 miles alongside the Potomac River between the nation's capital and Cumberland, Maryland, preserves remnants of America's transportation history. Visitors can enjoy the Canal Park as much for nature and recreation as for its history. The towpath, once used by mule teams, now provides a nearly level trail for hikers and bicyclists along the entire canal route. Local entrances include: Antietam Creek Ranger Station, 3811 Harpers Ferry Rd., Sharpsburg, and Williamsport Visitor Center, 205 W. Potomac Street, Williamsport.
Fort Frederick State Park is the site of Maryland's frontier defense during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). The Fort's stone wall and two barracks have been restored to their 1758 appearance. Historic displays are in the Fort, barracks and Visitor Center. The park annually holds military reenactments and other special events. Features include: America's premier stone fortification from the French and Indian War, boat launch, cross country skiing, camp sites, camp store, food and beverage, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trail, historic interest, picnic, playground, shelters, visitor's center where you can enjoy a 10 minute orientation film, "Legacy of Fort Frederick".
Jonathan Hager House and Museum was built in 1739. This 2-story stone house was the home of Jonathan Hager, frontier settler and revolutionary. Built on 2 separate springs, which can be seen flowing in the basement, the house has authentic furnishings of the period. The museum contains original Hager family garments and hundreds of artifacts. Eighteenth and nineteenth century artifacts (coins, bone forks, bone buttons, shards, musket and rifle parts, and pottery) in the museum were found during restoration. It is located across from Hagerstown's City Park.
Kennedy Farm, located at 2406 Chestnut Grove Road, Sharpsburg, was the home of John Brown, famous abolitionist. He and his sons lived in the Kennedy home while planning their attack on the Harpers Ferry arsenal. For a rich tour in history, visit the Kennedy Farm and step back in time.
Log Cabin Museum is a large two-story house filled with items from the past. It was once the home of a local "washer woman" who was known for casting "spells" on local residents. See artifacts and a large tool collection here. The museum is located at 115 Mill Street in Clear Spring.
Plumb Grove Mansion was built in 1831, by Jonathan Nesbitt. The Clear Spring District Historical Association began restoring the property in 1980. Visit Plumb Grove Mansion on Broadfording Road in Clear Spring for a taste of history.
Pry House Field Hospital Museum is a complimentary site to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine's main location. The Museum focuses on battlefield medicine and is located in the historic Philip Pry House and barn on Shepherdstown Pike in Sharpsburg. See exhibits, educational programs, and special events.
Sharps Burgh Founder's Day is an annual event taking place in the town of Sharpsburg. This year's event is set for July 8 from 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. The Town will celebrate its 243rd Birthday. Visitors can browse Town Hall exhibits, join in the Colonial Kids Camp at the Washington County Agricultural & Education Center for hands-on living history demonstrations. Call 301-432-7984 for more information.
Smithsburg Town Museum is a heritage room displaying artifacts of the area. It is open to the public by appointment by calling 301-824-7234. The Museum is located at 21 W. Water Street in Smithsburg.
The Train Room and Museum, at S. Burhans Blvd., is home to one of the largest collections of rare and unusual items from Lionel, model railroading, toys, war related items, etc. Much of the collection pre-dates World War II.
Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, on Sharpsburg Pike, Boonsboro, depicts the heritage of local farming life. This museum displays antique farm equipment, an authentic turn-of-the-century country store, and model rooms of a typical 19th century farmhouse and a gift shop. Located off Route 65, first building at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center.
Williamsport Town Museum, on Springfield Lane, Williamsport, is now a large restored barn housing various artifacts from early Williamsport days and is a great place to visit with the kids.




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