6th Annual Museum Ramble Scheduled for May 2 and 3

6th Annual Museum Ramble Scheduled for May 2 and 3
Sponsored by CVB - Special Event Features More than 20 Museums and Historic Sites

Washington County's sixth annual Museum Ramble is scheduled for the weekend of May 2 and 3, 2009. The Ramble, sponsored by the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites (WCAMHS) and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), includes more than twenty local museums and historic sites. Most of the participating museums are opening their doors free of charge and many have special offerings planned for the weekend.
The Museum Ramble is a self-guided tour that will be offered from 1pm - 5pm both days (some participating sites have different hours, please check the printed or online guide). Maps and directions to participating sites, as well as refreshments for participants, are available at the Visitor Welcome Center in downtown Hagerstown.
The WCAMHS and the CVB, along with the design expertise of Icon Graphics, have put together a brochure and map specifically for this year's Museum Ramble. The guide and map can be viewed online at http://museumramble.marylandmemories.org. The printed guide is available at the Visitor Welcome Center, at participating museums, and at various CVB members.
Make sure to pick up your new Museum Ramble Passport, available at any of the participating sites. Each site will have a cancellation stamp for the passport, and when visitors are finished "rambling" the passport can be left at their final destination on the ramble. All passports will be entered in to a drawing for a chance to win a free gift basket. The Passport can also be picked up at the Visitor Welcome Center in Downtown Hagerstown.
"No matter what your interests are -- fine arts, rural heritage, American history, religion, geology, the Civil War or the French and Indian War, or especially trains -- you're sure to enjoy a ramble through this year's selection of Washington County museums," says Museum Association President Bill Knode. "We welcome visitors and residents to take a trip through our county and see some of our wonderful museums. Start the day with refreshments at the downtown Hagerstown Visitor Center and look for surprises at all the museums along the way!"
According to the Convention and Visitors Bureau President Tom Riford, "Our county has an extremely rich history to tell, and visitors and residents love the Museum Ramble! People look forward to this all year long, because many local museums treat the Museum Ramble as their opening weekend for the year. We're happy to be celebrating the Sixth Annual Museum Ramble, and it's hard to believe that this is the 6th one already. I'm personally very pleased that the CVB has sponsored each and every one." Riford said that planning started for this year's Ramble almost a year ago.
April 27th-May 3rd is Washington County History Week, and it concludes with the Museum Ramble. On April 28th, the Washington County Commissioners will be presenting the Washington County Association of Museums and Historical Sites, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Washington County Historical Society a special proclamation, following a presentation by the three organizations.
Of Maryland's 300-plus museums, more than 10 percent are located in Washington County. The Museum Ramble makes the most of this by welcoming residents and visitors to the county's museums, many of which are private and typically open by appointment only.
The museums and sites participating in the Museum Ramble, and planning special activities, are:
Boonsborough Museum of History (301-432-6969), 113 N. Main Street, Boonsboro - Come see a special display in what many call Washington County's most eclectic collection! Known as one of the best small museums in the US, with a historical collection that is second to none!
Bowman House and Boonsboro Historical Society (301-432-8410), 323 N. Main Street, Boonsboro - The Bowman House built by Jacob Powles is typical of log houses built in Western Maryland during the first half of the nineteenth century. In 1868, John Bowman purchased the log house and established the "Boonsboro Pottery". His kiln was located to the rear of the building. Saturday: house tours and pottery demonstrations; Sunday: Open Hearth Cooking, herb demonstrations, and pottery making.
Christian Heritage Museum (877-313-9002), 14111 Pennsylvania Avenue Hagerstown - A privately owned collection of historic Bibles, books, manuscripts, sermon notes, and documents of Christian history. The collection has been gathered for more than 30 years in order to preserve, protect, educate, motivate, and inspire others to live for Christ. Several ancient Bibles, texts, and relics on display.
Discovery Station and Hagerstown Aviation Museum (301-790-0076), 101 West Washington St., Hagerstown - This hands-on learning museum includes exhibits that promote science, technology and history through displays and programs that are both educational and entertaining. See a full scale triceratops skull, operate the controls of a Cessna 150, view a model of a NASA spacecraft, tour the C&O Canal exhibit, marvel at an exact 15' replica of the Titanic. Learn how a weather station works, view the VISION exhibit and much more.
Open House for Hagerstown Aviation Museum - see Hagerstown Aviation Museum's collection of aircraft, Sunday, May 3 ONLY, Noon till 4pm. See new additions to the collection, Open House Event at Hagerstown Aircraft Services Basore Drive off Pennsylvania Avenue by the Hagerstown Regional Airport.
Fort Frederick State Park (301-842-2155), 18 miles west of Hagerstown, one mile south of I-70 (Rt 56 exit 12) - The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Museum and the Fort Frederick Museum will be open 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday. In addition the Riflemen of the Continental Line will garrison the fort and demonstrate the life of American soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Fee: $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children.
Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum (301-432-6239) Antietam Station, Sharpsburg. The Hagerstown Model Railroad Museum was founded over 60 years ago as the first Railroad Museum in the County. Operating for many years a the Fairgrounds, the Museum's home is now at the historic Antietam Station, on Shepherdstown Pike - outside of Sharpsburg. Restoration of the building is almost complete, railroadiana is on display, and work is beginning on a permanent model railroad in the freight room of the station.
Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum (301-739-4665), 300 S. Burhans Blvd (US 11), Hagerstown - Drinks and cookies provided. There are extraordinary things to see, including a trolley built in 1918, torpedoes for railroad tracks, and a special lantern designed to measure color blindness. Guided tours of #132 Locomotive and cabooses! See the largest display of working model trains in the four-state area!
Historic City Farmer's Market - 25 W. Church Street, Hagerstown, 301-739-8577 x190 Start the weekend off right! Visit the oldest continuously operating farmers' market in Maryland. The Farmer's Market will be offering breakfast specials and gardening information, as well as children's coloring activities on Saturday from 5 am- 12 noon. Stop in and start off the Ramble by picking up a Passport and Brochure for the Ramble! Closed Sunday.
Jonathan Hager House and Museum (301-739-8393), City Park, Hagerstown - Private frontier fort and original home of Hagerstown's founder. Built over two separate springs, the site houses the original Little Heiskel and a large collection of 18th Century antiques! This special weekend will feature an open house along with a fun scavenger hunt for the family to complete as they walk through the Hager House and Museum. Also on site will be a French and Indian War encampment with reenactors in period dress. New this year: Eastern Woodlands Native American Dancers performing at 1pm on May 2nd. Something for the whole family Saturday 10am -4pm, Sunday 1-5pm.
The Mansion House (301-797-6813) City Park, Hagerstown - Headquarters for the Valley Art Association, works displayed from scores of artists, in a beautiful mansion built in 1846. May 2: Victorian Tea, and Plein Air Demonstrations both Saturday and Sunday.
Miller House and Washington County Historical Society (301-797-8782), 135 W. Washington Street, Hagerstown - Exhibits Bell Pottery, doll/toy collection, historic items from the Civil War. Antique Taxi Display will be open. Refreshments will be served.
Pry House Field Hospital Museum (301-695-1864 or 800-564-1864), 18906 Shepherdstown Pike, Sharpsburg - Washington County's newest museum is on the Antietam National Battlefield. See a special medical display showing battlefield surgery following the single bloodiest day in American history. Special event is planned, and historical interpretations. Visit our website at www.Civilwarmed.org
C&O Canal-Cushwa Basin (301-582-0818) Williamsport - Trolley Barn, National Canal Museum exhibit "Building America's Canals," hands-on, great for children.
The Train Room (301-745-6681), 360 South Burhans Blvd, Hagerstown Extraordinary collection of nationally renowned Lionel items. Buy one admission, get one free.
Train 202 Museum City Park, Hagerstown - Train 202 is a steam locomotive built in 1912 to haul passengers, mail and baggage between Baltimore and Hagerstown. Retired in 1953, the train was moved to City Park. Bring the family for the Grand Opening of the season. Barrel Cart rides for kids of all ages will be provided Saturday from 1-4pm. Saturday 10-4pm, Sunday 1-5pm.
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (301-739-5727), City Park, Hagerstown - The Crown Jewel of Washington County. Special fine art exhibits, including "Animals in Art."
Washington County Rural Heritage Museum (240-313-2839), 7313 Sharpsburg Pike (MD65), Boonsboro, 7 miles south of I-70 (exit #29) - Enjoy refreshments, and more! Come see rural heritage in Washington County! Catoctin Furnace cast iron stove, Conestoga Wagon, corn sheller, corncob checkers, and new exhibits!
Washington Monument State Park and Museum, and South Mountain State Battlefield (301-791-4767) - The Washington Monument, atop South Mountain near Boonsboro, is the first in the nation that was completed in honor of U.S. President George Washington. Tour the small museum, with its fascinating collection. Also see displays from the Sep. 14, 1862 Battle of South Mountain.
Williamsport Town Museum (301-223-5854 or 301-223-7229), 14 Springfield Lane, Williamsport - Old time stories, 1800's furniture, and Radios! Radios! Radios!
Woodmont Lodge- While not part of the Ramble this year, the annual Open House is planned for May 9th! Come see America's first Presidential Retreat. The open house will showcase the Lodge and surroundings. Hear about the early days in Maryland's wildlife management and conservation. Organizations will have information on display, and historians will provide talks. Hours are 10am until 3pm. For information call 301-842-2155. The Woodmont property is located off of Interstate 68 (Exit 77) to Woodmont Road. The lodge entrance is on the left.