The towns that make up Washington County, Maryland
The towns that make up Washington County, Maryland
City of Hagerstown
Founded in 1762 by Jonathan Hager, Hagerstown has evolved into a modern city that maintains an outstanding transportation and communication network, a strong and loyal workforce and enviable tourism statistics. Hagerstown boasts many recreational amenities, cultural opportunities, and special activities for people of all ages. There are many reasons why Hagerstown is more that just a place to live. Take a few minutes to look us over and see for yourself why the lifestyle you enjoy and the conveniences you depend on, can be found right here in Hagerstown.
Town of Boonsboro
The town of Boonsboro, Maryland lies nestled at the foot of South Mountain in Washington County. The land where the town is located was part of two tracts, "Beale's Chance" and "Fellowship", owned by two brothers, George and William Boone. Founded in 1792, when the brothers laid out the land in half-acre lots. Originally named Margaretsville in honor of George's wife, it was eventually changed to Boonesborough and then later to its shortened spelling--Boonsboro.
Town of Clear Spring
The Town of Clear Spring, founded by Martin Myers in 1821, is located 12 miles west of Hagerstown on US Route 40. Myers, impressed by the natural beauty of the countryside and a nearby spring of sparkling water, envisioned a town, which could grow and prosper. Originally named Myersville, it was later changed to Clear Spring. The historic Nation Pike runs through the center of town.
Town of Funkstown
Founded in 1767 by Jacob Funck and situated south of Hagerstown near the Antietam Creek, the town was originally named Jerusalem until it was incorporated in 1840 as Funkstown. In 1823 the National Pike was built through Funkstown, making it a popular stop along the pike. Today Funkstown is a quiet residential town and a favorite stop for its antique shops and quaint gift shops. Every year the town holds an Old Tyme Christmas Open House on the first Friday in December. An Old Tyme Picnic is held each summer. Funkstown was also the site of a Civil War battle, which took place on July 10, 1863 as the Confederate Army retreated from Gettysburg. A reenactment of the Battle of Funkstown is held each year.
Town of Hancock
Named for ferryman Joseph Hancock, Jr., who ferried travelers, traders and commerce across the Potomac River, Hancock is rich in history. European settlers were living in Hancock as early as 1730. One of the most noted was Charles Polke, "Indian Trader of the Potomac." Polke's great-grand-nephew James Knox Polk would later become the eleventh President of the United States. Visited a various times by George Washington, Hancock stands at the narrowest point in the state of Maryland. In 1818 the National Pike was opened through Hancock, traversing the "Nemecolon" Indian Trail. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was built through town in the 1830's. Hancock was also an important town during the Civil War because of efforts to control the canal and the Potomac. Today Hancock boasts many recreational activities and fine antique shopping.
Town of Keedysville
Population 532. Located eight miles south of Hagerstown on Antietam Creek, the village was settled by John and Samuel Keedy. Originally called Centerville, the name was changed to Keedysville when the post office was established. Keedysville was once a vital link on the B&O branch line from Weaverton to Hagerstown, parts of the train station remain intact. The Boonsboro-Shepherdstown Pike (Rt. 34) bypasses traffic around the town, keeping Keedysville a quiet and charming rural town. Just west of Keedysville lies Crystal Grottoes Cavern, Maryland's only commercial underground cavern.
Town of Sharpsburg
Founded in 1763 and named for Governor Horatio Sharpe, Sharpsburg was settled long before that. The site of the Great Spring, the area for home to Native Americans for thousands of years before Joseph Chapline established his manor in 1740. At the time of the Civil War the population had grown to 1300. Sharpsburg is the site of the bloodiest single day in American history. The Battle of Antietam was fought on the fields outside of town and almost all of the houses and buildings were used to house the wounded and dying.
Town of Smithsburg
A settlement may have existed in the area as early as 1787. Many farmers moved into the area because of the rich, fertile soil, which yielded them abundant harvests. Although the agricultural role has diminished, farming and orchards are still important to the area. Smithsburg played a minor role in the Civil War when the residents of the town helped care for the wounded Confederate soldiers after the battles of South Mountain and Antietam. An interesting local attraction is the town historical society's Heritage Room at the Geiser Farm Museum, 21 W. Water Street. It is open by appointment. Phone 301-824-7234
Town of Williamsport
Population 2,103. Founded by General Otho Holland Williams, a friend of George Washington, Williamsport merited consideration as a potential site for the fledgling nation's new capital. According to legend, Washington visited Williamsport in 1790 to study the feasibility of making Williamsport the new capital. The town's location off the beaten track of the Potomac River's then-unnavigable rapids apparently helped persuade him to locate elsewhere.