Autumn foliage decorates Maryland

Autumn foliage decorates Maryland
by Jennifer LB Leese

Autumn has arrived. Thoughts naturally turn to pumpkins on porches, wood stoves, warmed cider, and colorful foliage. In Maryland, we are lucky to have two full months to marvel at the changing leaves, starting in mid-September in Garrett County and in mid-October in southern Maryland and on the Eastern Shore.
Take an autumn drive. In Washington and Frederick Counties, take Route 40 into Greenbrier State Park, and then enter Washington Monument State Park off Alternate Route 40. In the park, hike a half-mile to the monument honoring our country's first president, and then enjoy the spectacular view before you. Once you hop back in your car, take Route 67 south through Pleasant Valley to Gathland State Park for more colorful adventures.
Other places to go include:
Plumb Grove Mansion: A Colonial Farmhouse. Plumb Grove, the colonial home used in the movie Gods and Generals, is a rural farmhouse preserved by the Clear Spring District Historical Association. This 1831 structure is a mixture of Federal and Greek Revival architecture with Pennsylvania farmhouse adaptations.
Plumb Grove, owned and operated by the Clear Spring Historical Society, was the home of Jonathon Nesbitt who was a member of the Maryland State Legislature during the 19th century.
A tour of Plumb Grove Mansion is intertwined with local folklore and superstitions. Visiting Plumb Grove Mansion is like transporting yourself into a spirit from the past.
Plumb Grove Mansion is located on Broadfording Road, Clear Spring.
McGraw-Shay House: Holding onto a soldier's life. The original stone structure of the McGraw-Shay House was built around 1754 with brick additions in 1803 and 1912. Further architectural modifications were made during the early 1900's. The house contains opulent period rooms which are authentically restored to their 1860s appearance and includes fine furnishings such Cornelius Astral lamps, Baltimore black marble and the ensemble of New York carved Meeks furniture.
Also in this House-turned-Museum is a collection of military memorabilia that includes all aspects of the soldier's life during the War of the Rebellion.
The McGraw-Shay House is located on the square in Sharpsburg, Maryland.
Beaver Creek Country School: Stepping back in time. This authentically refurbished turn-of-the-century classroom stands as a memorial to all the capable schoolmasters of Washington County, Maryland, who for more than a century made our one and two room schools the educational and cultural centers of their communities. Special interest items in this historical structure are the desks, books, slates, and wallchart.
Beaver Creek Country School is located on Beaver Creek Church Road.
War Correspondents Arch: In memory of correspondents, artists, and photographers. Gathland State Park stands atop South Mountain at Crampton's Gap, one of three gaps involved in the Battle of South Mountain, which took place in September 1862, two days before the fateful battle of Antietam.
George Alfred Townsend, a youngest Civil War Correspondent, author and columnist, built a unique estate on the site in the late 1800s and erected a large stone arch in memory of his fellow correspondents, artists, and photographers.
Gathland is the only park in the world dedicated to the free press. Now a museum, it chronicles Townsend's life and houses a collection of Civil War weaponry, replicas of Union and Confederate uniforms and other artifacts.
George Alfred Townsend's War Correspondents Arch is located at the junction of Gapland and Arnoldstown Roads.
Wherever your autumn drive takes you...be sure to take plenty of snapshots!