Rural Living

Rural Living

Keedysville, located eight miles south of Hagerstown on Little Antietam Creek, is a great place to visit. The creek and an early road crossing had attracted settlers to the area in the early 1700s. Jacob Hess built a large grist mill and his home in this farming area in 1768. The community and those around it grew to know the town as Mill Property until 1825 when the Boonsboro-Sharpsburg road was built. Eventually the town was named Centreville, because the Mill Property sat at the halfway point. When storekeeper, Samuel Keedy, a descendent of one of the town's earliest settler families, lobbied hard for a post office, the small village received it in 1848. From that time forward, the town changed names once again - this time to Keedysville.
Like many towns during the Civil War, the town's buildings and residences were used as hospitals for soldiers engaged in the battle of Antietam. By the 1870s, Keedysville had a railroad running through it, an elementary school, three churches (one of which was the first United Brethren Church ever to be built in the United States), several stores, a hotel, the mill, and the post office.
By the end of the 20th century, Keedysville had developed into a charming and picturesque community with little industry or commerce. Victorian was the dominant architectural style in this quaint town, with older and newer homes mixed in. When tourists now encounter Keedysville, they are delighted by its historic homes and old-world appearance. A monument memorializing Keedysville's citizens who served in World War II lay in the town's park close to another monument that honors World War I veterans.
The railroad now is defunct, and only one store remains. The three churches are still active, and the Ruritan chapter (the first established in Maryland) provides community-based civic activities. A day-care and senior-citizens center is housed in the former elementary school, and there is a branch of the county library in town. Even though Keedysville is small with open spaces, residents find the area a pleasant environment in which to live and raise a family.