Small City, Big Stars
By Jennifer LB Leese
With approximately 2,800 people living within Boonsboro, Maryland, this little historic town has big things to offer.
Resting at the foot of South Mountain in Washington County lies a small town called Boonsboro. Founded in 1792 by brothers, George and William Boone (cousins of Daniel Boone), this modest town was originally named Margaretsville in honor of William Boone's wife Margaret. Since that time, the town has gone through several name changes--from Margaretsville to Margaret Boones Ville, then to Boonesborough, then finally Boonsboro.
During 1862, the town's churches, public buildings, and homes were used as temporary hospitals for soldiers who were wounded in the 2 bloody Civil War battles--the South Mountain and Antietam.
Shafer Memorial Park, created in 1939 and located in central Boonsboro, is the town's focal point. The park hosts several public events throughout the year such as Boonesborough Days, when the area's heritage of craftsmanship is celebrated, The Great Boonsboro Rescue Company Carnival, and the Founders Day Celebration. Every year, residents and locals celebrate a 20-mile wagon train journey from Clear Spring to Boonsboro, the original route of the National Pike, now Route 40, during the National Pike Festival. If you're interested in participating in The Annual National Wagon Train Event 2005, May 13-15, contact coordinator Laura Parrish Bowman at 304-725-6555.
With the construction of the National Road, a turnpike connecting Baltimore to the west, Boonsboro grew and flourished. In 1823, a new process called "macadam" was used to finish an unpaved section of the turnpike from Boonsboro to Hagerstown--the first time the road building process was used in the United States.
This celebrated town has a lot to offer. The Downtown Revitalization Committee, a sub-committee of Boonsboro Economic Development Commission, is looking to get the word out about Boonsboro. "We want to get people interested in Boonsboro...to see what the town has to offer," said Richard Keesecker, chairman of the Downtown Revitalization Committee. A way to do that is with celebrations, festivals, and events.
On February 12 from 1-3 DRC is sponsoring a Valentine's Day Event. "Turn the Page Bookstore Cafe," located at 18 North Main Street, is featuring a booksigning with bestselling author Nora Roberts for her newest book "O'Hurley's Return". Guest authors include, J.D. Robb, mystery authors Jan Burke and Nora Charles, Mary D. Esselman, and Elizabeth Ash Vélez.
"This is our first sponsored event of the New Year and we are excited that this first event will be working with Nora Roberts, the author," said Keesecker.
Many of the downtown stores will be offering "Nora Robert Specials" with sales on sandwiches, drinks, and wares. A "Welcome to Boonsboro" pamphlet, "Walking Tour Guide," and the "Boonsboro Trolley" pamphlet will be attached to the ticket given to people for the booksigning. Participating businesses will display Valentine Hearts and a poster in the window or door of their business.
"Visit our shops and restaurants, take a historic walking tour of this Civil War rich community, visit our trolley station, or the local Boonsboro Museum of History. Mark your calendar and come to Boonsboro and be part of our local events. You are always welcomed in Boonsboro."
Those visiting Boonsboro within the next few months have plenty to look forward to--Easter Egg Hunts, The Great Boonsboro Ambulance & Rescue Company Carnival and summer concert series. The park also has a huge celebration for the 4th of July.
Today, Boonsboro is a quiet "bedroom" community catching the over-flow growth of Frederick County, as commuters to the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area move westward in search of homes with a rural setting. Boonsboro continues to move forward with its growth in population and commercial assortment. They cherish their simple beginning and take pride in their heritage.
If you'd like to learn more about Boonsboro, Maryland or you would like a calendar of events, directions, or business directories, visit Boonsboro's website at www.boonsboro.org.