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4 Ways to Bone Up on History Around Hagerstown

Summer is officially here—and if you have school-age kids, you may be wondering how to keep them entertained all summer. If you’re looking for a fun, educational way to get them out of the house and off their devices, it may be as simple as stepping outside and taking advantage of Hagerstown’s rich history.

Take a trip back in time in historic Hagerstown with this self-guided tour

1. Visit the home of our founding father

It makes sense to start at the beginning—and that’s the Jonathan Hager House and Museum. Jonathan Hager, a gunsmith, fur trader, farmer, and politician, founded Hagerstown in 1762. Conveniently situated along the Eastern Native American North / South Trading Route known as the “Warrior Trading Path,” Hager was drawn to the area’s resources and natural beauty.

But that’s not all Jonathan Hager was known for. You can learn more about his legacy as a public servant and the work he did to build up Western Maryland by touring his house and museum in Hagerstown City Park.

2. All aboard! Learn about our fascinating railroad history

The railroad arrived in Hagerstown in 1834, which brought many new opportunities to residents. The railroad lines ran into the city from all directions, somewhat like spokes of a wagon wheel, which earned Hagerstown the nickname “Hub City.” Simply follow the tracks to Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum, where you can learn about the legacy of railroads in Hagerstown.

Next, take a trip to the Hagerstown Railroad Museum to see the Western Maryland Steam Engine 202—the only surviving mainline steam locomotive and one of only two surviving Western Maryland steam locomotives. You can also check out model trains and historical railroad equipment there.

3. See how Maryland was defended during the French and Indian War

Don’t forget to explore the French and Indian War-era Fort Frederick. You and your family will find plenty to do at this 585-acre park that features a unique stone fort that defended Maryland’s frontier during the French and Indian War. The Fort’s stone wall and pair of barracks, which have been fully restored to their 1758 appearance, make for an incredible sight and perfect photo-op.

 

4. Show your kids what life was like in years past

Touring the Plumb Grove Mansion gives you a wonderful idea of how rural Marylanders lived in the 1800s. Built in 1831, this farmhouse features gorgeous architecture and offers insight into the families who lived there, local folklore, and what calling Hagerstown home was like in the 19th century.

Next, visit the Beaver Creek Country School, a refurbished turn-of-the-century, one-room schoolhouse and museum. Maintained by the Washington County Historical Society, Beaver Creek Country School will give you and your kids a look back on 20th century education—when the Internet and modern technology were nothing but a dream.

Wrap up your day by heading back to this century by visiting Discovery Station for a hands-on look at history, science, and technology.

Wherever you find yourselves this summer, have fun, stay cool, and don’t forget about all the wonderful things our town has to offer!

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