Magazine article American Heritage

Guide to Historic Sites in Maryland

Magazine article American Heritage

Guide to Historic Sites in Maryland

Article excerpt

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WESTERN MD

Spruce Forest Artisan Village

Located in the Appalachian Mountains, this site served as a thriving artist colony in the mid-19th century. Visitors can travel through more than 10 reconstructed buildings such as Stanton's Mill and Alta's Cabin where costumed interpreters demonstrate metalworking, weaving, woodcarving, and pottery making. (301) 895-3332 or www.spruceforest.org

Thrasher Carriage Museum

This early transportation museum, located inside a 19th-century warehouse, celebrates the history of horse-drawn vehicles. A milk delivery cart, funeral wagon, several stagecoaches, and various carriages are on display. Exhibits feature 19th-century traveling artifacts, such as saddles, charcoal foot warmers, and bearskin lap robes. (301) 689-3380 or www.thethrashercarriagemuseum.com

Fort Frederick State Park

British colonists sought sanctuary behind the wooden palisades of this 1756 fort during the bloody French and Indian War in the mid-18th century. During the Revolution, it saw service as a prison for British soldiers; during the Civil War, it was as a Union guard post for the recently established C&O Canal. Today the 585-acre state park offers 30-minute guided tours of the restored fort, two reconstructed soldier barracks, kitchen, and laundry. A visitors center features exhibits on the fort's history and houses artifacts, such as a Confederate cannon and soldier uniforms. (301) 842-2155 or www.dnr.state.md.us/ publiclands/western/fortfrederick.asp

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Antietam National Battlefield

Antietam Creek, which runs through this 2,000-acre national park, ran red with blood when Union Maj. Gen. George McClellan attacked Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia here on September 17, 1862. The most violent 12-hour battle on American soil with more than 22,700 casualties, Antietam ended in a Union victory, bringing the Confederates' 1862 Maryland Campaign to a conclusion. The visitors center offers four panoramic paintings completed by a witness of the battle, as well as artifacts such as uniforms and artillery. An eight-mile, self-guided driving tour of the battlefield follows the routes of Union and Confederate troops. (301) 432-5124 or www.nps.gov/anti

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Built in 1852, this 130-acre cemetery contains the graves of "Star Spangled Banner" writer Francis Scott Key, Maryland's first governor Thomas Johnson, and local hero Barbara Fritchie. Visitors can pick up a map in the mausoleum and tour around the manicured grounds that contain more than 38,000 graves. (301) 662-1164 or www.mountolivetcemeteryinc.com

Monocacy National Battlefield

On this 1,647-acre park, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early led 14,000 Confederates against Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace's 5,800 army on July 9, 1864 in a successful effort to protest Gen. Lee's army in Virginia. Housed inside an old field hospital, the visitors center contains interactive displays such as electronic maps that highlight the battle's key engagements. (301) 662-3515 or www.nps.gov/mono

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

This 7,000-square-foot museum features displays exploring how the Civil War influenced the birth of modern medical practices in the fields of surgery, dentistry, nursing, and embalming techniques. Five life-size dioramas include a campsite where disease was prevalent and a field hospital. The pioneering work of early medical professionals such as Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross, are highlighted in multimedia presentations. (301) 695-1864 or www.civilwarmed.org

NORTH CENTRAL/BALTIMORE METRO AREA

Union Mills Homestead

This 16-acre property, a former farm that stretched along Big Pipe Creek, served as a rest stop for those traveling between Baltimore and Pennsylvania in the early 19th century: Guided tours visit the original 1797 Shriver homestead, which once served as a stagecoach inn and hosted guests such as Washington Irving and John James Audubon. …

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