“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Thurmont, Maryland

Clickable Map of Frederick County, Maryland and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Frederick County, MD (525) Carroll County, MD (196) Howard County, MD (140) Montgomery County, MD (706) Washington County, MD (864) Adams County, PA (1393) Franklin County, PA (210) Loudoun County, VA (312)  FrederickCounty(525) Frederick County (525)  CarrollCounty(196) Carroll County (196)  HowardCounty(140) Howard County (140)  MontgomeryCounty(706) Montgomery County (706)  WashingtonCounty(864) Washington County (864)  AdamsCountyPennsylvania(1393) Adams County (1393)  FranklinCounty(210) Franklin County (210)  LoudounCountyVirginia(312) Loudoun County (312)
Frederick is the county seat for Frederick County
Thurmont is in Frederick County
      Frederick County (525)  
      Carroll County (196)  
      Howard County (140)  
      Montgomery County (706)  
      Washington County (864)  
      Adams County, Pennsylvania (1393)  
      Franklin County, Pennsylvania (210)  
      Loudoun County, Virginia (312)  
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1Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — "Isabella" and Casting ShedCatoctin Iron Furnace
A Village and Its Resources: The quiet village of Catoctin Furnace was a bustling industrial community that began in the 1700’s around the Iron-making complex James Johnson built the first furnace with financial assistance from Thomas Johnson, . . . Map (db m184361) HM
2Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — A Fatal Shootout
Near here on July 31, 1929, Deputy Sheriff Clyde L. Hauver was fatally wounded in a raid on the Blue Blazes Still. Police eventually tracked down several suspects, and two moonshiners were convicted in connection with the murder after several days . . . Map (db m79932) HM
3Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — A Tradition of ConservationCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Many organizations and individuals have played a part in cultivating Catoctin Mountain Park’s legacy of conservation and education. Since the 1930’s thousands of adults and school children have participated in learning-by-doing programs. They have . . . Map (db m61237) HM
4Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — An Unquiet PlaceCatoctin Furnace African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail
"An unquiet place…a path bisects it and there are ore pits to the north and south…even in death there was no rest…" —Elizabeth A. Comer, an archaeologist and secretary of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, . . . Map (db m184857) HM
5Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Blue Blazes Still
What the police discovered at the Blue Blazes Still was startling. This was not a small, family still but a big, commercial whiskey operation. Police found coils, cooling boxes, hoses, and eighteen 500-gallon-vats— the largest best equipped . . . Map (db m79945) HM
6Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Blue Blazes Whiskey TrailCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
This trail–an easy 0.6-mile round trip–follows the banks of Blue Blazes Run to the site of the Thurmont area's most famous whiskey still. Some early settlers distilled alcohol for family use. Others had an economic reason: a horse could . . . Map (db m121149) HM
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7Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Catoctin Furnace
An important iron furnace during the revolution owned by Governor Thomas Johnson and his brothers. Furnished 100 tons of shells used at Yorktown.Map (db m1530) HM
8Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 1 — Catoctin Furnace African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail — No. 1 —
"a large blast furnace— the stack wheel and bellows and all the buildings… are built in the best manner" — From a notice in the Frederick Town Herald advertising the sale of the furnace property in 1871 workers employed or . . . Map (db m184182) HM
9Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Catoctin Iron FurnaceOriginal Catoctin Furnace
The original Catoctin Furnace, located nearby on Little Hunting Creek, was in blast by 1776 and delivered 958 ten inch bombshells weighing over 31 tons to Washington’s Continental Army in 1780. A great number were used in the siege of Yorktown a . . . Map (db m61259) HM
10Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Catoctin Iron FurnaceNo Time For War
Gettysburg Campaign When Union Gen. John F. Reynolds’ I Corps marched by here on June 29, 1863, en route to Emmitsburg and soon to Gettysburg, his men were progressing “swimmingly.” The workers of the Catoctin Furnace had little time to notice, . . . Map (db m105249) HM
11Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Catoctin Mountain Geology
· Mountain age: 500 million years old · Highest local mountain peak: Quirauk Mountain - 2,145 feet tall · Commonly found rocks: Metabasalt, quartzite, limestone, metarhyolite The Catoctin Mountains were once similar in size and shape to the . . . Map (db m99366) HM
12Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Collier's HutCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
A collier was part manufacturer, firefighter, and watchman. After igniting as many as seven stacks, he stayed close by in a small tepee hut like this one. Too much was at stake. Every three hours for two weeks, the collier patrolled the smoking . . . Map (db m121159) HM
13Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Creeger House11 North Church Street
Originally built in the 1820's this house was enlarged and brick cased in 1876 for Col. John R. Rouzer, Civil War hero. Purchased by Edwin Creeger in 1924 and deeded to the Thurmont Historical Society by Mrs. Ethel Creeger in 1990. . . . Map (db m66196) HM
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14Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Cunningham Fallslocally known as McAfee Falls — Cunningham Falls State Park —
Big Hunting Creek begins just west of this spot in a series of seeps and springs atop the Foxville Plateau. The creek flows over the Falls into Hunting Creek Lake (also known as Cunningham Falls Lake) and along MD Route 77. The creek is designated . . . Map (db m61244) HM
15Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 2 — Dirty and DangerousCatoctin Furnace African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail — No. 2 —
“The bones of Catoctin men and women show —almost literally— the effects of back-breaking labor. One elderly man's spine was so damaged by a lifetime of hard work that he was unable to stand up straight. Furnace labor and exposure to . . . Map (db m184333) HM
16Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 8 — Dynamic Nature of History
“The rounds that followed the ‘shot heard round the world’ may well have been smelted right here in Frederick County...but the furnaces which did the job are crumbling from the weight of time and neglect.” — Frederick Post, . . . Map (db m184818) HM
17Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Erasure and Rediscovery — Catoctin Furnace African American Interpretive Trail —
“The tragedy of slavery is writ large at Catoctin Furnace. We search for a descendant community to reconnect and rectify this lost legacy.” —Elizabeth A. Comer archaeologist and secretary of the Catoctin Furnace Historical . . . Map (db m184853) HM
18Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Fueling the FurnaceCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
The charcoal was made. The cutters and wood haulers were done. The air was beginning to clear. Now the colliers had to make sure the teamsters transported the charcoal downhill to the Catoctin Iron Furnace with their mule-drawn wagons. For . . . Map (db m121161) HM
19Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Historic Buildings—Past and Present
1. The Central Trust Company Bank — The Central Trust Company was an impressive Greco-Roman building on the corner of Church and West Main Streets on the square. MAny local residents lost their life's savings when the bank met its demise . . . Map (db m131819) HM
20Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 1 — Little Hunting Creek
Most early industries used water to power simple machinery. Little Hunting Creek provided Catoctin Furnace with the renewable energy needed to power the waterwheel of the first furnace. The wheel’s power pumped the furnace bellows creating a blast . . . Map (db m184646) HM
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21Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Making CharcoalCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
After building a triangular chimney and stuffing it with sticks, the collier stacked logs in concentric circles around the flue. The 12-foot-high stack consisted of 30 to 50 cords—two or three times the logs you see in this replica. The . . . Map (db m121157) HM
22Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Making Whiskey
This Still is typical of one on a family farm. Cracked corn, yeast, sugar, and water were put into a wooden barrel to ferment. The solids were removed, and the liquid was poured into the (1) kettle and heated over a (2) wood fire. Because alcohol . . . Map (db m80123) HM
23Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Preparing the HearthCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
This is a hearth—one of many sites in the park where a collier burned wood to make charcoal. Notice the blackened soil. The collier first cleared a level area 30 to 40 feet in diameter. Each time he used the hearth the collier raked the dirt . . . Map (db m121155) HM
24Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 5 — Resources: Use—Reuse—Recycle
Notice the rich forest around you. The volume of wood needed for fuel meant that during the operation of Catoctin Furnace parts of this forest looked very different from today. If you traveled up into the mountain, you would find evidence of collier . . . Map (db m184502) HM
25Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Second Growth Forest
· Tree age: 100 years old, or less · Dominant tree types: Oak and hickory The Benefits of Trees Prior to the area being protected the 1930s, trees were routinely cut for farming, timbering and to make charcoal for the Catoctin Iron Furnace. As . . . Map (db m98721) HM
26Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 2 — Second Growth Forest
Look about you and notice the trees. How old are the trees in the park? Most of the trees on the mountain are less than 100 years old. The iron furnace used charcoal as a heat source. Wood made into charcoal was the only energy source known at that . . . Map (db m184609) HM
27Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Signs of the PastCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
The dark soil indicates that this flat area was once the site of a charcoal hearth. So far, more than 140 hearth sites have been discovered within Catoctin Mountain Park. Others remain hidden amid grasses, trees, and other plants that have reclaimed . . . Map (db m121160) HM
28Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — The Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock
Creed of the Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock We Who Love Angling, in order that it may enjoy practice and reward in the later generations, mutually move together towards a common goal – the conservation and restoration of American game . . . Map (db m81790) HM
29Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — The Return of NamesCatoctin Furnace African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail
“A Person is not forgotten until his or her name is forgotten.”
In reading these names, you ensure enslaved workers at Catoctin Furnace are not Forgotten. Lucy • Elizabeth • Jack • Jaines • Milly • Unknown • . . . Map (db m184856) HM
30Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 3 — The Watchful EyeCatoctin African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail
"This is, indeed, gross ingratitude…It would be a serious loss to me, if they would leave for Pennsylvania." —John McPherson Brien, 1848, owner of Antietam Ironworks, Catoctin Furnace, and more than 60 enslaved men, women, and . . . Map (db m184331) HM
31Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — ThurmontFormerly Mechanicstown — Gettysburg Campaign —
On June 29, 1863, Mechanicstown was full of the noise of an army on the move as Union Gen. John F. Reynolds marched I Corps to Emmitsburg. Until then, residents had only heard rumors of the advancing Confederates as nervous farmers hurried horses . . . Map (db m203036) HM
32Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — ThurmontFormerly Mechanicstown — Gettysburg Campaign —
On June 29, 1863, Mechanicstown was full of the noise of an army on the move as Union Gen. John F. Reynolds marched I Corps to Emmitsburg. Until then, residents had only heard rumors of the advancing Confederates as nervous farmers hurried horses . . . Map (db m203039) HM
33Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Thurmont Attractions
Approximately 100 covered bridges have existed in Maryland during the past 200 years, but only 6 remain with 3 of them in northern Frederick County. Two of these bridges are in close proximity to the town of Thurmont. Shown on the right is Roddy . . . Map (db m131818) HM
34Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Thurmont Memorial Park
Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of this community who have served their country. In memory of the unknown veterans who gave their all in the service of their country. Established by the Town of Thurmont with the help . . . Map (db m14030) WM
35Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Thurmont Rail History — The End of an Era
The Western Maryland Railroad first reached Thurmont (then Mechanicstown) in 1871 and stopped in our town until 1967 when the depot (shown in upper left corner of mural) was closed and demolished. The H&F Railway (trolley system) traveled . . . Map (db m131817) HM
36Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — To the Unknown DeadCo. D 6th Maryland Infantry
To the Unknown Dead 1861 - 1865 Memorial to J. [James] Edward Heffner Member Co. D 6th Md. Inf. Erected by his wife.Map (db m14027) HM
37Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — 6 — Who Built this Village?Catoctin Furnace African American Cemetery Interpretive Trail
Some workers boarded1 others in their homes. In 1864, the rate for board was 12.5¢ for each meal. Single workers could also find housing in several nearby Boarding Houses. Using scrip2 in . . . Map (db m184593) HM
38Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Wood Hauler's SledCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Using a pair of horses or mules, wood haulers moved half a cord at a time on rustic sleds like this one to the charcoal hearths. They unloaded the four-foot logs and stacked them on both sides of the sled. They then circled back on the coaling road . . . Map (db m121153) HM
39Maryland (Frederick County), Thurmont — Wood—the Essential IngredientCatoctin Mountain Park — National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Forests are constantly changing, and in this woodland humans once played a major role in the process. The figures were staggering. During the Catoctin Iron Furnace's peak years from 1859 to 1885, more than 300 woodcutters cleared chestnuts, oaks, . . . Map (db m121151) HM
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Nov. 27, 2022