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Welcome to the Washington County Historical Society

See Miller House and Beaver Creek School for museum days/hours of operation and tour arrangements. Also, see our Kinship Family Heritage Research Center.

Notable Preservation Efforts

Fort Frederick State Park sits on MD State Route 56, accessed at Exit 12 from Interstate 70. Here one finds a massive stone fort of the French and Indian Wars. Built in 1756, the fort preservation became the first project of the Washington County Historical Society, with intense advocacy, beginning in 1912 through 1922, for Maryland to take over the grounds. This successful effort created a forest preserve and protected a unique site from very early American history.

click for larger image
click for larger image
The first completed monument dedicated to George Washington, located at the top of South Mountain in Washington County, suffered through several rough periods. Dedicated on July 4, 1827, the monument fell into ruins and then was rebuilt in 1882. Further destruction, possibly a lightning strike, later put the monument again into ruins. The Washington County Historical Society, led by Harvey Bomberger, gained deeds from various landowners to secure the site of the monument and one acre surrounding . This they deeded to the Maryland Forestry Board on January 11, 1934.
Washington County, Maryland, boasts of many well-engineered, stone-arch bridges. Among those, the most well-known may be the Burnside Bridge, where major action of the Battle of Antietam took place in September 1862. This site was preserved by the Washington County Historical Society through purchase of the farmland surrounding it and then deeding it to the National Park Service.
click for larger image
click for larger image
The same effort was afforded to a little church, nearly destroyed by arms and cannon fire during this same conflict. This small structure is the Dunker Church. A wall sconce from the church is housed in the WCHS Collection.
Jonathan Hager, the founder of Hagerstown, county seat to Washington County, Maryland, built a stone house over a spring. Here he and his family could withstand the elements and siege from any number of possible risks of frontier life in 1739 Through the preservation and restoration efforts of WCHS, this house was rescued (1944) and later deeded to the City of Hagerstown (1954), which continued the restoration and has surrounded it as a part of its beautiful City Park. The interior is furnished largely from the WCHS collection.
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Headquarters, archives and genealogical library of WCHS is housed in the Miller House lower floor. The house above was built in 1825 by Samuel Price, sold by Price in 1844 to a fellow attorney Alexander Neill and was occupied by several generations of the Neills. The Millers acquired the house in 1912 and gifted it to the Society in 1965. Restoration and maintenance of the house, its vast collection and formal garden keeps society members and staff busy. The house is open for tours, WCHS events and is available for rent on approval.

An additional museum was added to the WCHS holdings in 1971. The Beaver Creek School, built in 1904 and used until 1961, exhibits interpret education in a two-room school and houses photos of many early schoolhouses throughout the county. Other exhibits include turn-of-the century tools, hats, clothing and musical instruments. This building is open for tours by appointment.

Organizations we belong to:

American Alliance
of Museums

American Associations of State and Local History

Maryland Convention and Visitors Buraeu

Maryland Association of Non-Profit Organizations
& the Washington County Association of Museums and Historic Sites