Exploring Frederick's Native American History


Frederick’s Native American History
This segment of the Frederick Visitor Center's orientation film, A Turn of the Wheel, begins with the area's history of ancient travelers. It underscores the fact that Frederick County's heritage began far earlier than its founding date of 1748 as native aboriginal peoples probably called this area home from at least 10,000 years ago.  Migrations of various peoples following the seasons and wildlife for food travelled the area for thousands of years.  After white settlement began, more pressure was put on the Native American peoples and migration north and west away from the earliest settlements greatly increased.  Generally the migrants preferred areas along the major waterways.

The colony of Maryland began with the landing of the Calvert expedition in 1634.  Throughout the latter part of the 17th century, Europeans and Native peoples would live within each other’s reach, however the colonists preferred to live along the Chesapeake and major waterways, while the native tribes would eventually seek the interior regions for refuge. A few historic era tribes are known to have had permanent settlement sites within the howling wilderness of the Monocacy and Potomac River Valleys. One such tribe were the Tuscarora, who migrated here from the Carolinas after 1713 and lived adjacent  to the Potomac River.