Life, Labor and Liberty: The African American Experience in Frederick County

Three Days and Two Nights

Become acquainted with over two centuries of African American heritage in Frederick County.

Day One

Catoctin Furnace | Museum of the Iron Worker 
Thurmont is the site of the Catoctin Iron Furnace. Opened in 1776, the Furnace reportedly made cannon balls for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Many of the enslaved people at Furnace in 18th century were skilled African metal workers. The newly opened Museum of the Iron Worker and interpretative trails tell their stories. Catoctin Furnace is designated as an official site on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Allow 1.5 hours.

Springfield Manor Winery Brewery Distillery
Tour and taste locally crafted beverages at this establishment, named for the artisan springs and limestone terroir. The picturesque mountains, serene woodlands and scenic vistas create products and experiences only a historic estate can offer. Allow 1.5 hours.

Frederick Keys
Visit Harry Grove Stadium and cheer on the hometown baseball team, Frederick Keys, an MLB Draft League club. Season runs from June-September. Allow 3 hours.

Day Two

Downtown Frederick Black History Walking Tour
Experience a self-guided walking tour of All Saints Street, a center of African American commerce, religious life and entertainment in the early 1900s. This thoroughfare appears much as it did when services from banking and medical care to home-based grocery stores, beauty parlors and restaurants fanned out onto the sidewalks. Allow 1.5 hours.

Museum of Frederick County History
The Museum of Frederick County History is located in an 1820's Federal-style mansion that maintains a unique collection of furnishings, art and memorabilia from Frederick's past. Allow 1 hour.

National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Tour the National Museum of Civil War Medicine to hear about the story of care and treatment of the wounded during the Civil War. 7,000 square feet of life-like exhibits tell the story of courage and devotion amidst the death and destruction of war. Museum tells the story of African American caregivers, nurses, and doctors who played crucial roles during the war. Group space available to have boxed luncheon before or after tour. Allow 1.5 hours. 

Pistarro's Ristorante 
Enjoy an abundance of options for your group with pizza, pastas and salads.  Large private dining space available. Allow 1.5 hours.

Day Three

Monocacy National Battlefield
On July 9, 1864, Union General Lew Wallace’s greatly outnumbered troops, many of whom were untried in battle, were defeated by Confederate forces led by General Jubal Early. The Visitor Center tells the story about the “battle that saved Washington”. Monocacy National Battlefield is also the site of L’Hermitage, the largest known enslaved habitation site in the mid-Atlantic region. Allow 1 hour.

Brunswick Railroad Museum/C&O Canal Visitor Center
Where interactive exhibits and a guided tour bring to life the labors of African Americans who built and worked on the B&O Railroad and C&O Canal throughout the nineteenth century. Particular emphasis is given to Brunswick's boomtown experience at the turn of the century. A living history presentation will introduce you to one of the local African American women associated with railroad life. Allow 1 hour.

Beans in the Belfry Meeting Place and Cafe
An award winning destination cafe located in a century old historic, restored church building in downtown Brunswick. Sit in the comfortably furnished room, in the filtered light from stained glass windows, and enjoy finest espresso drinks, all day breakfast, light meals, and local craft beer, fine wine, artisan hard cider and flavored mead from the valley. Allow 1.5 hours.

Harpers Ferry
The historic town of Harpers Ferry is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.  Learn about John Brown’s raid on the Federal armory in 1859 and its role in the Civil War. Visit Storer College, a historically black college that is now a training facility for the National Park Service. Frederick Douglass served as a trustee of Storer College, and delivered a memorable oration on the subject of John Brown here in 1881. Allow 2.5 hours.

For further information, please contact: Becky Bickerton, (800) 999-3613 or 301-600-4050 or e-mail at