December 1, 2014

Contact:  Bridgette Bassler, Chair, Museums by Candlelight Committee, 301-447-6606, 


Step Back in Time and Experience Winter Traditions Throughout Frederick County During Museums By Candlelight

Frederick, Maryland
- On Saturday December, 13, 2014,  Museums by Candlelight will offer free holiday-themed programs at 19 museums and historic sites throughout Frederick County, Maryland. The event features the best of the winter season as it was enjoyed throughout the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors can enjoy period demonstrations, living history vignettes, hands-on crafts, refreshments, tours, music, holiday decorations against a historic backdrop by candlelight as night falls.

The Museums by Candlelight program offers visitors the chance to explore sites by region and to visit as many or few locations as they want on this self-guided tour.  Sites of special interest in 2014 include:

  • Rose Hill Manor Park and Museum – Learn about the foodways of enslaved African-Americans on Rose Hill Farm during a special 3 p.m. presentation by Michael Twitty.
  • Maryland Room, C. Burr Artz Public Library - See special traveling exhibit from the Maryland Museum of Military History, “When Freemen Shall Stand,” about the War of 1812. Also, chat with local authors from noon until 4 p.m.
  • Key Memorial Chapel - Learn about Frederick’s native son Francis Scott Key through interpretive wayside exhibits. Pay homage to the man who, 200 years ago, penned the words that later became our national anthem. Visit the Key grave and monument (best viewed in daylight hours).

Frederick County’s numerous historic sites and museums provide visitors with a living reminder of this area's splendid past. During Museums by Candlelight, special programming and hands-on fun will delight visitors of all ages, and special children's activities are featured at most locations.

This is a self-guided event.  Visit many locations, or just a few, in any order.  Enjoy period demonstrations, living history vignettes, hands-on crafts, refreshments, tours, music, holiday decorations and historic settings by candlelight as night falls. 

Nineteen museums are participating during the 2014 Museums by Candlelight program. All programs begin at noon. Unless otherwise noted in the detailed listings below, the City of Frederick sites will remain open until 7 p.m., while most other sites will conclude programs at 5 p.m.   Please be sure to check the program details for each site.

Participants and details about each location’s Museums by Candlelight program are listed below. For visitor convenience, participants are listed below by the following regions:

Northern Frederick County (Thurmont and Emmitsburg)
Western Frederick County (Middletown Area)
Southern Frederick County (Brunswick, Burkittsville, Monocacy Battlefield area)
City of Frederick

Museums by Candlelight is hosted by the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium with support from Plamondon Hospitality Partners and The Frederick-News Post.

More Information

For more information and a list of participating sites, download the event brochure as a PDF. You are also welcome to stop by the Frederick Visitor Center for an event brochure. The Visitor Center is located at 151 South East Street in Frederick, Maryland, or call 301-600-4047 or 800-999-3613 for more details.

Inclement Weather Policy
Cancellation of Museums by Candlelight will not occur unless the Maryland State Police (MSP) declare that the Snow Emergency Plan is in effect for Frederick County. If this happens, the entire event will be cancelled.  Isolated circumstances can warrant individual museum cancellations.  A power outage, burst pipes, or roads that have not been cleared, may be reasons for a last minute museum cancellation. If in doubt, contact museums individually prior to visiting.

NORTHERN FREDERICK COUNTY (programs close at 5 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
339 S. Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg
Extended hours - 10 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

  • Seton Shrine and Gift Shop hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Open houses of historic homes from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Carols by Candlelight, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.; holiday concert performance by area church choirs who will lead the audience in carols by candlelight, readings, and fellowship.
  • Sidewalk Luminaries, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.; approximately 800-1000 luminaries will be on display throughout the Shrine grounds.
  • A take-home holiday craft and refreshments will be available.

Frederick County Fire and Rescue Museum
300B S. Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg

  • Enjoy guided tours of the museum.
  • North Pole fireman Santa will be at the museum!

Thurmont Historical Society                                
11 N. Church Street, Thurmont, MD

  • See the Creeger House, the historic home that houses the Society’s research library, offices, archives and displays, beautifully arrayed for the holiday season.
  • Visit with Santa Claus!
  • Enjoy holiday refreshments.

Catoctin Furnace Historical Society
12607 Catoctin Hollow Road, Thurmont

  • See the circa 1810 Collier's Log House in the Village of Catoctin Furnace.  The double log house, which is the linchpin of the largely intact colonial industrial village, was restored during the Bicentennial era.  
  • Learn about the early industry, lifeways and foodways of Catoctin Furnace and northern Frederick County in an early nineteenth century atmosphere, including open hearth cooking demonstrations.
  • Find out about plans to celebrate, study, and preserve the rich history of this pre-revolutionary industrial village
  • Enjoy baked goods from traditional village recipes and traditional village crafts. 
  • Design and purchase a holiday wreath with fresh greenery, holly, pine cones, ribbon and bows and other adornments – crafted for you by volunteers while you wait.    
  • Children will be given a village coloring book with historical information and puzzles and make a holiday card.    

WESTERN FREDERICK COUNTY (program closes at 5 p.m.)

Middletown Valley Historical Society
Main Street, Middletown   

  • Visit the only visible stone house in the oldest section of Middletown and museum.
  • View a display of Christmas themed needlework items by local crafters.                         

SOUTHERN FREDERICK COUNTY (programs close at 5 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

South Mountain Heritage Society
3 East Main Street, Burkittsville
Extended hours -  12 noon until 7 p.m.

  • Take a guided tour of the historic Resurrection Reformed Church used as a field hospital following the Battle of South Mountain.
  • Experience the unique heritage of Burkittsville and enjoy the church decorated in period trimmings.
  • Children are invited to make a Christmas ornament to take home.
  • Enjoy a special demonstration of the historic 1862 Pomplitz and Rodewald Pipe Organ every hour.
  • Refreshments will be available.

Brunswick Heritage Museum and C&O Canal NHP Visitor Center      
40 West Potomac Street, Brunswick

  • Make your own Victorian Christmas Cornucopia.
  • Sample an authentic Christmas Cake.

Monocacy National Battlefield 
5201 Urbana Pike, Frederick

  • Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season at Monocacy National Battlefield.
  • View traditional period decorations that will deck the halls of the historic Thomas House.
  • Create a special keepsake ornament.

St. Joseph's on Carrollton Manor
5843 Manor Woods Road, Frederick

  • Visit and learn about patron Charles Carroll of Carrollton and 200 years of Frederick County history that includes Irish roots and Catholic heritage.
  • Discover African American craftsmanship and how Carroll’s land holdings in Frederick influenced American history and westward expansion.
  • Tour three buildings open to the public.

CITY OF FREDERICK (programs close at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Rose Hill Manor Park and Museum
1611 N. Market Street, Frederick

  • Visit Rose Hill Manor for a look at Holidays on the Farm. 
  • Discover how holiday traditions were celebrated by farming families in Frederick County from the early 1700s through the 1950s.
  • Enjoy a special presentation by Michael Twitty on the foodways of enslaved African-Americans on Rose Hill Farm at 3 p.m.

Schifferstadt Architectural Museum
1110 Rosemont Avenue, Frederick (at the Route 15 Exit to Rosemont Avenue)

  • Visit one of Frederick's oldest historical houses and enjoy a festive holiday atmosphere.
  • The 18th century German farmhouse will be adorned in simple yet natural Christmas decorations.
  • Learn about Frederick's early history in a unique, cozy holiday setting.

The Visitation Academy
200 E. Church Street, Frederick 

  • Enjoy historic tours of the campus, including the monastery and Chapel.
  • Take part in period activities and dress-up for children.

Museum of Frederick County History
24 E. Church Street, Frederick        

  • Enjoy the dazzling "Festival of Trees," decorated by schools and organizations in the community. (There's a suggested donation to vote for your favorite.)
  • Enjoy free holiday crafts for children throughout the afternoon and evening.
  • Santa Claus will visit with children and take photos from 1-4 p.m.

National Museum of Civil War Medicine  
48 East Patrick Street, Frederick     

  • Stop in for an evening of history and holiday spirit.
  • Living historians will be on-site portraying surgeons of the Union and Confederate armies.
  • Stroll through the galleries and enjoy talking with docents or enjoy period music.
  • Children can make 19th century crafts to take home.
  • Members of the Piecemaker Quilters will also be on hand demonstrating traditional hand-quilting.
  • Santa Claus will pay a visit dressed in his original Civil War uniform.

Maryland Room, C. Burr Artz Public Library        
110 East Patrick Street, Frederick
(Open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.)

  • View an assortment of exhibits on the first floor and at the Maryland Room:
    • “Honoring Frederick County Veterans”-- a series of displays highlighting citizens of Frederick who served in four twentieth-century conflicts -- the Pancho Villa Expedition, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.   
    • “When Freemen Shall Stand” a traveling exhibit about the War of 1812 from the Maryland Museum of Military History Lobby and in the Maryland Room.
    • “The National Road” curated by the Maryland National Road Association.
    • “Through the Lens” Photographic exhibit using the theme of home, sponsored by One Maryland, One Book.
  • Enjoy a collection of model trains operating in the C. Burr Artz Trust Room for the day.
  • Hear holiday music on the harp and flugelhorn (1- 2 p.m.)
  • Chat with writers from noon until 4 p.m. at the annual Local Author Showcase featuring regional authors and their books. Authors include: Bruce R. Gourley: "Ephemera: The Civil War Papers of Private James Bruckner"; Bob O'Connor: "The Life of Abraham Lincoln as President" and "The U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison"; Walton Stowell: "Hopper's Furry Tale"; Jim Rada: ”Echoes of War Drums” and “Beyond the Battlefield:”; Sally Sites Thomas ”The Ties of the Past, The Gettysburg Diaries of Salome Myers Stewart” and Eileen Conklin “Exile to Sweet Dixie: The Story of Euphemia Goldsborough, Confederate Nurse & Smuggler”, “Women at Gettysburg 1863, Revisited” and “Journal of Women's Civil War History. Volume 2.”

Steiner House
368 West Patrick Street, Frederick

  • Experience this historic house, beautifully appointed for the holiday.
  • See a festive model train display.
  • Make a craft to take home.
  • Enjoy live music.

Barbara Fritchie House and Museum
154 W. Patrick Street, Frederick

  • Tour the house and view some of Barbara's most important possessions.
  • Read the poem that made Barbara and Frederick famous.
  • Learn why the poem caused so much controversy, which still continues today.
  • Enjoy a piece of birthday cake as we celebrate Barbara’s 248th birthday (December 3).
  • Children may color a picture of the famous Barbara Fritchie House and select a candy cane before leaving.

Roger Brooke Taney House
121 South Bentz Street, Frederick

  • Celebrate an 1820 Christmas through holiday décor, traditions, and seasonal foods.   
  • Enjoy a self guided tour of the museum.
  • See a hearth-cooking demonstration featuring the sights and aromas of Christmas sweets and drinks.  
  • Take part in holiday crafts.
  • Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa and Christmas treats.

Key Memorial Chapel            
Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 515 S. Market Street, Frederick

  • See Mt. Olivet Cemetery’s historic chapel, including the original Tiffany windows installed by Rudy Brothers of New York in 1911.  
  • Learn about Francis Scott Key through interpretive wayside exhibits, near Key’s gravesite and monument (best viewed in daylight hours).
  • View exquisite works by local artist Colleen Remsberg, including a hand-painted nativity scene and hand-painted “smokers” burning incense.

More Information
For more information and a list of participating sites, visit, download the brochure (PDF). You are also welcome to stop by the Frederick Visitor Center for an event brochure at 151 South East Street in Frederick, Maryland, or call 301-600-4047 or 800-999-3613 for more details.