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.
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 slave habitation site in the mid-Atlantic region.
Thurmont is the site of the Catoctin Iron Furnace. Production at the two furnaces was never interrupted during the Civil War, despite troops moving in the area very close by. Iron produced here was used in the manufacturing of ironclad ships like USS Monitor. Catoctin Furnace is designated as an official site on the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
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.
Visit Harry Grove Stadium and cheer on the hometown baseball team, Frederick Keys, a class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Season runs from April-September.
African American Heritage Sites
Experience a 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.
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.
Roger Brooke Taney House
Taney owned this building between 1815 and 1823. The structure is a rare survival in that it is a modest town dwelling with intact dependencies, including slave quarters. The site offers a window into the lives of both free and enslaved African-Americans as well as slaveholding and non-slaveholding whites.
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.
The charming town of Harpers Ferry is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Learn about John Brown’s historic raid on the armory in 1859 and its role in the Civil War. Visit Storer College, a historically black school that is now a training facility for the 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.
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