Follow in the Footsteps of a Solider, Settler, and Saint in Frederick County
You can put a dozen history lovers in the same room and they all likely have different preferences on how they enjoy diving into the past. The variety of unique museums, historic buildings, and interactive attractions in Frederick County allow for endless opportunities to experience history your way.
Whose footsteps will you follow on your journey into the past?
Follow in the Footsteps of a Soldier
The Civil War touched all parts of Frederick County. Follow our Civil War Trails, which will lead you to some unexpected surprises, or go sleuthing on our Civil War geocaching trail.
Experience a Civil-War era church service at Historic Rocky Springs Chapel, where your fellow parishioners may be decked out in hoop skirts and bonnets!
A road trip on the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Scenic Byway will trace the routes marched by both Union and Confederates troops, while winding you past farmers markets, wineries, and picturesque farms as it travels north to Gettysburg.
Follow in the Footsteps of a Settler
Immigrants pushing west from eastern ports found their way to Frederick County by 1745. Schifferstadt Architectural Museum perfectly captures the experience of early settlers to the area, predominantly German farmers, as they built their homes and lives on Frederick’s fertile soil. The Museum’s heritage garden boasts a variety of heirloom species that will delight any plant lover and connects right to Frederick’s stunning Baker Park.
Travel the same paths as western-bound settlers who passed through Frederick on the National Road, C&O Canal, and B&O Railroad, and soak in the varied architecture of our small towns that preserve the historic homes, businesses, and places of worship of early pioneers.
Follow in the Footsteps of a Saint
America’s first native-born saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, made her home in Frederick County. Immerse yourself in her life and legacy at the National Shrine of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, which includes her original Emmitsburg home, an awe-inspiring Basilica, and a museum that details Mother Seton’s journey to sainthood, as well as the brave nursing the Sisters of Charity performed on local Civil War battlefields.
After mass at the National Shrine, visit the nearby National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. A reflective place of worship that draws pilgrims from around the world, believers can meditate at the Grotto Cave before sipping from a natural spring of holy water.
While You’re in the Area
Head to downtown Frederick for shopping and dining or book a stay at Ole Mink Farm in Thurmont for a quiet weekend escape.
A version of this article originally appeared in the Official Visitor’s Guide for Frederick County.
Lead Photo: Historic Rocky Springs Chapel & School House
About the Author
Heidi Glatfelter Schlag is a marketer, history lover, and budding photographer who loves exploring museums, parks, small towns, and farms. She lives in Frederick, MD, with her husband and two dogs, and can be found on Twitter @heidigschlag.