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Follow in the Footsteps of a Solider, Settler, and Saint in Frederick County

Follow in the Footsteps of a Solider, Settler, and Saint in Frederick County

Historic Rocky Springs Chapel & School House

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.

People in a chapel
Photo Credit: Historic Rocky Springs Chapel & School House

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!

Landmark reading plaque at Catoctin Breeze Vineyard
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area

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.

Photo Credit: Frederick County Landmarks Foundation

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.

The Seton Shrine
Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, MD.

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 Schlag

Heidi Glatfelter Schlag is a marketer, history lover, and traveler who can often be found exploring museums, parks, small towns, and farms. She founded Culture-Link Communications, where she helps local nonprofits and small businesses build their brands. Heidi lives in Frederick, MD, with her husband and two dogs.

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