Boonsboro, Maryland Walking Tour

Walking/Driving tour of sites of historical interest

Boonsboro, Maryland Walking Tour

Boonsboro, Maryland 21713, United States

Created By: Kristin Bowl

Tour Information

This walking tour of Boonsboro, Maryland was created on behalf of the Boonsboro Historical Society.

Walking tour stops 1-34 are located within downtown Boonsboro. Stops 35-38 are worthy of touring, but a farther distance. All within 3 miles of downtown Boonsboro, but will likely require travel by car.

A brief history of Boonsboro:

1725- Settlers were moving through the area on the “Conestoga Path” on their way to Virginia in an effort to get families to settle Western Maryland. Lord Baltimore began offering grants to settlers. In 1738 Captain George Beale patterned 100 acres which includes present dayBoonsboro.

1755- General Braddock and his army, accompanied by George Washington, passed through this area on their way to battle the French and Indians at Fort Duquesque. After their defeat most of the population was forced to leave the area because of Indian attacks.

1792- William Boone, with help from his brother George, established the town and sold the first of 44 lots. A post office was opened in 1801, and by 1803 there were
24 houses. The 1820 census shows a population of 395 whites, 7 free blacks, and 26 slaves.

1810- An all-weather road was completed from Baltimore to Boonsboro, bringing rapid growth and prosperity to the area. The National Pike passed down Main Street. Many businesses were established to service the flourishing traffic. By 1830 the population had grownto 707.

1823- The first macadam road in the United States stretched from Boonsboro to Hagerstown.

1827- On July 4th, the citizens of Boonsboro erected and dedicated the first monument in the nation to George Washington.

1831- Boonsboro became incorporated and held the first town election. Jonathan Shafer was elected as the first burgess (mayor).

1902- The Hagerstown-Frederick Electric Railroad Company began trolley service through Boonsboro. The station closed in 1938.

1939- Shafer Park was dedicated after being built during the Depression by the Work Progress Administration.

Tour created by Skipjack Web Servcies

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

1 North Main St.- Eagle Hotel: The front part of this building was probably erected about 1796. It was the first stone building in Boonsboro, and one of the first five established sites. Built by Peter Conn and operated by him as the ... Read more
This is possibly the site of the first house in Boonsboro. An earlier structure was recorded as one of five houses existing when Christian Dagenhart arrived in 1796. The present building was built in 1828 as a store. In 1847, the Mas... Read more
19 North Main St.- Bank: This buff brick Colonial Revival style structure was erected in 1905 or 1906 as the Boonsboro Bank. The Boonsboro Library was housed here from 1975-2008. It currentlyserves as the Town Hall Annex.
33 North Main St.- Dr. Edgar T. Smith: In the late 1880’s, this Queen Anne Victorian Era style home was built with beautiful detail by Dr. Edgar T. Smith, a Boonsboro physician. The Smith family was Irish Catholic and provided most of th... Read more
103 North Main St.- Hamilton/Brining House: This log house was built circa 1794 and is situated over a spring. William Hamilton, Governor of Maryland from 1880-1884, spent his early years here. At a later date, John C. Brining purchase... Read more
109 North Main St.- Bast Furniture: Until 2011, Bast of Boonsboro was the oldest continually operating retail furniture store in Maryland. It began as Brining’s Cabinet Shop in 1837. The original log structure was replaced by the pre... Read more
113 North Main St.- Boonsborough Museum of History: In 1809, the original house on this site was used as the second post office in Boonsboro. The present Victorian structure was built about 1882. It houses the Boonsborough Museum of H... Read more
121 North Main St.- Welty House: This is one of the earlier houses in Boonsboro. It was the home of John B. Welty who made coverlets which are much in demand today.
St. James Catholic Church, 121 N. Main St: The founding of St. James is unique in that it was sponsored by the Smith family- Dr. Otho J. Smith, his brother Dr. Josiah Smith, and his son Otho B. Smith who bought land on the National Pike a... Read more
323 North Main St.- Bowman House: The Bowman House was built in 1826. It is typical of the log houses built in Western Maryland during the first half of the nineteenth century. It was purchased by John Bowman after he was mustered out... Read more
5 Stouffer Avenue- Lakin Farmhouse: Constructed in 1769, the Lakin Farmhouse is the oldest extant structure in Boonsboro. The original builder of the stone and log structure is believed to have been Robert Turner (Turner’s Gap). By 1... Read more
220 North Main St.- Trolley Station: The Hagerstown-Frederick Electric Railway Company operated a trolley station through Boonsboro from 1902 until 1938. The site included a lumber shed, a freight house, a coal shed, and an office. Over... Read more
214 North Main St.- National Road Museum: The National Road Museum honors the nation’s first federal highway system, which was built with the intention to expand and populate America’s untamed west. Winding its way directly through... Read more
114/116 North Main St.- Bast Homestead: As was typical of the time, the buyer would divide his lot into two properties, building his house on one and selling the other. The original cabins were 1-1/2 stories but later raised to two st... Read more
102 North Main St.- Shafer Tannery: In the early part of the nineteenth century, Jonathan Shafer had a large tannery at this location. The left side of the building was used as an office and the land behind was the site of the tannery.... Read more
44 North Main St.: This was one of the buildings present in 1796. This site may have been the Boone store. It began as a one story structure and remained in the Boone family until 1812. It was raised to two stories when converted to a ... Read more
42 North Main St.: When the Boones laid out the town in 1792, they retained ownership of a spring located under this present structure, which for many years served as the town’s primary water source. Originally this house set further... Read more
32 North Main St.- Otho J. Smith/Dr. John Gaines: This fine stone house was built circa 1810. After the Battle of Antietam, Dr. John Gaines, a Confederate surgeon, was left in charge of the wounded Confederates. While performing his as... Read more
4 North Main St.- Stonebraker Building: It was built in 1821, and at one time housed the highest volume stores in Western Maryland. Scharf, in his History of Western Maryland, reports by 1831 Boonsboro had grown to be an important trad... Read more
27 Potomac St.- Bomberger House: This brick structure built in the Greek Revival style in the midnineteenth century served as the parsonage for the Reformed Church next door. The house later became the private residence of Richard Bomb... Read more
33 Potomac St.- Trinity Reformed Church (Salem): The congregation of Salem Church was established many years before the founding of the town. It met as early as 1750 in a log schoolhouse located half a mile from the town off the present Rou... Read more
Old Salem Graveyard/Boone Gravesite: Located behind the Old Salem Church, this cemetery dates to 1802 when the church was planned. Many of the early citizens of the town are buried here. Most notable are town founders William and Susan... Read more
Potomac Street: (formerly known as Church Street) Midway down the first block on the left (exact house unknown) lived two brothers who fought on opposite sides during the Battle of Antietam- Jacob Heck (Confederate) and John Heck (Union)... Read more
24 Potomac St.- Dr. Wheeler House: This Victorian style house was built in 1880 and was the residence of Dr. W.C. Wheeler. The house to the right was where Dr. Wheeler’s driver lived. This structure was used until 1860 by John Stones... Read more
2 South Main St.- U.S. Hotel: The U.S. Hotel was built in 1811 on the site of Mrs. Short’s earlier log store. Dr. Slifer used it originally as a residence and later as a female seminary. During the Civil War, it operated as the U.S. ... Read more
14 South Main St.- old grocery: One of the oldest log buildings in town was operated as a grocery in 1802. In 1910, it was owned by Dr. S.S. Davis, who had a drug store in the small addition. The original logs are exposed. It was opera... Read more
64 South Main St.- Trinity Lutheran Church:  Lutherans were among the first settlers in Boonsboro, worshipping at Ringer’s Church (Peter Ringer’s homestead) beginning in 1750. In 1812, the Lutheran and Reformed congregations jointly us... Read more
134 South Main St.- Mt. Nebo Methodist Church: Mt.Nebo can trace its history back to a log building outside the town limits where worship was held as early as 1750. However, 1832 is the date of organization generally given. In 1832, the... Read more
141 South Main St.- Lilacs of Rose Hill: The southernmost of these two similar buildings was built circa 1809 as a private residence by Dr. Ezra Slifer, which he named “Lilacs”. Since the hill was covered at that time with wild ros... Read more
27 South Main St.- Odd Fellows Hall: This large brick building was erected by the International Order of Odd Fellows in 1852. Meetings were held on the second floor. The main floor housed several businesses- at one time a meat market wa... Read more
5-7 South Main St.- Cast Iron Building: In the first decade of the 1900’s, an ornamental cast iron façade was attached to this building, a representation of a fashion of the late Victorian period. This building has housed an empori... Read more
14 Saint Paul St.- First Christian Church: (Disciples Church) Constructed in 1860, the principal exterior architectural feature is a deep two story Colonial Revival portico. It was available for use as a hospital during the Battles of So... Read more
40 Saint Paul St.- Weldon: This home is called Weldon after the original land grant “Well Done”. It was probably built by the Weast family who acquired the property in 1806. In 1876 it became the home of the Bomberger family. Harv... Read more
9 Saint Paul St.- Red Men’s Hall: This structure was built in 1828 as a Methodist church and served as a hospital during the Civil War. It was purchased by the Red Men’s Lodge in 1909, and another floor was added for meetings. The ... Read more
The date when this colonial inn at Turner’s Gap at the top of South Mountain was built has not been determined, although it did exist during the Revolutionary War. Since it is located at the intersection of the Appalachian Trail and t... Read more
This Gothic revival stone chapel was built in 1881 for Madeleine V. Dahlgren, daughter of Congressman Samuel F. Vinton and wife of Admiral John A. Dahlgren. Most of the building materials came from the immediate area, but the marble alta... Read more
Washington Monument  - 6620 Zittlestown Rd, Middletown, MD 21769 - On July 4, 1827, the citizens of Boonsboro gathered to erect the first monument in the nation to George Washington. By the end of the day the structure had a circular b... Read more
Crystal Grotto- 19821 Shepherdstown Pike, Boonsboro: Crystal Grottoes Caverns were founded in 1920 when the State Road Commission was quarrying limestone to build up and pave State Route 34. The caverns opened to the public in 1922 and h... Read more


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