Monday, June 24, 2013

Ellicott City to Hagerstown

Monday June 24, 2013

Up feeling like ourselves again! After breakfast and breaking camp we reviewed our plan for today. We planned to continue on the National Road through Frederick with visits to see the home of one of Jane’s relatives, visit Monocay National Battlefield and Antietam National Battlefield, and then  head to a KOA campground near Hagarstown. The day went pretty much as planned.

Primarily we are following MD Route 144 and/or US 40. They follow the old route of the National Road also known as the Old Pike. I 70 is also usually a little to the north. In fact often one or the other is within sight of the National Road. It is interesting as we see the old homes that were probably originals in the 1800’s right up along the road – there are beautiful farms with homes set back on hills, and then there are modern housing developments interspersed along the way. Some of the old buildings have been repurposed but many still seem to be homes and even a few remain as inns. There seems to be a small village about every 10-15 miles which would have been the distance traveled in a day. Back in the day – the inns had large barns behind them to care for the horses. Each stage line had certain inns that they tended to frequent and all the drivers and inn keepers knew each other.



Somewhere along the way we got on a wrong road and drove about 12 miles out of the way but found our way back. In Frederick we found Rose Hill a large manor house that was the home of Thomas Johnson who was uncle to Jane’s great great grandmother Ann Johnson Nesmith. Thomas Johnson was the first Governor of MD and evidently a wealthy man from the looks of the home. It is now a children’s museum and we did not visit. We did drive through Frederick a very well preserved town. Jane had hoped to visit the historical society for some documents but alas – closed on Monday. One interesting sign along the road was a small metal sign of a man on  horseback – Jane was just able to make out the words – George Washington traveled this road. Sure wish I could have gotten a photo.


Rose Hill in Frederick MD

We headed south to Monocacy National Battlefield. This was a battle of the Civil War, that neither of us had ever heard about – it was much smaller in scope than Gettysburg and Antietam but was critical as it forced the northern troops to defend a raid of the south towards Washington. After the battle the south withdrew back into VA. It has been designated a national battlefield early in the 1900th century but not funded until in the 90’s. Something we would never have known about without a stop to get a “stamp”!

We enjoyed lunch beside a river in the shade. Rain was expected and we hoped it would hold off until we reached camp. We enjoyed more scenery along the 20 miles to Antietam National Battlefield. This battlefield was much like Gettysburg with numerous markers and statues for the troops from the various states. We watched a film and toured the museum. There are some outstanding paintings here done by an artist who observed the battle. The losses on both sides here were enormous. Lincoln’s decision to sign the emancipation proclamation came soon after this battle. Jane tried the automatic panorama setting on her new camera and I do believe it works! You however will have to wait until I have adequate internet to post.



Not quite perfect – seems I stopped too soon!

Storm clouds were gathering as we left Antietam and headed towards Hagerstown. We found the KOA easily and selected a site. We are hooked up and have the air cooling down the Sprinter as we sit besides a creek/river reading in the shade. Relaxing way to end the day…. Jane cooked dinner and Ben tried to get the cable TV to work. Never did so we watch a movie from his collection. Jane is trying to write and post 4 days of blog….done in fairly short order since no photos will post at all. This is a nice campground but definitely old and not as technologically up to date as some. Can’t complain tho it has some internet.



KOA at Hagerstown

We like everything about the state parks – settings, spacing of sites, etc – but few of them have wireless. We are likely back in state parks for next couple nights so may be no photos until we are home.

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