Jacob Rohrbach Inn (Sharpsburg, Maryland)

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O.T. Reilly: Sharpsburg Relics and Remembrances

June 12, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Stephen Recker

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Stephen Recker is a collector of rare Antietam photographs and relics. Items from his collection can be seen on battlefield waysides, in the newly renovated museum at Antietam National Battlefield, as well as in his book Rare Images of Antietam, and the Photographers Who Took Them. Recker is a member of Antietam Battlefield Guides, a service he founded in partnership with WMIA, the non-profit at Antietam National Battlefield. He produced Virtual Gettysburg, a critically acclaimed interactive Civil War battlefield tour; Antietam Artifacts, a CD-ROM with images of rare postcards from the Maryland Campaign of 1862; and www.virtualantietam.com, and recently edited and published Shadowing Grant: Reminiscences of the United States Hospital Transport Services in the Civil War 1864-65. He began his professional career as a lead guitarist, recording and touring with Al Stewart, the Spencer Davis Group, Mary Wells, and Tommy Chong, and as technician for Ringo Starr, Kiss, Diana Ross, and Madonna. In multimedia, he produced for Apple Computer, Adobe, and the Smithsonian, and was named a “Top 100 Producer” by AV Multimedia Producer Magazine. He is currently a Senior Associate – Drupal Developer at ICF International in Fairfax, Virginia, where he has worked on web sites for the White House (ONDCP), The Department of Defense (ATF), and others. Recker is a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music and lives with his family in Maryland.

O.T. Reilly: Sharpsburg Relics and Remembrances: Oliver Thomas Reilly was born in Keedysville in 1857 and at the age of five witnessed the Battle of Sharpsburg. At fifteen, he become the first Antietam Battlefield guide and escorted many notable veterans around the field, including James Longstreet and Ambrose Burnside. In the 1890s, Reilly moved to Sharpsburg and opened his War View and Relics Shop near the town square, from which he published picture postcards and a guide book of the battle. Starting in 1887, Reilly wrote a weekly newspaper column chronicling the movement of veterans and relics through his shop and through the town. It is this unique trove of historic remembrances that is the basis for Stephen Recker’s upcoming book on Reilly, and for his talk. Recker is a leading expert on Reilly.

On Wednesday, July 25th,  Stephen will talk about O.T. Reilly and will bring rare O.T. Reilly relics for the group to enjoy during his Summer Lecture Series talk – O.T. Reilly: Sharpsburg Relics and Remembrances

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

 

“The Battle of Bentonville”

June 12, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Dr. Perry Jamieson

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Perry Jamieson earned a PhD and worked for about thirty years as a civilian historian for the U.S. Air Force. He retired as the senior historian of the Air Force in 2009 and he and his wife Stephanie have lived in Sharpsburg since then. He is the author of two books on Air Force history, one on the U.S. Army during the late 1800s, and four on the Civil War. His latest book, Spring 1865, includes a chapter on his topic for this year’s summer lecture series: the Battle of Bentonville.

In mid-March 1865 Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s enormous forces pinned Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia. More than 150 miles to the south, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman prepared to leave Fayetteville, North Carolina, join other Union commands east of him, and gain an insurmountable advantage in numbers. Desperate to stop this Federal concentration, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston determined to attack General Sherman during his march to Goldsboro. General Johnston’s plan led to the Battle of Bentonville—the South’s last gamble in the Carolinas.  On Wednesday, July 18th, Perry will discuss the Battle of Bentonville during his Summer Lecture Series talk.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Ethnics in the Confederacy and at Sharpsburg

June 11, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Ted Alexander

Ted Alexander

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Ethnics in the Confederacy and at Sharpsburg – although the Civil War is traditionally viewed as a struggle between white Anglo Saxon Protestants, a variety of ethnic groups fought in the armies of both sides. This talk will focus on the ethnics who served with the Confederacy. Our speaker will discuss Hispanics, American Indians, Asians, Jews and other groups who wore the gray. This includes Confederates at the battle of Sharpsburg. Our speaker is the co author of National Park Service publications on both Hispanics and Asians in the Civil War.

Our Speaker – Ted Alexander is the Historian (retired) of Antietam National Battlefield where he served for more than 30 years. Mr. Alexander is the author or co author of 10 books on the Civil War, including ANTIETAM: THE BLOODIEST DAY. He is also the author of more than 200 articles and book reviews for numerous publications such as Blue and Gray Magazine, Civil War Times and The Washington Times. Mr. Alexander is a veteran of two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for valor.

On Wednesday, July 11th, Ted will talk about the different ethnic groups who served with the Confederacy and fought at the Battle of Antietam, during his Summer Lecture Series talk – Ethnics in the Confederacy and at Sharpsburg.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

 

Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination

June 5, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Dennis Frye

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Dennis Frye has been studying Antietam and the 1st invasion of the North for nearly 50 years. From his earliest days as a NPS volunteer at the Dunker Church (Dennis is a Dunker), and as a native of the Antietam area, Dennis has immersed himself into the Civil War. Known for his challenges to conventional history, Dennis’ newest book is assured to stimulate provocation and debate as he explores uncertainties and unknowns in Antietam Shadows.

On Wednesday, July 4th, Dennis will discuss  his book “Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination”  during his  Summer Lecture Series talk.

Dennis E. Frye is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Writer, lecturer, guide, and preservationist, Dennis is a prominent Civil War historian. Dennis has numerous appearances on PBS, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, C-SPAN, Fox News, A&E, and Voice of America as a guest historian. He helped produce Emmy award-winning television features on the Battle of Antietam, abolitionist John Brown, and Maryland during the Civil War. Dennis is one of the nation’s leading Civil War battlefield preservationists. He is co-founder and first president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, and he is co-founder and a former president of today’s Civil War Trust, from whom he received the Trust’s highest honor – the Shelby Foote Award. Dennis also earned the prestigious Nevins-Freeman Award for his lifetime achievements in the Civil War community. Dennis is a tour guide in demand, leading tours for organizations such as the Smithsonian, National Geographic, numerous colleges and universities, and Civil War Round Tables. Dennis also is a well-known author, with 99 articles and ten books. His most recent book is Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination. His book Harpers Ferry Under Fire received the national book of the year award from the Association of Partners for Public Lands; and September Suspense: Lincoln’s Union in Peril, was awarded the 2012 Laney Book Prize for distinguished scholarship and writing on the military and political history of the war. Dennis has written for prestigious Civil War magazines such as Civil War Times Illustrated, America’s Civil War, Blue & Gray Magazine, North and South Magazine, and Hallowed Ground, and as a guest contributor to the Washington Post. Dennis resides near the Antietam Battlefield in Maryland, and he and his wife Sylvia have restored the home that was used by General Burnside as his post-Antietam headquarters.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

 

 

Antietam Hospitals – John Schildt

May 10, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Rev. John Schildt (photo credit: fredericknewspost.com)

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

John Schildt hardly needs an introduction. He is well known for his many books relating the various aspects of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and local history. Reverend Schildt graduated from Shepherd College, Wesley Theological Seminary and has studied at Western Maryland College, Gettysburg Seminary and West Virginia University.

Rev. Schildt was introduced to Civil War history by his great-grandmother who fed Union troops on the way to Gettysburg when she was a little girl. John has been a lecturer and guide for the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, Bud Robertson’s “Campaigning with Lee”, the Chicago Civil War Round Table, and many other groups. He was the main speaker at the 125th anniversary of Antietam. Outside of Civil War history, John has led three educational excursions to Normandy and took part in the American and French commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the D-day landing in 1994. While leading explorations, he likes to make history come alive by sharing human interest stories about people and places. Having been a lifelong student of Antietam, John has written many books on the subject, including “September Echoes,” “Drums along the Antietam,” “Roads to Antietam,” and several others.

On Wednesday, June 27th, John will present his Summer Lecture Series talk – “Antietam Hospitals”

The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, particularly in the South, was fought on September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland and Antietam Creek as part of the Maryland Campaign. It was the first field army-level engagement in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War to take place on Union soil and is the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with a combined tally of 22,717 dead, wounded, or missing.  The wounded soldiers were treated in various field hospitals set up in the areas of the battle – in the homes and barns of the locals.  John will tell this story and talk about the places they were cared for like the Smoketown Hospital, Poffenberger’s Farm – where Clara Barton worked, the Rohrbach’s Barn, Jacob Miller Hospital,  Samuel Pry’s Mill, Hoffman Hospital, Crystal or Locust Spring Hospital, and the German Reformed Church.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

 

Images from BG James Ricketts’ 1st Corps Division – Joe Stahl

May 10, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Joe Stahl

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Joseph Stahl retired from the Institute for Defense Analyses where he authored or coauthored more than 50 reports on defense issues. Since his retirement he has become a volunteer and Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam. He grew up in St. Louis, where he earned an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a member of the Company of Military Historians, SHAF, the Hagerstown Civil War Roundtable and is co-author of the first book on ID discs Identification Discs of Union Soldiers in the Civil War. He has spoken to various Civil War groups including the Northern Virginia Relic Hunters, South Mountain Coin and Relic Club, Rappahannock, York and Hagerstown Round Tables, Chambersburg Civil War Tours, Save Historic Antietam Foundation and the NPS Antietam. In addition Joe has authored more than two dozen articles about items in his collections for the Gettysburg Magazine, the Washington Times Civil War Page, Manuscripts, America’s Civil War, Military Collector & Historian the Journal of the Company of Military Historians, the Civil War Historian and the Skirmish Line of the North-South Skirmish Association. Displays of items from of his collection have won awards at several Civil War shows.

He has been a member of the North-South Skirmish Association for more than 20 years and has shot civil war type muskets, carbines and revolvers in both individual and team competitions.

On Wednesday, June 20th, Joe will present his Summer Lecture Series talk – “Images from MG James Ricketts’ Division”

BG Ricketts Division was reported to consist of 3037 officers and men in 12 veteran infantry regiments. The division would report losses of 172 killed, 946 wounded and 86 missing for a total of 1204 including two artillery batteries assigned attached to the division. During Joe’s presentation he will shown the faces and history of 10 soldiers, one from 10 of the 12 regiments in General Ricketts’ Division.  He will also shown images of the Division and Brigade commanders.  Each of these soldiers has a story and Joe will tell you a little of that story.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

“Gunners in the Corn – Federal and Confederate Artillery in the Cornfield” – Jim Rosebrock

May 10, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Jim Rosebrock

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Jim Rosebrock is the Chief of the Antietam Battlefield Guides. Jim is a retired army officer and currently works for the Department of Justice. He is currently conducting research for a book that will tell the story of the regular artillery companies during the Civil War.  Jim also discusses interesting topics about the Maryland Campaign on his blog South From the North Woods.

On Wednesday, June 13th, Jim will present his Summer Lecture Series talk – “Gunners in the Corn – Federal and Confederate Artillery in the Cornfield

As the sun rose over the fields and woodlots north of the Dunker Church on the morning of September 17th 1862 thousands of infantrymen of Joseph Hooker’s First Corps supported by the Twelfth Corps of Joseph Mansfield crashed into Jackson’s wing of the Army of Northern Virginia reinforced by D.H. Hills division.  The key role played by the artillerymen of the Federal and Confederate armies in the fields and woodlots north of the Dunker Church on the morning of September 17th 1862 is not often as well told. While the story of Battery B of the Fourth Artillery is well known, the fact is that in the early hours of the battle the Confederate guns actually outnumbered the Federals.  This is the story of that early morning gunfight.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Disease and Treatment{???} during the Civil War – Gordon Dammann

May 3, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

 

Gordon Dammann

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Gordon E. Dammann D.D.S. founded the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland to tell the true story of Civil War medicine. His medical collection formed the core of the museum holdings. He is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago and holds a bachelor of science degree with a minor in history. In 1969 he received his D.D.S. degree from Loyola University School of Dentistry

Gordon is the author of Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medical Instruments and Equipment Volumes I, II, and III. He and Dr. Alfred Jay Bollet co-authored Images of Civil War Medicine. He has served on the editorial staff of North/South Magazine and was editor of the Reprint of Memoirs of Jonathan Letterman, MD Surgeon of the U.S. Army 1861-1864.

Gordon is a recipient of the Nevins Freeman Award of the Chicago Civil War Round Table and the Iron Brigade Award of the Milwaukee Civil War Round Table. These are presented to an individual whose advancement of the American Civil War scholarship and support of the Round Table movement deserves special recognition

He has presented programs on Civil War Medicine for the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, Civil War Institute of Gettysburg College, and Round Tables and Historical Societies across the country. Since retiring from his dental practice, Gordon has become active as a Licensed Guide at Antietam National Battlefield

On Wednesday, June 6th, Gordon will present our first Summer Lecture Series talk “Disease and Treatment{???} during the Civil War”.  3 out of 4 soldiers who died during the civil war  were due to disease. Gordon will examine what these diseases were and their “so called” treatment.

Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These outdoors programs will be held at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn on Wednesday evenings at 7:oo p.m.   To ensure adequate seating, please bring a chair.  In case of inclement weather, lectures will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed Church of Christ.  Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.  For updates and a full schedule of presenters & topics check our Facebook page.

Nutter’s Ice Cream

April 29, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

After the Antietam National Battlefield, the most visited place in Sharpsburg is Nutter’s Ice Cream.  For over twenty years this iconic ice cream shop has served up scoops of delicious treats to locals, tourists, and our guests.

 

About Nutter’s Ice Cream

Sharpsburg Square, cir. 1930

 

Every since Sharpsburg was founded in 1763, the Square has been a gathering place for residents and visitors. Over the years there have been hotels, stores and markets there.

 

 

kretzer's

Kretzer’s Market

 

 

For many years Kretzer’s Market was the main attraction on the Square, not only providing all of the grocery needs for Sharpsburg residents but offering a variety of penny candy for children.

 

 

 

Deb

Deb Nutter

 

Shortly after Kretzer’s Market closed, a new shop opened to fill the void. On May 4, 1996 Deb Nutter’s dream of opening an ice cream shop came true.  Keeping the appeal of the old grocery store, she turned the space into a vintage ice cream parlor.  Since then, she has brought smiles to many faces, from Boy Scouts hiking the battlefield, Little League teammates celebrating after a game, or families looking for a treat; visitors and locals can’t say enough about Nutter’s.  It’s no wonder that they consistently receive the Best Ice Cream Shop on the Hagerstown Magazine’s Hot List.

Ordering  At Nutter’s

The first thing you have to decide on is whether you want a cup or a cone?  They have Sugar Cones and Traditional Cake Cones but Nutter’s recommends  (and so do we) getting a cup so you can pile on the toppings like sprinkles, chocolate candies, or cookie crumbles.

scoops

Double Scoop

Next, what size do you want and do you want hand-dipped or soft served?  This is where most first time visitors are just astounded.  The hand-dipped scopes come in four sizes : kiddie-1 scoop, small- 2 scoops, medium- 3 scoops, large- 4 scoops.   The kicker is each scoop is the size of a tennis ball!  The smooth and creamy, soft-served ice cream comes in Vanilla, Chocolate or a Twist and is a similar amount to the scoops.

Of course the real decision you have to make is what flavor do you want? The choices seem endless.  There is Black Cherry, Black Raspberry, Blueberries -n- Cream, Butter Pecan, Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate Almond, Chocolate Chip,…. wait while I catch my breath… Cookie Dough, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Marshmallow, Coffee, Cookies -n- Cream, French Vanilla, Mint Chocolate Chip, Peach, Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut Butter Ripple, Rainbow Sherbet, Strawberry, and Vanilla… just to name a few.  But my favorite is Muddy Sneakers. (yes, Sneakers, and trust me, it’s yummy!)

If that’s not enough, each season brings special flavors like Apple Pie for fall, Peppermint Stick for winter and Orange Pineapple in the summertime.

Other Treats

If you’re looking for something a little different than just an ice cream, Nutter’s can cover your craving.  They have delicious milkshakes, delightful flurries, delectable sundaes, snowballs and lollipops (which is a combination of your favorite snow-balls and ice cream flavor – perfect for a summertime treat!).

 

sundae

Banana Split

 

For those feeling adventurous, or sharing with several friends, than you’ll want to get a Nutter’s Banana Split.  You get your  choice of 3 flavors!  Each flavor is a scoop and a half.  Then choose 3 toppings; top it with whipped cream, chopped peanuts and a cherry for each mountain of ice cream.

 

 

The BEST thing about Nutter’s is they are open EVERYDAY!   You can stop in to get your favorite treat from 1 pm until to 9 pm.  Remember CASH ONLY and start out small!!

Directions

Nutter’s is just a short block from the Jacob Rohrbach Inn as you walk to the Square.  If you driving to the Inn and want to stop before checking in as you coming on Main Street o Route 34 just turn on East Main Street at the Square and Nutter’s is right there off the corner. (Click here for Google Maps)

Nutter’s Ice Cream
100 E. Main Street
Sharpsburg, Maryland

 

Even Maya & Zoey love Nutters!

The Farmsteads of Antietam – Joseph Parks Farm

April 16, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Joseph Parks Farmstead

While traveling on the roads running through the battlefield you can see most of the farmsteads at Antietam except for one – the Joseph Parks farm.  In order to see this farm, visitors have to walk out the Three Farms Trail from the Newcomer House.  Although the land had been cultivated for more than 100 years before the battle, in 1862 the house and farm were fairly new.  Originally part of James Smith’s property and patented “Smiths Hills”, this 160 acres is known today as the Joseph Parks Farm.

Smith Hills

Plat map of Smiths Hills and surrounding region.

In 1739, James Smith, a planter from Prince George’s County received a patent of 208 acres.  It’s believed that Smith lived in the area, as he was surveying lands in the future Frederick and Washington counties and was an attorney for the Frederick courts.  Over the next fifteen years, Smith continued to add land to his holdings.  In 1754, Smith surveyed 12 acres of Porto Santo, another nearby patent. In 1756, a  “Resurvey of Smiths Hills” was done adding 302 acres for a total of 510 acres and a Resurvey of Porto Santo was done to correct several errors which increased its size to 23 acres.  During the resurvey it was found that the Porto Santo “included ‘improvements’ of one acre of cleared land, 400 fence rails and a log house”.  Smith’s holding of these two patents would become the properties of what we know today as the Newcomer and Park Farmsteads.

 

Knowing that colonial interest and the French and Indian War led to more permanent inroads into the backcountry, Smith petitioned Frederick County in 1755 for the building of both a ford across the Antietam Creek and a new road, because he intended to build a mill along the creek on his land.  Smith also knew that an improved roadway through his property would not only increase the value of his land but that of the surrounding area.  Although Smith did not build a mill, “he had set the groundwork for the future development of the milling industry on the property” and a new road would eventually be built from Red Hill to Swearingen’s Ferry on the Potomac at Shepherdstown.

As the French and Indian War was ending, Christian Orndorff, a millwright from Lancaster County, arrived in the area in 1762.   Now that the region was safe and open for settlement, Orndorff was looking for a suitable site to build a grist mill, and he found it along the Antietam Creek.  Christian Orndorff purchased 503 acres of Resurvey on Smiths Hills and 11 acres of the Porto Santo. 

Over the next thirty years the Orndorff family turned the property into a substantial industrial complex.  In addition to a large house and barn, there was a grist mill, a saw mill and a workshop near the Antietam Creek.  The mills were powered by water diverted from the creek through a mill race that Orndorff built.  They also farmed crops of wheat and corn and later established a plaster mill, a cooper shop and other tooling shops.

In 1796, the Orndorff’s sold 324 1/4 acres  for £5500 to Jacob Mumma.  This purchase included portions of several patents, but 303 acres were part of the Resurvey of Smiths Hills.  The Mummas had arrived in Philadelphia in 1732 and settled in Lancaster County.  Like other Germans settling in the area, the Mumma family traveled down the Wagon Road to Sharpsburg.  They were accompanied by Joseph Sherrick, Sr. and his family.  Sherrick would also purchase property along the Antietam from the Orndorff’s.

Photograph taken on Sept. 22, 1862, by Alexander Gardner’s assistant, James F. Gibson. The Parks Farmstead can be seen in the upper right hand corner. (LOC)

Jacob Mumma and his sons continued to run the mill and farming operations.  Over the next several years Mumma would acquire “two-thirds of the large land tract amassed by the Orndorff family decades earlier”.  This area incorporated what is known today as the Mumma Farm, Newcomer Farm and the Parks Farm.   In 1831,  Jacob Mumma and his wife Elizabeth transferred ownership of the mill property to their son John.  Around this time, it is believed that a house and barn were constructed just north of the mill along the creek for John’s eldest son – Elias Mumma. This became known as the “lower farm”, the future Parks farmstead.   Business at the Mumma mill was booming, but John Mumma died suddenly in 1835 and without a will.  His father, Jacob purchased the property back from John’s estate and resold the mill and farm to his younger son, Samuel in 1837.

 

Barn

Main House (vinyl siding covering original wood siding)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Kitchen

Kitchen

Cooking Fireplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parks farm

Parks Farm layout in 1862

 

Samuel and his wife had been living at the house on the Mumma Farmstead, but they moved back to the mill complex and continued the operations of the mill and farm.  Samuel sold 151 acres of the mill complex portion of the property to Jacob and John Emmert in 1841 to pay off debts, but he retained 190 acres of the “lower farm”.  By 1843, Samuel was forced to put the “lower farm” into a Deed of Trust to pay off other creditors.

 

Parks property

The “lower farm” that Phillip Pry named Bunker Hill Farm. The red line shows the property line.

In 1850, the property was returned to Samuel Mumma by the trustees and it believed that Samuel’s son, Jacob H. Mumma was living on the farm as a tenant at this time.  According to the 1860 census, Jacob had moved to Boonsboro and the farm was tenanted by a Jacob Myers (Meyer).   In 1861, Samuel Mumma sold the “lower farm” for $10,500 to Phillip Pry who renamed the 166 acre property the “Bunker Hill Farm”.   Phillip and his brother Samuel already owned a large amount of land north of the Bunker Hill Farm along the Antietam Creek, including a large grist mill.  Phillip and his family continued to live at his farm just across the Antietam but rented the Bunker Hill Farm to a tenant named Joseph Parks and his family.

Parks had owned a house in Porterstown which was just on the other side of the creek.  According to the 1850 census he lived there with his wife, Mary and their young children Rosean, Elizabeth, Mary and Martha.  His wife Mary would pass away in 1855 and shortly after that Joseph married Aletha Ann Harmon and they would have six more children together.

On the morning of September 15, 1862, as they withdrew from the Battle of South Mountain, Confederate soldiers marched along the turnpike and across the Antietam toward Sharpsburg.  General Robert E. Lee had decided to make a stand along the Antietam Creek to consolidate his divided army.  Later that day as the Union army advanced to the east side of the Antietam Creek, the Bunker Hill Farm and the Parks family stood between the two warring parties.

Daybreak map of the Battle of Antietam.

The next morning, three companies of Federal troops crossed the bridge and deployed across the Newcomer property, securing the bridge as a future crossing point for the next day’s battle.  Throughout the day the Bunker Hill Farm was in the center of a cannonade between the Union artillery on the east side of the Antietam and the Confederate guns along the ridge east of Sharpsburg.  It is not known where the Parks went during the battle, but most certainly they departed like their neighbors, to the safety of friends or relatives in the area.

 

1030 am map of the Battle of Antietam as Union forces begin to move across the Parks farm.

The next morning on September 17, as the battle raged to the north of Sharpsburg, more Union forces were sent across the Pry Mill ford just north of the Parks farm.  Two divisions of the Second Army Corps moved west toward the East Woods and then pushed into the West Woods and southward across the Mumma and Roulette farms.  About an hour later Major General Israel Richardson’s division crossed the creek just below Phillip Pry’s house and marched toward the Neikirk and Kennedy Farms before turning toward the fighting in the Sunken Road.  Brig. Gen. John Caldwell’s brigade marched in a line of battle across the upper fields of the Parks farm before shifting to the right to support Gen. Meagher’s Irish Brigade.

1:00 pm map of the Battle of Antietam with Union artillery positioned on the Parks Farm.

 

Once the Confederates were driven out of the Sunken Road, Union artillery arrived to help hold the line along the high ground of the Parks farm and the Newcomer fields.

 

 

This enlarged 1862 Gibson photo shows five buildings and the fence surrounding the main house.

Although no specific source has identified the Parks farm as a field hospital, it seems likely that the 5th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Caldwell’s brigade would have used it as a temporary one.  Col. Edward Cross, the commander of the 5th New Hampshire reported the situation of his surgeon, Dr. William Child and described the conditions of the battlefield hospitals, “The barns and sheds in all this region were occupied as hospitals by the Union army, and many Confederate wounded were retained here, and I believe were as well cared for as the Union Men.  The barns were filled with flies, and wounds were sure to gather maggots about the dressings and even within the raw surfaces. To avoid this disgusting evil Assistant Surgeon Child personally gathered a few scores of shelter tents left on the battle-field, brought them to a suitable location, and with them built very comfortable hospital quarters and into them moved all the wounded of the Fifth, where they remained until able to be sent to Frederick city or were sent to Antietam hospital, which was finally established upon the western borders of the battle-field. Child was detailed for service in this Antietam field hospital, where he remained until about December 10…”

In this magnified photograph, soldiers can be seen walking along a road leading to the Parks farm.

 

Through the trees on the right the Observation Tower can be seen just beyond the Parks barnyard.

There are no known damage claims submitted by Joseph Parks, but several were submitted by Phillip Pry starting in 1865 and another in 1872.  It is believed that the Quartermaster claim was for his home farm only and not the “lower farm’ or Bunker Hill Farm.

Union artillery and infantry units go into position on the evening of Sept. 17, 1862 across the Park farm

Although Phillip Pry received some payment, his claims became bogged down in legal proceedings and in 1874 he sold the remainder of his property and moved his family to Tennessee.  During the investigation into Pry’s claim it was uncovered by Agent Sallade about Pry’s Bunker Hill farm and he reported, “Mr Pry owned two farms, one the [“Home”] farm containing 170 acres, and one the “Bunker Hill” farm of 166 acres separated by the Antietam Creek, and 1/2 mile apart… all his fencing was burned, his corn and wheat fed, together with a large quantity of hay… His wheat I find was cut in 1862, and put in 4 large stacks, some was in the barn.  These stacks contained not less than 800 bushels this quantity was arrived at by the number of loads – 40 – averaging 20 bushels per load, placed in the stacks. Messrs Joseph Parks, Henry Gettmacher and Wm. Lantz who cut, hauled, and put up this wheat fully confirm this fact. The Affidants of other parties, neighbors and ex-soldiers also confirm this, and also that a portion of the wheat in the barn was used.  Mr. Pry lost about 150 bushels on the farm across the Antietam Creek.  Mr. Pry fully sets this forth in his affidavit”.

Parks grave

Joseph and Aletha Parks grave at Rose Hill

According to records, a few years after the battle Joseph Parks had “to mortgage his household furniture and personal belongings against a debt that he owed to Phillip Pry” most likely for the tenancy.  Joseph Parks had moved several miles north of Sharpsburg, probably to Fairplay or Hagerstown, and became a full time shoemaker.  He died in 1891 and is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown along with his second wife Aletha.

 

 

The 1877 Illustrated Atlas of Washington County, Maryland, District 1, Sharpsburg. The red dot shows the J. F. Miller properties

In 1867 Bunker Hill Farm was sold to Jacob F. Miller.  Jacob Miller’s son, Otho H. Miller was living at the farm according to the 1870 census.  During this time “a gabled dormer was added to the forebay of the barn  most likely to accommodate improved threshing machines” and a second story was added to the north section of the main house.

In 1884, Jacob Miller sold the Bunker Hill farm to Henry and Laura Rohrer.  The Rohrer family would operate the farm for the next 76 years.  According to the 1910 census, their son-in-law Harry O. Clipp, his wife Stella and their two daughters, Ruth and Edna were living at the farm.  Harry Clipp’s occupation was listed as a “House Carpenter” and he may have been the one who made improvements on the farm.   During the Rohrer’s time at the farm a tenant house is built around 1905 and a corn crib / wagon shed was added onto the barn along with some other out buildings.  In 1914, Henry Rohrer died leaving the farm to his wife Laura, who died in 1919.  The farm was then transferred to her daughter and son-in-law.

Foundation of the tenant house.

The Clipp’s continued to make improvements to the farm, shifting their operation to dairy farming with a
concrete milking area added.  Ruth Clipp and Edna (Clipp) Dorsey who inherited the farm from their parents, sold the farm to William Cunningham in 1960.  In 1988, Cunningham sold the farm to the National Park Service with a life estate for himself.

After the death of Mr. Cunningham in 2000, the Park Service  removed post-war out buildings including the tenant house, repaired the log out-kitchen, restored the barn, stabilized the farm house and recently replaced the roof on the house.   A new recreational trail, the Three Farms Trail was created in 2006 that connects the Parks Farmstead to the Roulette Farmstead and the Newcomer Farmstead.

The Parks Farmstead is a another eyewitness to the history of the battle and the families that lived in the Antietam Valley.

Sources:
  • Find A Grave, Joseph Parks and family, Retrieved from: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/49395745/joseph-parks
  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division; Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey, Antietam, Md. Another view of Antietam bridge. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from  https://www.loc.gov/resource/cwpb.01133/
  • Library of Congress Geography and Map Division; W.S. Long and Washington A. Roebling/Battle of the Antietam fought September 16 & 17, 1862/Washington, D.C./ Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3844a.cw0246000
  • Maryland Historical Trust, Cunningham Farm, WA-II-331, Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties Form, 1978, 24 March 2018
  • U.S. National Park Service,  Joseph Parks Barn,  Antietam National Battlefield, Historic Structures Report Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2008.
  • U.S. National Park Service, Parks Farmstead Cultural Landscape InventoryAntietam National Battlefield, Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2011.
  • U.S. National Park Service,  Newcomer Barn,  Antietam National Battlefield, Historic Structures Report Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2004.
  • Walker, Kevin M and K. C. Kirkman, Antietam Farmsteads: A Guide to the Battlefield Landscape. Sharpsburg: Western Maryland Interpretive Association, 2010.
  • Western Maryland Regional Library, The Illustrated Atlas of Washington County, Maryland was published in 1877. Lake, Griffing & Stevenson of Philadelphia, 1877.  Retrieved from http://whilbr.org/Image.aspx?photo=wcia053s.jpg&idEntry=3497&title=Sharpsburg+-+District+No.+1
  • U.S. War Department, Atlas of the battlefield of Antietam, prepared under the direction of the Antietam Battlefield Board, lieut. col. Geo. W. Davis, U.S.A., president, gen. E.A. Carman, U.S.V., gen. H Heth, C.S.A. Surveyed by lieut. col. E.B. Cope, engineer, H.W. Mattern, assistant engineer, of the Gettysburg National Park. Drawn by Charles H. Ourand, 1899. Position of troops by gen. E. A. Carman. Published by authority of the Secretary of War, under the direction of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army, 1908.” Washington, Government Printing Office, 1908.   Retrieved from https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3842am.gcw0248000/?sp=5.
  • U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies. Pl. XXVIII: Antietam, Suffolk, Gettysburg, Franklin Washington, Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.  Retrieved from  https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3701sm.gcw0099000/?sp=53

Eggs Rohrbach

April 5, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Eggs Rohrbach at the Inn

“Eggs Rohrbach”

One of our favorite signature dishes is our “Eggs Rohrbach”.  It has all the same yummy ingredients of traditional Eggs Benedict but is simple to make.  It’s SO easy that even Chris can make it.

Serves 4

 

 

You will need:

  • 5 eggs
  • 4 Slices Canadian bacon
  • 2 English muffins
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Shredded Cheese (optional)
  • Salt / pepper to taste

 

Eggs Rohrbach out of the oven

Ramekins fresh out of the oven

First, spray four ramekins with some nonstick spray.   Then slice and cube two English muffins into approximately ½” size cubes.

Now place a slice of Canadian bacon centered in each ramekin and  sprinkle with a small amount of cheese.  Place some cubed muffin on top of the cheese and then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of muffin.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk and seasoning together and gently pour over muffin.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, pull out the ramekins about 30 minutes prior to baking.  Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until set.

Just before the eggs are done go ahead and start whipping together your favorite Hollandaise Sauce.  We have an easy recipe for that too, but that’s a secret… just kidding tune in for another blog in the future.

When done, run a knife around the edge, invert onto plate.  Top with Hollandaise and garnish with chopped parsley or chives.  Serve with some fresh herb tomatoes and a side of our Apple Maple sausage.  Enjoy!

Eggs Benedict with a twist

Breakfast is served.

Eggs Rohrbach Recipe

Tips:

–  Can be made the same day, just allow enough time for the muffin to soak up the egg mixture.

–  No ramekins? No problem!  Use a jumbo muffin tin.

–  Once inverted onto plate, keep ramekin on until ready to top with Hollandaise Sauce.

 

Celebrate the Art and Culture of Washington County

February 21, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

Many guests who come to the Inn think the area is only interesting because of the Civil War.  They are pleasantly surprised to learn of the dozens of museums, theaters and galleries hosting art shows and musical performances on a regular basis, all within minutes of the Inn.  This year celebrate the art and culture of Washington County during your stay.  Here are some local favorites.

The Maryland Theatre

The Maryland Theatre

For over 100 years the Maryland Theatre has been the anchor to the Arts & Entertainment district in Hagerstown.  This 1,300-seat theatre regularly hosts performances of country artists, comedians, orchestra concerts, children’s shows, musicians, recitals, and plays.  It serves as the home of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, City Ballet School and the Miss Maryland Scholarship Pageant.

Maryland Symphony Orchestra Holiday concert

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saints Mary Magdalene and Paul by Giovanni Mazone

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

Located in beautiful City Park in Hagerstown, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts was founded over 85 years ago by Mr. and Mrs. William Singer, Jr.  Visitors can browse more than 7,000 works of art which include 19th & early 20th Century American Art, Old Masters, and Decorative art.  The Museum is a vibrant center and offers a variety of exhibitions, art classes, lectures, concerts & special events throughout the year.

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Hager House &  Mansion House Art Center

Jonathan Hager House

While you’re at the Museum of Fine Arts, two other attractions also in City Park,  are the Jonathan Hager House & Museum and the Mansion House Arts Center. The Jonathan Hager House and Museum is the refurbished home of Hagerstown’s founder, Jonathan Hager, built circa 1739.  Visitors can take guided tours of the restored three-story limestone homestead staged with eighteenth-century furniture and artifacts.  Built by John Heyer in 1846, the Mansion House is run by The Valley Art Association.   They have a very impressive collection of works by area artists and guests can purchase artwork including lithographs, silk screens, etchings, wood block prints and collages.

 

Hagerstown Cultural Trail

If you want to get outdoors to experience the art,  you can take a stroll along the Hagerstown Cultural Trail to the downtown Arts and Entertainment District.  Along the trail you’ll see sculptures like the “Fishing Lesson”, steel frame structures representing the city-scape and the Fantastical Garden, an interactive play area.  The path leads you through beautiful gardens of the Railroad Switch, steel fences reminding us of the rail system that once ran through the city; you’ll see photos of the Faces of Hagerstown and the Mural of Unusual  Size – the latest addition to the trail.

The “Fishing Lesson”

Mural of Unusual  Size

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington County Playhouse, Dinner Theater and Children’s Theater

All year-round you can experience a Broadway-style show or musical comedy with a buffet dinner at the Playhouse.   Watch as your servers transform into glamorous, talented performers as they present award winning performances on stage.  Shows for young audiences are performed on select Saturdays.  The Washington County Playhouse is a great night out for the whole family to enjoy or the perfect place for ‘Date Night’.

These are just a few of the outstanding places to go to celebrate the art and culture of Washington County.  There are almost forty other museums throughout the county to visit.  Take in one on farming, or railroads, one the local community museums or culture exhibits; there is something here in Washington County for every type of art lover.

 

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