Jacob Rohrbach Inn (Sharpsburg, Maryland)



Category Archives: Jacob Rohrbach Inn News

2018 Civil War Lecture Series

January 15, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

We have another great lineup of outstanding speakers this summer at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn.  Come hear 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 Lecture Series.

2018 Speaker Schedule

June 6 – “Disease and Treatment {???} during the Civil War” – Gordon Dammann
June 13 – “Gunners in the Corn – Federal and Confederate Artillery in the Cornfield” – Jim Rosebrock
June 20 – “Images from MG James Ricketts Division”– Joe Stahl
June 27 – “Sumner and French at Antietam” – Gary Rohrer
July 4 – “Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination” – Dennis Frye
July 11 – “Ethnics in the Confederacy and at Sharpsburg”– Ted Alexander
July 18 – “The Battle of Bentonville” – Perry Jamieson
July 25 – “O.T. Reilly: Sharpsburg Relics and Remembrances“ – Stephen Recker
August 1 – “The Last Army of the Republic: the Myth of the Unused Reserves at the Battle of Antietam.”- Steve Stotelmyer
August 8 – “Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney: Beyond Dred Scott” – Matt Borders-
August 15 – “‘The Heaviest Blow Yet Given the Confederacy’: The Emancipation Proclamation Changes the Civil War“ – Kevin Pawlak
August 22 – “Zouaves, the First and the Bravest”- Tom Clemens
August 29 – “Antietam Hospitals” – John Schildt

These Wednesday evening programs are free and open to the public. They will be held outdoors on the grounds of the Inn at 7:oo p.m so bring a chair to sit around our event tent. In case of inclement weather the talks will be moved to the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed United Church of Christ on Main Street.  Check our Blog and Facebook page for weekly updates about the speakers and their topics.

Civil War Lecture Series Notice

Speaker Schedule

2017: Our Year in Review

December 31, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

At the end of every year it is always a good idea to look back and see where you have been in order to know where the future should take you.  As we enter into the New Year we reflect back on 2017 and the changes around the Inn, the events thru the year, but most importantly, the extraordinary guests that have stayed with us.

2018 is looking even more exciting with new renovations planned, new events around the Inn, and the opportunity to see guests again.  From all of us at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn: “THANK YOU!”  Thank you for your business, friendship, loyalty, and support in 2017 and we look forward to seeing you again in 2018!

Click here to watch Our Year in Review



Halloween at the Inn

October 31, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

Welcome to the Rohrbach Graveyard

If you have been to the Inn in October than you know that we LOVE to decorate for Halloween. The side of the house is transformed into a “Spooky Graveyard” with tombstones, skeletons and other things that go bump in the night.  We thought it would be great to show the rest of you Halloween at the Inn.



Like clockwork, on the first of October, the young residents of Sharpsburg start watching the yard to see the transformation begin.  Each day tombstones are arrayed across the side yard.  Skeletons appear, both animal and human, along with rats and birds hoping for a meal.  Every year one or two new tombstones are erected with a catching epitaph like – “I Told You I Was Sick” or “U. R. NEXT“.










The monsters from the old scary movies are here.

Cat & mice fighting over a bone







Helping a friend OUT…

Death is coming

Poor George











Need a hand???

SMILE, we’re watching YOU.

A vulture gathering some food


















Each year we try to change some of the displays around or add something new. One year the push mower ran over a member of the ground crew and his feet were kicking from under the mower.  This year we have three new guests – our Civil War Veterans and a girl in the well.

Civil War veterans re-united at the Inn

Watch out for the girl in the well










There is a vacancy at the Inn…









The front of the Inn is covered with spider webs and spiders moving to the prey they caught.







At the top of the stairs, our scary doorman awaits to greet arriving guests as rats run across the porch, away from another gigantic spider.

Welcome to the Inn










On the other side of the Inn, a crime has been committed!  Police tape has closed off an area and little yellow tags marking  evidence have been laid out.  In the center of the area, the poor victim is wrapped in a shower curtain.  The evidence markers reveal several possible murder weapons –  a frying pan; a meat tenderizing mallet; and a baseball bat.  Off to the side is a recent newspaper with the headline reading, “LOCAL INNKEEPER MISSING”.

Crime Scene

I wonder what happened to the Innkeeper??       (Wait – Where’s Chris?!?!?)

Evidence markers at the crime scene













Mark and Julia Brugh

If the decorations aren’t enough to scare you, then maybe ghost stories are.  Around the middle of the month, once things start to cool off and the sun sets earlier, we hold our “Ghost Stories around the Campfire” in the backyard.  Mark and Julia Brugh, who run the Sharpsburg Civil War Ghost Tour Company, come to tell the stories of local interest and folklore.  Mark is dressed as Arron Good, a town resident who took on the task to identify the location of the burial sites of all the soldiers from the Battle of Antietam.  He would be sought out when family members returned to recover their soldiers and when the government had the dead removed from the field and interned into cemeteries.  Julia is dressed all in black, portraying a young woman in mourning as was the practice of the Victorian period.


Jacob Rohrbach and Jack

Throughout the month of October you will see Mark and Julia in front of the Inn during their Ghost Tours.  Once their guests are done scoping out the ‘Spooky Graveyard’, Mark spins the tale of Jacob Rohrbach and his murder in the house by Confederate raiders here to steal his horse.  Off to the side of the yard guests can view the gravestone of Jacob Rohrbach.  There towering above is the skeleton of his horse Jack, whose eyes light up red as he gives a scarey whinny and snort.  If that’s not enough to scare the wits out of you, I’m not sure what will.






Finally on Halloween night as Trick or Treating begins, we get dressed up in our costumes.  Haunting music begins to play around the Inn and fog goes drifting throughout the graveyard.  Witch Amy is down on the walk passing out candy from her cauldron as a Scarecrow (Chris) stalks back and forth through the graveyard waving at children as they pass by.  And of course Maya and Zoey make an appearance as the “Rohrbach Witches”.  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Antietam Creek Vineyards

August 12, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

The newest vineyard in Washington County is right here in Sharpsburg – Antietam Creek Vineyards!  This 55-acre farm is adjacent to the Antietam National Battlefield and the grapes are grown, processed, aged, and blended at the vineyard.


About Antietam Creek Vineyards

Antietam Creek Vineyards

Antietam Creek Vineyards (ACV) is owned and operated by Joan Larrea and George Warmenhoven.  Since 2008, these world travelers have been working to turn this former 55-acre dairy farm into a vineyard.  In 2011 George planted their first 4 1/2 acres.  By 2015, the grapevines had reached full production and this husband and wife duo began retrofitting their 100 year old barn into a tasting room.  The next year, George’s dream of opening a winery came true and they opened to the public in August 2016 for weekend tastings.

Distilling At Antietam Creek Vineyards

The vineyard

While visiting this area and staying at the Inn, one of the first things guests notice are all the limestone outcroppings.  Of course they ask, “How in the world can anyone farm here, let alone have a vineyard?”  Well it turns out that the limestone and the soil here are perfect for making wine.  According to ACV the limestone in the soil provides “a perfect 7.0 pH, or neutral acidity. In doing so, it imparts “terroir,” or place-specific taste elements, to our wine. In our whites, it is expressed as flintiness and freshness. In our reds, it allows the varietal fruit flavors to come through cleanly“.

After harvesting, the processing and fermentation takes place in the cool cellar of the barn.  Each varietal is aged in either French oak barrels or stainless steel to preserve and enhance the best features of each wine.  The stone cellar of the barn also makes a great location to store each bottle at the perfect temperature.

ACV offers several varietals and blends depending on each year’s crop size and characteristics.  If you’re lucky you might get some of their peach wine, using the fruit from their own orchard.  Here are just a few of their outstanding wines:

   Petit VerdotAntietam ReserveVital BlancAlbariñoChardonnay

Tasting at Antietam Creek Vineyards

The Tasting Room

Their Tasting Room is in the 1903 bank barn that George and Joan are hoping to have completed soon.  The chestnut post and beam tasting room is a perfect setting to enjoy this local hand-crafted wine while viewing the pristine Antietam landscape.  Until the barn is completed, you can enjoy the wines on the grounds, under the tent or at the picnic tables. Feel free to bring a lunch or some snacks to accompany the wine.

Tastings will be held from April through November, on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-6pm.

For more information about Antietam Creek Vineyards, tastings and future events you can check out their Facebook  Page or their Website


Welcome to Antietam Creek Vineyards

Turn onto Rodman Avenue off MD Route 34 into Antietam National Battlefield Park.  Turn right onto Branch Avenue after crossing overpass.  Take a left through the gate and drive back the farm lane to the parking lot in front of the barn. (Click here for Google Maps)

Antietam Creek Vineyard
4835 Branch Avenue
Sharpsburg, Maryland


Upcoming Events

Joan & George holding an outdoor tasting.

Saturday, August 12 – Antietam Battlefield talk with Bob Murphy (Free Event) 2:30 pm to 5:00pm

Saturday, August 19 – Food Truck & Live Music (Free Event!)
Featuring Brentwood Smokers BBQ, 1-6pm
and Jeff Taulton, Guitarist 2-5pm

Saturday, August 26 – Wine & Unwind Class
Yoga + Wine Tasting Event
Melanie Sirni, Instructor
12-1pm $25 per person

Comphy Sheets

July 30, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

Thomas Jackson Room

Guests at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn really enjoy the experience of sleeping on Comphy Sheets. These breathable high performance micro-fiber linens feel better than high thread count cotton. Beside feeling great, these non-allergenic, no-iron sheets dry quickly and are pre-treated to resist stains. No surprise that studies show that people sleep better on Comphy Sheets! You spend 1/3 of your life in bed so why not make it COMPHY!

These are NOT sold in stores. If you would like to sleep on Comphy Sheets at home, we can have them shipped directly to you. They also make great gifts!

What are the primary benefits and features of Comphy Sheets?

  • Looks and feels like 600 count cotton.
  • Performance fabric assures breathability and comfort.
  • Eco-friendly micro-fiber is 100% recyclable.
  • Dries quickly.
  • Does not require ironing.
  • Treated for stain release.
  • Highly recommended for people with sensitive skin.
  • Extra fine weave protects against dust mite allergens.
  • 18″ deep pockets fit newer pillow top mattresses.
  • Warranty: All Comphy Co. products are guaranteed for 300 washes!

Comphy Sheets are available in chocolate, cream, grey, silver blue, tea green, white and lavender.
Sets include: 1 fitted sheet; 1 flat top sheet; 2 Pillow Cases.


All orders are tax free** and for a limited time, we will pay the shipping costs (within the continental USA) on any order over $135!!

** Any order shipped to a CA address will be charged CA sales tax.

We will take your order at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn (301-432-5079) and Comphy Co will drop-ship the order direct to your address.

Cal King Sheet Set  $149.00
King Sheet Set  $149.00
Queen Sheet Set  $143.00
Full Sheet Set  $135.00
Twin Sheet Set $129.00
Twin XL Sheet Set  $129.00
Standard Pillow Case Set(20″ x 30″) $24.00
Queen Pillow Case Set (20″ x 32″) $28.00
King Pillow Case Set (20″ x 36″) $32.00

To order your Comphy Sheets from the Jacob Rohrbach Inn click here!

Flowers about the Inn

July 17, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

We decided to do a visual blog this month since these pictures are just too pretty to muddle with a bunch of words!  Be sure to let us know what your favorite summer flowers are.   And as always……if you have something unique, we love to share and trade!

(click on the flowers to enlarge them)


White Geraniums, Purple Lantana and stripped Petunias – very cheery!

Purple Garden Phlox

Pink Garden Phlox









Squirrel checking out the Primroses (Oenothera speciosa)

Johnny Jump-up  (Viola cornuta) grows under the old pump

Impatient in the wheel-barrel









We’ve got lilies – LOTS of lilies!


Bright Yellow

and My favorite – Pink Stargazer







Love in the Mist (Nigella damascena)      Looks so delicate!

Pink and White Tall Garden Phlox circles the sitting area

Twin Great Spangled Fritillary Butterflies on the Coneflowers

Knockout rosebud – so pretty








Tuscan Sun – Perennial Sunflower

Hot Pink Verbena

More Verbena and roses

Threadleaf Tickseed








Purple Salvia lines the parking area

Purple and Green Hellebores

Found a nifty use for the old wagon and some enamel ware that I had

Container plants greet the guests -MUCH better then the mystery shrub that used to be there!









Just a little garden around the old tree stump with a purple verbena and some candy tuft.

The ‘Rohrbach Farm’












Maya & Zoey enjoying the pretty planter outside the General’s Quarters…



“This Old House” – The Thomas Jackson Room Renovation

May 3, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

Right after Valentine’s Weekend we closed off the Thomas Jackson Room to begin the long overdue renovation.  This room was one of the original guest rooms when the house was turned into a bed and breakfast thirty years ago. This second floor addition was added around 1804.  When the west side of the house was added between 1832 and 1845, this room became the formal parlor.  It was truly fascinating to uncover some of that early construction during the renovation.  We are very pleased with the project and would like to thank Anne Marie & Marty of Uphome Renovations, LLC for the tremendous work they did.  They were also extremely helpful in recommending an electrician, drywaller , and brick mason, all local craftsman, who did an excellent job as well.  Another ‘Thank you’ goes to Antietam Wood Floors for repairing and restoring the hardwood floors.  They turned out even better then expected and really make the room fitting for a general like “Stonewall” Jackson.

So here are a few picture BEFORE…..

Thomas Jackson RoomThomas Jackson RoomThomas Jackson RoomThomas Jackson Room





Before the room had wall-to-wall mauve carpet, wallpaper, and a functional, but very dated, bathroom.


A few pictures DURING…..

Bye-Bye Carpet!

See-ya later wallpaper


Standard 30″x 36″ fiberglass walled shower

Small vanity & mirror














Old wallpaper covers the inside chimney or west side fireplace for the room. (this is located behind a bathroom wall)

The old beam and floor boards.

Great to see the old hardwood floors again.














Maya giving Marty the final stamp of approval.

And a few pictures AFTER…..


48″ vanity with a large mirror, lots of storage and updated lighting.

Beautiful 36″x 48″ tiled shower with rainfall showerhead.

















We added a mini-fridge in the room too.


Old brick laid hearth and refurbished mantle for the fireplace










The Farmsteads at Antietam – Alfred Poffenberger Farm

March 31, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

Perhaps one of the least known and seldom visited farmsteads at Antietam is the Alfred Poffenberger farm also known as the Mary Locher cabin.  One of the oldest historical structures in the area, many visitors traveling to or from Antietam along Route 65 do not realize that this farmstead was at the center of the most ferocious fighting in the West Woods.

In the 1730s and 40s, settlers from Pennsylvania began passing through Maryland on their way to Virginia.  To entice these German settlers to stay in Maryland’s backcountry, Lord Baltimore issued a proclamation in 1732, “offering 200 acres of land in fee, subject to a four shilling per year quitrent per each 100 acres to any family who would settle and work the land.”  The opportunity for large land tracts attracted speculators like James Smith, Dr. George Stuart, Col. Edwin Sprigg and Richard Sprigg.

As the migration of settlers traveled south from the Cumberland Valley into the valley of the Antietam, they would follow a trail that would lead them to a ford on the Potomac River.  Today this ford is known by a number of names: Pack Horse Ford, Boteler’s Ford, Blackford’s Ford or the Shepherdstown Ford.  The trail that the early settlers traveled became known as the “Waggon Road” and was referenced in many of the land patents of the day. In 1734, Richard Sprigg was granted 500 acres called ‘Piles Grove‘ which was located between Antietam Creek and the Potomac River, just north of the area that would become Sharpsburg. Also sometimes referred to as ‘Piles Delight‘, the property was described as “beginning at a White Oak near a small branch and near a larger spring.. about a mile from a road called the Waggon Road…”  The tract of land on which the Alfred Poffenberger farm is located, was first surveyed and patented by Richard Sprigg.

The Alfred Poffenberger farm or Mary Locher cabin.

Less than ten years later, in 1743, Colonel Edwin (Edward) Sprigg was granted a portion of the Piles Delight tract.
In 1750, Col. Sprigg had two patents resurveyed into a tract called Piles Delight (Addition and Resurvey) which totaled 2,617 acres.  It was very typical of eastern Maryland land speculators to lease or sell smaller parcels of land to the arriving settlers.  During this time parcels of the property were probably leased to tenants. Although nothing is known of the builder, it is believed that the log structure on the property today was constructed before 1760. When Col. Sprigg died, his will divided the tract to his children, but his son Frederick would later sell the entire tract to David McMechen in 1791.

Following the death of David McMechen in 1811, the final 600 acres of the Resurvey of the Addition of Piles Delight was put up for sale.  The parcel was quickly purchased for $19,300 by John McPherson and John Brien, both well-known land speculators and owners of the nearby Antietam Iron Works. By 1814, they had sold 225 acres to Philip Grove for $13, 500.  Michael Havenar also purchased a parcel just to the north of Grove, which would eventually become the Nicodemus Farm.


The Jacob Grove homestead was just west of Sharpsburg.

The Grove family in Maryland had descended from the German settlers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Hans Groff had emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1695.  His grandson, Jacob had moved to Maryland in 1765 and their last name was changed to Grove.  Jacob’s son Philip would become one of the leading merchants in Sharpsburg, owning large estates in and around town.  One of these estates was known as Mount Airy, a large farmstead just west of town which had been originally owned by the Chapline family.  Philip had purchased the property in 1821 and completed the building of the house, which became the Grove homestead.





Mary Grove Locker parcel

The red line represents the approx. boundary of the Mary Grove Locker parcel and the blue boundary was the Joseph Grove parcel.

Upon Philip’s death in 1841, Mount Airy was acquired by his youngest son, Stephen P. Grove.  The other tracts of land in Philip’s estate were divided among his other children.  The 225 acre farm on Resurvey of the Addition to Piles Delight was divided between his daughter Mary Grove Locker and his son Joseph Grove. The eastern half of the property, that Mary received, included a dwelling, a large bank barn, a root cellar and several outbuildings.  Joseph was most likely already living in the large house on 112 acres on the western portion of the property.  The house still stands today.  Joseph Grove’s property would eventually become the Jacob Hauser farmstead.





The foundation of the bank barn recently restored by the NPS.

The root cellar by the dwelling.







Westerly view to the Hauser farm.

The log constructed cabin, pre-circa 1760.








Mary Grove had married Jacob Locher of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The young couple may have lived at the farm she inherited from her father, but most likely it was leased to tenants. By 1860 the original 16 x 16 foot round-log cabin had been expanded with additions to its north and south end.  The southern end was probably a large parlor with a sleeping loft and the northern addition including a large working fireplace and wainscoting which suggests it was built as a kitchen.  A set of winding box stairs in the kitchen led up to another sleeping chamber.


Alfred Poffenberger Farm

On March 2, 1858, Alfred Poffenberger married Harriet Hutzel.  According to the 1860 census they were residing at the Mary Locher farm along with a one year old son, William.  Also listed was a 10 year old named Emma Ziah, and Peter Krutzer, a 28 year old farmhand.  Alfred’s uncle, Joseph, had a farm about a mile to the north of the Locker house.  His cousin Samuel was soon to be married and they would then move to an established farm just a half a mile to the east of Alfred, off the Smoketown Road.  Like his relatives on the surrounding farms, Alfred had harvested his crop of wheat, rye, corn and hay before Confederate soldiers started to occupy his farm on September 16, 1862.


Sept. 17th – 9:00-9:30AM

It is unknown where Alfred Poffenberger and his family went during the battle, but it is certain that they left in a hurry.  According to one Confederate soldier who found “the cabin” abandoned just hours before the fighting, he found two loaves of fresh bread which relieved his hunger.  By the early morning hours,  Confederate forces were rapidly moving across Alfred Poffenberger’s fields.  Artillery had set up near the barn and other positions were established by Jacob Hauser’s house and the ridge overlooking the Nicodemus farm. Around mid-morning the fighting was creeping closer to the Poffenberger farmhouse through the West Woods.  As Major General John Segdwick’s Union division was about to break out of the woodlot, Confederates under Major General Lafayette McLaws and Brigadier General John Walker struck the federal forces. The farmstead was engulfed in the confusing battle for the West Woods.  The  ebb and flow of the battle was happening along the lane in front of the cabin.  Finally the Confederates pushed the Union soldiers through the West Woods and back across the Hagerstown Pike.

15th MASS monument

View across MD Route 65 in front of the A. Poffenberger farm to the 15th Mass. monument

The Poffenberger barn had become an ambulance station for the Rebel forces.  As the wounded gathered,
ambulances and wagons arrived to transport them to a field hospital that had been established outside of Sharpsburg on the Shepherdstown Road at the David Smith farm.  Two days later after the Confederate Army retreat back across Shepherdstown Ford, a burial detail from the 15th Massachusetts dug a 25 foot trench near the cabin by the garden to bury their comrades.


The 5,300-man Union  division that advanced through the West Woods was wrecked, suffering over 2,200 casualties in less than thirty minutes.  The Confederates  would suffer almost 2,000 casualties as well.  One Rebel soldier attempted to describe the fighting in the West Woods stating,  “We were in the hottest part of the fight under Jackson, and for me to give an idea of the fierceness of the conflict, the roar of musketry, and the thunder of artillery is as utterly impossible as to describe a thousand storms in the region of Hades.”  

The amount of damage to the Alfred Poffenberger cabin and buildings must have been very substantial considering the fighting that occurred there, however Alfred’s claims do not reflect that.  It is possible, that since it would be very hard to determine whether the damage was caused by Confederate or by Union troops, Alfred did not include structural damage in the two claims he submitted to the Federal government.  He would receive $144.30 for stores that included wheat, hay, and corn taken between September 20-27, 1862 and another $661.40 for corn, rye, and hay that was taken September 30, 1862.


Survey of the property of George Poffenberger and Mrs. Nicodemus by S.S. Downin, in 1883.

After the battle, the Poffenberger’s briefly moved into a tenant house at his Uncle Joseph’s farm.  He continued to be a tenant of the Locher farm until after 1870, when he moved his family to Iowa.  The next tenant of the log house may have been his younger step-brother George Poffenberger, but only for a short period.  By 1883, George had purchased 65 acres from David R. Miller.  This parcel included the entire West Woods east of the cabin to the Hagerstown Pike.  George immediately built a house there, while renting the Locher farm.  In 1898 George Poffenberger would purchase the Locher farm from the heirs of Mary Locher.


The property would remain in the Poffenberger family until 1991 when it was sold to the Conservation Fund and donated to the Antietam National Battlefield.  Since that time the National Park Service has conducted archaeological investigations around the house site and constructed a temporary canopy in order to protect the cabin during the stabilization and restoration process.  In the future, the National Park Service would like to create an interpretive hiking trail through the Alfred Poffenberger farmstead to continue to tell the story of the West Woods and the civilians involved.  The Alfred Poffenberger farm was an eyewitness to the history of this desperate fight in the West Woods.


The Alfred Poffenberger farmstead today.


  • Barron, Lee and Barbara Barron, The History of Sharpsburg, Maryland: Founded by Joseph Chapline, 1763. Sharpsburg: self-published, 1972.
  • Buchanan, Jim,  Walking the West Woods, 20 March 2017.   Retrieved from http://walkingthewestwoods.blogspot.com/search?q=Mary+Grove+Locher+Cabin%2C+Poffenberger+Farmstead
  • Curci, Jane. Mary Poffenberger: Information about the Poffenberger Family, 20 March 2017. Retrieved from http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/poffenberger/210/
  • Gallagher, Gary W., Editor, The Antietam Campaign. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division; Historical American Building Survey MD,22-ANTI.V,2- (sheet 1 of 5) – Mary Locher Cabin, Washington, D.C. Retrieved from  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/md0837.sheet.00001a/
  • Reardon, Carol and Tom Vossler, A Field Guide to Antietam: experiencing the battlefield through history, places and people, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2016.
  •  Schildt, John W., Drums Along the Antietam. ParsonMcClain Printing Company, 2004.
  • Williams, Thomas J.C., A History of Washington County, Maryland. From the earliest settlements to the present time. Vol. 2: Hagerstown, 1906. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books/about/A_History_of_Washington_County_Maryland.html?id=c9AwAQAAMAAJ
  • Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia’s Northern Neck Counties  Edward Sprigg. Retrieved from  http://www.colonial-settlers-md-va.us/getperson.php?personID=I013535&tree=tree1
  • Walker, Kevin M and K. C. Kirkman, Antietam Farmsteads: A Guide to the Battlefield Landscape Sharpsburg: Western Maryland Interpretive Association, 2010.
  • 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.

Spring means BASEBALL!

March 15, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

You know spring is coming when the flowers start to bloom, the birds are chirping and you hear the National Anthem in the distance.  That’s right – spring means BASEBALL, and in Sharpsburg little league begins the first Saturday of April.  When you’re sitting on your guest room porch, you can hear an announcer calling off the starting lineups for each team and then the National Anthem begins to play.  You close your eyes as the final notes echo through the town and your memories take you back to an earlier time; playing a game of catch in the backyard, going to your first big-league ball game with the smell of hot dogs in the stands, the roar of the crowd as the umpire yells, “PLAY BALL!”

That’s right, spring means baseball and what better place to experience both major and minor  league baseball than during your stay at the Inn.   Pick a day of the week and chances are, you can catch a major league game with the Baltimore Orioles or the Washington Nationals.   Both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. are just a short drive from the Inn and perfect for a day-trip.

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles


In Baltimore, you can visit the National Aquarium, explore the Maryland Science Center, tour the USS Constellation and have dinner at one of the great restaurants at the Inner Harbor before you head over to the O’s game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.



Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals

Of course, in Washington, D.C. you could see the Lincoln Memorial and the National Air & Space Museum.  Stop by Arlington National Cemetery for the changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before heading over to Nationals game.  The Nat’s new stadium, Nationals Park is located in Southeast Washington, south of the Capitol.  Before or after the game you can enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants along the fast-developing Capitol Riverfront adjacent to the Navy Yard.


If you’re looking for more of a small-town feel, but still want to get plenty of action, than we have two great minor league teams in Hagerstown and Frederick.

Frederick Keys

Frederick Keys


The Frederick Keys was established in 1989.  The Keys are a Carolina League Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles and play on Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick, which opened in 1990.


Hagerstown Suns

Hagerstown Suns



The Hagerstown Suns have been part of the South Atlantic League since 1993.  The Suns are a Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They play in Hagerstown at Municipal Stadium, which was built in 1931.




Manny Machado

Manny Machado

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper


If you take in one of these games you just never know who the next All Star you’ll see out on the field.  Manny Machado played with the Keys and Bryce Harper spent a short time with the Suns before making their major league debut.




If you’re looking for some down-home family fun, then staying at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn is the perfect choice  to get out to the old ball park and take in “America’s favorite pastime”.  So step up to the plate and hit a home run by booking your room today.



Changes around the Inn

July 20, 2016 by jacobrohrbach

It has been a busy first half of the year at the Inn with all the updates, additions and changes.  Here is a little peek at what’s been happening.

Unfortunately,  we had to remove two trees this spring, the Maple tree by the parking lot and the Ash tree in the backyard.  Our friends as Prefered Arbor Care in Hagerstown did a great job.  With the parking lot opened up, we decided to put in a new rock wall and flower bed along the front to welcome guests as they pulled in.

Prepared Arbor Care

Getting ready to start removing the Ash tree in the yard.

Prepared Arbor Care

Taking down the tree by the parking lot.


Putting in garden

Putting in the flowers

New flower bed

New flower bed


An over grown bush was removed to open the view to the Spring House.  As we were leveling out the ground what we thought was a rock turned out to be an old pipe.  It looks really good with the new sod in place.

An unexpected surprise...

An unexpected surprise…


New sod coming in nicely.











At the end of the walk, we thought it would be the perfect spot for a new seating area.

Maya lending a 'paw' digging in the garden.

Maya lending a ‘paw’ digging in the garden.

Our new Blue & Grey Garden.

Our new Blue & Gray Garden.








Flowers coming in around the seating area.

Flowers coming in around the seating area.







With the addition of the new seating area and the Ash tree gone, we moved the old pump closer to the house and designed a new flower bed around the old maple tree.

Maya & Zoey supervising the job.

Maya & Zoey supervising the job.

Getting ready to take out bush.

Getting ready to take out the Mock Orange bush






The old well pump.

The old well pump.


Found a nice spot for our little wheelbarrow boy.

Our big wheelbarrow boy looking for a nice spot for our little wheelbarrow boy.

Found a nice spot for our little wheelbarrow boy

Under the lilac bush – perfect!


We added a few more blueberry bushes, some other vegetables to go with the tomatoes and peppers; added the herb garden and the strawberries took off like wildfire.

Watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, and zucchini plants

Watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, and zucchini plants

Planted herb barden

Potted herb garden







Blueberry patch

Blueberry patch



Tomatos & Peppers

Tomatoes & Peppers










With most of the major projects done outside, we had time for a few updates inside.  We upgraded the mini-fridge in the General’s Quarters and moved that smaller one to the Harpers Ferry Suite.  The flat screen TVs in both the Clara Barton Suite and the Thomas Jackson Room were upgraded.  And finally, just in time to beat the summer heat, both the Jackson Room and the Clara Barton Suite received their own individually controlled high efficiency cooling and heating systems.  These two Mitsubishi wall-mounted, ductless systems were installed by McCrea Heating & Air Conditioning along with Steenburg Electrical Services.  In a few hours these guys had completed both rooms and it was a comfortable 65 degrees, outstanding job!


McCrea Heating & Air Conditioning and Steenburg Electrical Services










Running the line from the Clara Barton Suite.

Running the line from the Clara Barton Suite.

Hooking up the electricity

Hooking up the electricity















Thomas Jackson Room

Thomas Jackson Room

New wall unit in the Clara Barton Suite,

Clara Barton Suite













Well, that’s all the updates for now.  Check back in the fall to see more of the changes around the Inn.

“Four Days in October” – Rev. John Schildt

June 29, 2016 by jacobrohrbach

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

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

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

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.

Rev. Schildt will present the final talk in this year’s Summer Lecture Series talks on Wednesday, August 31st with Four Days in October”.  The Valley of the Antietam has heard the beat of Indian drums, the drum beat of revivalism, and the drums of the Blue and the Gray during the Maryland Campaign of 1862 . But two weeks after the battle the drums beat again. This time in honor of the visit of the President, Abraham Lincoln. John will discuss the story of Mr. Lincoln’s visit to Antietam, telling why he came, how he arrived, and what he did during those eventful days when he made history by walking over the hills around Sharpsburg.

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

These Wednesday evening programs are free and open to the public.  They will be held outdoors on the grounds of the Jacob Rohrbach Inn at 7:oo p.m.  Feel free to bring a chair or blanket to sit around the event tent. In case of inclement weather talks will be moved to the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed United Church of Christ. Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets.
Check our Facebook page for updates.

Pollinators at the Inn

June 27, 2016 by jacobrohrbach


Visiting Purple Sage


Everyone that stays at the Inn comments on the yard, almost always like this: “Wow, this is beautiful!”, “Do you do all of this yourselves?”, “This is a lot of work!”  The response to those comments is: “YES!”   Yes, it is beautiful and yes, it is a lot of work, but we can’t say we do it all ourselves.  Mother Nature has provided some outstanding helpers, our friends the pollinators!  If you didn’t know, National Pollinator Week was this month (June 20-26)  and I thought it would be fun to do a photo blog of some of our garden assistants hard at work in the flower beds.


Checking out the Coral Bells










Lunching on a Lavender Pincushion Flower



Resting on a White Impatient














They love the Purple Sage




Honey Bee blending into an Annual Sunflower











This Blue Lobelia’s petals mirror the bee’s wings




Taking a taste of a Blue Pincushion flower

Bee inside flower

Dipping inside a Hosta Bloom


Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Filling up at an Obedient Plant




Find Your Park – Monocacy National Battlefield

May 29, 2016 by jacobrohrbach

Find Your Park

Find Your Park

Find Your Park

We continue the Find Your Park in our backyard series this month, featuring the Monocacy National Battlefield.  Known as “The Battle that Saved Washington” this 1864 battle would be one of the last Confederate excursions into Union territory.  Only a short drive from the Inn, the battlefield is just southeast of the city of Frederick, Maryland.

As with most Civil War battlefields, a large portion of the Monocacy battlefield remained in private hands for over 100 years.  In 1928, George Worthington, owner of a large portion of the fields, had petitioned Congress for the creation of a National Military Park.  Although Congress passed a bill in 1934, it would take almost 50 years for funds to be appropriated for the acquisition of land.  Today the Monocacy Battlefield encompasses over 1,650 acres  and is made up of the Baker, Best, Gambrill, Lewis, Thomas, and Worthington  farmsteads.   These same farms that bore the brunt of the fighting on July 9, 1864 had also experienced the war earlier during both the Maryland Campaign in 1862 and again in 1863 as Union forces were moving north toward Gettysburg.

Best Farm (Photo Credit: NPS)

Best Farm (Photo Credit: NPS)

The opening skirmishes of the battle would begin on the Best Farm near Monocacy Junction.  Here the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad crossed the Best fields and played a key role in the Union defense.  The Battle of Monocacy is often referred to as the “Battle that Saved Washington”.  On July 5-6, 1864 about 15,000 Confederate forces under the command of Lt. Gen. Jubal Early crossed over the Potomac River near Sharpsburg and advanced toward Frederick in an attempt to threaten and possibly capture Washington D.C.  Major General Lew Wallace, the Union commander in Baltimore, quickly rushed 3,200 troops on the B & O Railroad and headed toward Frederick.  Upon reaching the Monocacy Junction, Wallace set up a hasty defense to guard the three bridges and several fords over the Monocacy River hoping to delay Early until Washington could be reinforced.  By dawn on July 9, 3,400 Union veterans had reached Wallace from Lt. General Ulysses S Grant.  Although still outnumbered more than two to one, Wallace’s force would keep the Confederates at bay during the all day fight.  Finally Wallace could no longer hold his position and was forced to fall back and retreat toward Baltimore, leaving behind some 1,300 casualties.  The battle cost Jubal Early over 900 men, and he would also lose precious time on his advance to Washington.  On July 11, when his army finally reached the outskirts of Washington’s defenses at Fort Stevens, he found that Grant had rushed two more Union divisions from Petersburg, Virginia to bolster the capital defenses.  The next day Early withdrew his army back into Virginia, ending the last Confederate invasion of the North.

Walking Trail

Walking Trail at Monocacy (Photo credit: NPS)

Patrons of the Monocacy Battlefield Visitors Center can enjoy an electric map orientation program, interactive computer programs, interpretive displays, artifacts of the battle and a museum store.   There is a self-guided auto tour of the five stops covering about six miles.  The park also offers a number of walking trails for visitors to explore the flora and wildlife of the region.


National Civil War Medical Museum

National Civil War Medical Museum

While in Fredrick to visit Monocacy, be sure to take advantage of additional points of interest like the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.  Located in downtown Frederick, the Museum is the premier center for the preservation and research of the legacy of Civil War Medical innovation and humanitarianism.

Now get out and Find Your Park – Visit Monocacy!

Antietam Endgame: The Conclusion of Lee’s Maryland Invasion, September 18-20, 1862 – Kevin Pawlak

May 10, 2016 by jacobrohrbach


Kevin Pawlak

Civil War Summer Lecture Series

Kevin Pawlak is the Education Specialist at the Mosby Heritage Area Association and a Licensed Battlefield Guide at Antietam National Battlefield. A 2014 graduate of Shepherd University, Kevin previously worked at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. He is the author of “Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital,” published by The History Press in 2015.

On Wednesday, June 15th Kevin Pawlak will present his  Summer Lecture Series talk on “Antietam Endgame: The Conclusion of Lee’s Maryland Invasion, September 18-20, 1862”.  The Maryland Campaign did not conclude with the Battle of Antietam on September 17. Three days of fighting and maneuvering after the bloodiest single day in American history ended Confederate hopes for a victory on Northern soil. The outcome of the campaign still hung much in the balance and sharp fighting at Shepherdstown and Williamsport proved to be the final events that turned one of this nation’s most crucial campaigns into a victory for the United States.

Come join leading historians, Antietam Battlefield Guides, NPS volunteer interpreters and living history presenters as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.

These Wednesday evening programs are free and open to the public. They will be held outdoors on the grounds of the Jacob Rohrbach Inn at 7:oo p.m. Feel free to bring a chair or blanket to sit around the event tent. In case of inclement weather talks will be cancelled. Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets. Check our Facebook page for updates.

Our First Year

December 30, 2015 by jacobrohrbach

Our First Year at the Antietam  Fireworks

Our first year at the Antietam  Fireworks

Where has the year gone?

As 2015 winds down, so does our first year as the Owners and Innkeepers of the Jacob Rohrbach Inn. It has been a very busy year and we have been enjoying a well deserved holiday break with family and friends.

This being the time of year for reflections, we would like to look back, acknowledge and say ‘thank you’ to the many, many people and businesses who made it possible to reach this milestone.

First and foremost – to our boys –  THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  Your love and support over the last 3 years has been amazing.  You never complained about how this decision was going to impact your lives, you just said “GO FOR IT!”

To our friends and family – You could have laughed at us when we first said that we were thinking about buying a B&B and becoming Innkeepers, instead you asked – “What can we do to help?”  We are truly blessed!

Scott and Marilyn Bushnell of Bushnell & Bushnell Services. You answered our questions, provided your expert knowledge and experience, and kept us focused until we found the perfect Inn for us.  We couldn’t have done it without you!

E. Lee Remley Inc., General Contractors. Thank you for your professional consultation, design work, and amazing carpentry skills during our renovation period.

Thank you to all the professional consultants that gave us great advice and continue to support our venture:
Attorney James D. O’Connor, of O’Connor, Hammel & Butler, P.A.; our CPA’s – Joe Reilly and John Brethauer of Fiducial Business Centers, Inc.; Jeff Keller of Jefferson Security Bank; and Tad Shirey and Amy Greenplate of Insurance Services United, Inc.

Some of the many vendors who deserve to be mention here are:

Coffee mug from Deneen Pottery.

Our first year coffee mugs from Deneen Pottery.

  • Debbie Anderson of Victorian House Scones for providing the first item for our gift shop and the delicious scone mixes.
  • A special thanks to Deneen Pottery for designing our fabulous new logo and our wonderful coffee mugs.
  • BJ’s Custom Creations for providing our customized guest water bottles that are used as the first bounty in our Guest Reward Program.
  • To Christian Giannelli and his father of Christian Giannelli Photography for doing an outstanding job and being so flexible and fun to work with during our photo shoot.
  • Comphy Company for producing all the fantastic linens used on our beds.
  • Pat McCauley and her team (Beth, Corey and Shawn) of InsideOut Solutions for their patience, hard work and continued assistance with our amazing new website.

We would like to express our appreciation for the goodwill that we received from the Sharpsburg community and the Hagerstown/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) for their encouragement and support of the small lodging partners.

Finally we want to say thank you to all of our guests for a great first year. We met some fantastic people and made many new friends.   We look forward to the opportunity to serve you again in 2016 and wish you all a healthy and happy New Year!