Jacob Rohrbach Inn (Sharpsburg, Maryland)

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Sharpsburg Founder’s Day – Celebrating 255 Years of History

July 2, 2018 by jacobrohrbach

In 1763, on land called Joe’s Lott, Joseph Chapline laid out what was to be the first town in Washington County. He named it Sharps Burgh, in honor of his friend Governor Horatio Sharpe. He choose this site for the town, he noted, because of the “great spring” of water located there.

The town consisted of 187 lots on eight streets. Each lot was 103 x 206 feet, except for four slightly smaller lots in the center of town. The initial price per lot was one shilling and the town grew rapidly over the next twenty years. Over time Sharpsburg transformed from a colonial town to an industrial town. It has been home to a popular spa and resort, known as a C & O Canal town, a Civil War town and a railroad town. Today, Sharpsburg is a residential and small business community that is proud of our past. We cherish the small town atmosphere of friendliness, peacefulness and a commitment to preserving our rich and diverse heritage.

As you walk the streets of Sharpsburg it greatly resembles its original appearance. Not much has changed since those early days and from July 6-8, you can come celebrate 255 Years of History during Sharpsburg Founder’s Day!

The celebration begins by welcoming in one of the newest businesses to the Sharpsburg area – Antietam Creek Vineyards. On Friday night, Antietam Creek Vineyards will host the festivities at their new 55-acre winery. Come out and taste some outstanding hickory smoke BBQ by Brentwood Smokers from Hagerstown, enjoy live music by the Speakeasy Boys from Shepherdstown and sit back and sip some wine from our wonderful hosts, Joan and George of Antietam Creek Vineyards.

A full day of activities and events are on the scheduled for Saturday. It’s only fitting that we start out with a dedication ceremony to Sharpsburg’s founder – Joseph Chapline. After the 9:00am wreath laying at Mountain View Cemetery, the festivities start at 9:30am around the Town Square.  North Mechanic Street will be filled with vendors holding an artisans and farmers market.  Some of the vendors include Kelley Farm, Cedar Ridge SoapsMillhouse Candles, Pheasant Run Farm, and The Farm at Stillwater Spring.  Throughout the day there will be demonstrations on how to make soap, candles, and rugs, as well as preserving food and a blacksmith demonstration.  The Washington County Historical Society will also have children’s crafts and demonstrate butter making.  On the the back deck of Victory Garden Ranch live music will be playing throughout the day by Voices of Vets and the Hancock Civil War String Band.

Hancock Civil War String Band

Alongside the market, local organizations will be there to provide information on their groups, their mission and upcoming activities. These will include the Sharpsburg Historical Society, Save Historic Antietam Foundation, American Legion Auxiliary Antietam Unit 236, C&O Canal Assoc., Rural Heritage Museum, Shepherd’s SpringKeedysville Historical Society and BSA Troop 51.

 

Across the street at the Town Hall, the Sharpsburg Heritage Museum will be open, displaying old pictures and artifacts of the town. Be sure to sign up for one of the walking tours that start at the Town Hall.  Mark Brugh from Sharpsburg Civil War Ghost Tours will take you through the back alleys and streets of town to share some of its history and interesting stories.  Vernell Doyle of the Sharpsburg Historical Society will walk through some of the town cemeteries and talk about the preservation of these sites. A.C. Ash will offer tours of her house – the Chapline/Biggs House, and you can also visit Tolson’s Chapel.

Before leaving the Square, stop by the Living History area to see a French & Indian War era camp and learn about the ‘Military through the Ages’ from living historians portraying soldiers of all eras.

 

Throughout the day, historical lectures will be held just up the street at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn.  Rev. John Schildt will start things off at 10am with his talk, “Drums along the Antietam“, followed by retired Antietam Chief Historian, Ted Alexander who will discuss “Sharpsburg before & after the battle” at 11am.

Rev John Schildt

Ted Alexander

Ted Alexander

 

 

 

 

 

Over the lunchtime intermission the New Horizons Band will hold a free concert on the lawn of the Inn at 1pm and all attendees will receive a ticket for a free Kiddie Cone at Nutter’s Ice Cream.

Following the concert, local historian Tim Snyder will talk about the “Sharpsburg Rifles”  at 2:30pm and at 4pm Antietam Battlefield Guide and relic collector Stephen Recker will share the story of “O.T. Reilly: Sharpsburg Relics & Remembrances

Tim Snyder

Stephen Recker

 

 

 

 

 

All these activities and events are bound to make you hungry.  Both Captain Benders and Pete’s Tavern will be offering Founder’s Day Specials throughout the day. At the Square you can get BBQ chicken or hamburgers from Boy Scout Troop 51, a hot dog meal from Victory Garden Ranch, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will have some homemade baked goodies.

On Saturday evening if you’re not up at the battlefield for the Salute to Independence Concert, sign up for the Fireworks Ghost Tour with Mark & Julia Brugh of Sharpsburg Civil War Ghost Tours.  This special 90-minute tour begins at 8:15pm and will take place under the night sky of the fireworks.

The weekend events will wrap up on Sunday morning with a Homecoming Community Church Service held at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church at 10am.

The Sharpsburg Founder’s Day celebration would not be possible without the sponsorship of the Mayor and Town Council and the support of these great businesses and organizations – THANK YOU!

 

 

Civil War Ghost Stories at the Inn

September 18, 2017 by jacobrohrbach

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Civil War Ghost of Sharpsburg by Mark & Julia Brugh

In September 1862, fighting from the Battle of Antietam spilled into Sharpsburg’s streets. Residents were left to bury the dead from both sides. Today, locals report lingering echoes of that strife, from the faint taps of a Union drummer boy named Charley King, to the phantom footsteps of Confederate soldiers charging up the stairs of the Rohrbach House.

On October 18, come hear tour guides Mark and Julia Brugh craft a vivid portrait of Sharpsburg in the Civil War and bring to light stories of the ghosts for whom the conflict never ended.

Mark and Julia are also the authors of Civil War Ghosts of Sharpsburg, which features the story of Jacob Rohrbach.

 

 

 

mark_julia

Julia & Mark Brugh

Julia Stinson Brugh is a native of West Virginia and grew up surrounded by Civil War legends. She was exposed at an early age to the rich history of the area, and lived in a haunted house in Harpers Ferry as a small child. Julia’s father was a historian with the National Park service, and growing up included frequent visits to Antietam with her parents and younger sister. Julia has a love of oral history, folklore, and ghost stories, which combined with Mark’s passion for history, makes the Sharpsburg Tour Company special.

Mark P. Brugh has studied Civil War history for more than thirty years. This passion led to the inception of the Sharpsburg Civil War Ghosts Tours, which offer both historical tours of the town, and family friendly ghost tours with a strong historical foundation. He is a member and volunteer for the C&O Canal Association and the Sharpsburg Historical Society. He is also a member of the Hagerstown Civil War Roundtable and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.  Mark has recently start a podcast about the Chronicles of Aaron Good and other fascinating stories of Antietam.

Join us on Wednesday, October 18 at 7:00 pm around a campfire in the side yard of the Jacob Rohrbach Inn to hear these intriguing Civil War Ghost stories. This program is free and open to the public. Please bring a chair or blanket to sit around the campfire. Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets. Check our Facebook page for updates. For further information call (301) 432-5079.

Hiking and Biking the C&O Canal Towpath

October 7, 2015 by jacobrohrbach

Welcome Cyclists and Hikers, The Jacob Rohrbach Inn is located just off the C&O Canal Towpath, and is the ideal base-camp while exploring Maryland.

Eastbound we are 1.5 miles from Snyder’s Landing – mile 76.6 Westbound we are 3 miles from Antietam Aqueduct – mile 69.4 Just a short ride into town via quiet country roads or call for pickup! Check current towpath information and closures here.

Traveling along the canal, a highlight of your journey is the Antietam area near the halfway mark. The Antietam Battlefield preserves the hallowed ground at Sharpsburg, a tribute to our nation and an appropriate way to honor those who fought here on September 17, 1862 when over 23,000 men fell in battle, the bloodiest day in American history.

In the 1830’s the C&O canal was completed from Georgetown to Sharpsburg, and many Sharpsburg residents went to work for the canal company or operated canal boats. Snyders Landing at Sharpsburg had a warehouse and a tie-up where cargo was loaded and boats were wintered. On the towpath just downstream from Snyders Landing are several caves in the cliffs lining the river. In 1862 some Sharpsburg residents took shelter in Killiansburg Cave during the battle.

Captain Augustus Hebb and his family operated a canal boat from Sharpsburg for many years. In 1944, one of his children purchased the home now known as the Jacob Rohrbach Inn. In 1992, Ted Hebb, recalled his boyhood experiences growing up on the canal in a National Park Service interview. Today the canal towpath, where mule skinners once coaxed the boats along, is a 184 mile hiking/biking trail from Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland. A new trail, the Great Allegheny Passage, now allows continued travel through the Allegheny Mountains from Cumberland to Pittsburgh. For other accommodations along your route see BBBiking.com, a guide to bike-friendly bed & breakfast inns.


At Antietam’s Jacob Rohrbach Inn you will find:

  • A warm welcome for the weary
  • Complimentary beverages and homemade cookies
  • Hearty full breakfasts included each day
  • Beautiful quiet accommodations
  • An area to clean and service your bikes
  • Your bikes securely locked in our garage
  • Restaurants, taverns, deli, ice cream parlor, bakery and convenience store within a few blocks
  • Available laundry service
  • Pick up/drop off service for Canal points between Williamsport and Harpers Ferry
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