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Frederick County, MD

Frederick County, MD

Frederick County is a county located in the western part of the U.S. state of Maryland, bordering the southern border of Pennsylvania and the northeastern border of Virginia. It is a part of the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan Area, and is often recognized as part of Western Maryland. The county is home to Catoctin Mountain Park (encompassing the presidential retreat Camp David) and to the U.S. Army's Fort Detrick. The county seat is Frederick, which was home to several celebrated historical figures like Francis Scott Key, Thomas Johnson (governor), Roger B. Taney, and Barbara Fritchie. The county (and the county seat) may have been named for Frederick Calvert, 6th Baron Baltimore.

Frederick County was created in 1748 from parts of Prince George's County and Baltimore County. In 1776, Frederick County was divided into three parts. The westernmost portion became Washington County, named after George Washington, the easternmost portion became Montgomery County, named after another Revolutionary War general, Richard Montgomery. The central portion remained Frederick County. In 1837 a part of Frederick County was combined with a part of Baltimore County to form Carroll County. The county has a number of properties on the National Register of Historic Places.

Frederick County, MD Frederick County, one of the least urban parts of the Washington region, is best known for its charming county seat, Frederick. That town has a 50-block historic district, chock-a-block with antique shops, galleries and locally owned places to eat, such as the microbrewery/restaurant Brewer's Alley, Barbara Fritchie Restaurant and Acacia Fusion Bistro. The agricultural county makes it easy to find local produce in the harvest season, with nine farmers' markets.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 667 square miles (1,728 km²), making it the largest county in Maryland area-wise. 663 square miles (1,717 km²) of it is land and 4 square miles (12 km²) of it (0.67%) is water.

Attractions in the Frederick area include the Clustered Spires, a monument to Francis Scott Key, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Monocacy National Battlefield and South Mountain battlefields, and the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum.
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Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:
  • 81.5% White
  • 8.6% Black
  • 0.3% Native American
  • 3.8% Asian
  • 0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 2.8% Two or more races
  • 3.0% Other races
  • 7.3% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
There were 84,800 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 22.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 28.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.6 years. For every 100 females there were 96.85 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 94.02 men.
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Monocacy National Battlefield

Monocacy National Battlefield is a unit of the National Park Service, the site of the Battle of Monocacy Junction in the American Civil War fought on July 9, 1864. The battlefield straddles the Monocacy River southwest of the city of Frederick, Maryland. The battle, labeled "The Battle That Saved Washington," was one of the last the Confederates would carry out in Union territory. The two opposing leaders were General Jubal Early, fighting for the South, and General Lew Wallace, fighting for the North.

Monacacy National Battlefield is located in the center of a region with a number of other Civil War battlefields and sites. It is located on Maryland State Highway 355 (Urbana Road) a few miles southeast of the city of Frederick. Nearby Interstate 70 leads westward to Antietam National Battlefield and U.S. Route 15 leads northward to the Gettysburg Battlefield. To the south on U.S. 15 is the battlefield of Balls Bluff. Monacacy National Battlefield is 50 miles (80 km) west of Baltimore and 44 miles (71 km) northwest of Washington D.C.

Much of the Monocacy battlefield remained in private hands for over 100 years after the Civil War. In 1928, Glenn Worthington, the owner of a large portion of the northern segment of the battlefield, petitioned Congress to create a National Military Park at Monocacy. Though the bill passed in 1934, the battlefield languished for nearly 50 years before Congress appropriated funds for land acquisition. Once funds were secured, 1,587 acres (6 km2) of the battlefield were acquired in the late 1970s and turned over to the National Park Service for maintenance and interpretation. The historic Thomas Farm, scene of some of the most intense fighting, was acquired by the National Park Service in 2001, and is currently subject to a life estate. Preservationists lost fights in the 1960s and 1980s when Interstate 270 was constructed and later widened, bisecting a portion of the battlefield.

Frederick County, MDt In the decades following the battle, a few veterans organizations placed commemorative markers to specific units on the battlefield, including the 14th New Jersey (dedicated in 1907), 87th Pennsylvania Infantry, and Vermont markers. In the years that have followed, other monuments have been added, including the Confederate Monument and Maryland Centennial Monument near the Best farm (the site where Union soldiers discovered Robert E. Lee's lost Special Order 191 during the 1862 Maryland Campaign). The National Park Service has since added wayside interpretive markers throughout the park.

The visitor center has been relocated from the historic Gambrill Mill to a new facility on the west side of the Monocacy River. It offers an electric map orientation program, an interactive computer program, interpretive displays, and artifacts of the battle. The visitor center is the starting point for a self-guided four-mile (6 km) auto tour and 1/2 mile (800 m) loop walking trail. National Park Service rangers and volunteers host battle walks, special programs, an auto tour and special events throughout the summer season. The interpretive Worthington Farm Trail, a pair of loops (one nearly two miles (3 km) long, the other 1.6 miles (2 km)) on the northern portion of the battlefield, allows the visitor to walk parts of the battlefield and explore the native flora of the region.

The National Park Service has recently established a General Management Plan to further interpret the area and acquire additional land if funding can be secured.