Settlers like German Protestants along with the French-and English-speaking Roman Catholics brought their unique cultures and their different religious denominations to Taneytown. By the 1750s, the German Reformed Church had organized its congregation on Emmitsburg Road and shared a union church building first with German-speaking Lutherans and later with English-speaking Presbyterians.
In the late 19th century, the prosperity sparked by new railroad construction enabled all of the congregations to improve their buildings. St. Joseph's was rebuilt in a Gothic Revival style that included a bell made by McShane bell foundry in Glen Burnie, and a tracker action organ. To make the notes sound on a tracker action organ, the organist pressed the key or pedal to open a valve and let air into the pipe. Today, the organ is powered by electricity, a great improvement over the hand pumping previously required to make the air flow—a job that kept young boys busy during services.
(Inscription under the photo on the bottom left)
Grace United Church of Christ improved its building in 1890 using Romanesque architecture, a style easily recognized by the round arches above the windows.
(Photo courtesy of Donald L. Unger) "?.our bells have never chimed more sweetly, and our doxologies to the beneficent giver of all blessing have never been sung more heartily?" Rev. W. H. Luchenback, Trinity Lutheran Church-Taneytown Centennial Celebration Address, July 4, 1876.
(Inscription under the photo at the bottom middle)
St. Joseph's tracker action organ was built in 1804 by Henry Pike England and rebuilt in 1875 by Henry Neimann. Photo courtesy of William T. VanPelt.
(Inscription for the photo on the bottom right)
Trinity Lutheran Church has been expanded three times; this photo shows how it looked during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Its present form reflects the work performed by John Augustus Dempwolf Architectural Firm in 1896. Photo courtesy of the Historic Society of Carroll County.