Taneytown was founded in 1754 by Raphael Taney, a land speculator from St. Mary's County. Some of the first buildings to line the dusty road were taverns-public houses where weary travelers could have a meal and spend the night. In fact President George Washington noted in his diary on July 1, 1791, that he lodged in Taneytown. The Stone Tavern, built in 1763, is the oldest building in town. If you had stood here 200 years ago and looked across the street, you would have seen the Adam Good Tavern.
Perhaps the most interesting detail about Taneytown's architecture is what you cannot easily see. If you peeked behind the siding of the attached houses on South Frederick Street you would find that each house has a log core. Instead of demolishing these sturdy log buildings, the owners just incorporated them into their newer and larger homes.
The Central Hotel on York Street was very popular with early 20th century visitors. Many of the hotel's guests remember eating the Zile's Ice Cream in its dining room and getting their pictures taken at Edward Zepp's photographic studio on the second floor.(Inscription on the large photograph) Taneytown photographer Ed Zepp took photos of East Baltimore Street from his second floor studio window in the Central Hotel-Courtesy of the Historical Society of Carroll County.
(Inscription beside the smaller photograph)
The Stone Tavern is one of the few 18th century buildings still standing in Taneytown. It served most of its life as a tavern and inn, but is now a private residence.-Courtesy of Historical Society of Carroll County.
Friday July 1st. Dined at one Cookerlys 13 miles off & lodged at Tawnytown only 12 miles farther?Tawny town is but a small place with only the Street through wch. the road passes, built on. The buildings are principally of wood?Taken from President George Washington's July 1, 1791 diary entry. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.