From Dirt Path to Main Street

From Dirt Path to Main Street (HM1YAL)

Location: Brunswick, MD 21716 Frederick County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 18.78', W 77° 37.609'

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By 1787, Leonard Smith laid out the town of Berlin in 96 lots, most of which were half acre in size. Geographic location made this locale a natural transportation crossroads. Settlers and merchants traveled to and through the new town to utilize the popular ferry that crossed the Potomac into Virginia. Growth was slow until 1834, the year the C&O Canal and B&O Railroad reached town.
Berlin was primarily a canal town, until the B&O built its major freight yards here in the 1890's. The town was incorporated in 1890 and the name changed from Berlin to Brunswick. Population exploded from 300 residents to 3000 by 1893. Now a textbook "boom town," the residential area had been pushed from the river flats to the surrounding hills. A new downtown center flourished.
In 1924, the C&O ceased to function as a canal. Of greater consequence, the B&O moved its yard operations in 1959 from Brunswick to Cumberland, taking with it many jobs and residents. Brunswick would change from a railroad employee town to a railroad commuter town.
Although the Brunswick Historic District would be listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, the downtown struggled with vacant storefronts and population decline....primarily due to suburbanization, shopping malls and workforce commuting.
Through the efforts of local government, Brunswick
was designated a Maryland Main Street Community in 2004. With this distinction, Brunswick's downtown district has continued to revitalize itself, while hosting special events to commemorate the town's rich heritage as a transportation center.
[Photo captions, from top to bottom, read]
East Potomac Street looking west (c. 1905).
First steam engine built in United States for B&O Railroad (c. 1930's). [This is an incorrect statement]
Canal barge heading towards Lock 30 in Brunswick.
East Potomac Street businesses and homes (c. 1920's). with old Brunswick High School hovering above.
[Side B]
Brunswick Visitor Services

[Sepia colored photo caption reads] A former town restaurant and watering hole beside the tracks (c. 1882).
[Balance of marker is not historical in nature and is not transcribed]
Placed ByFederal Highway Commission and the Tourism Council of Frederick County, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, May 15th, 2017 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 273529 N 4354801
Decimal Degrees39.31300000, -77.62681667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 18.78', W 77° 37.609'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 18' 46.8" N, 77° 37' 36.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 8 N Maple Ave, Brunswick MD 21716, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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