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November 5, 2019

See Washington County in the Movies! A new WWII Era film from the WCHS will be shown Sunday, November 10th. Click here for more details.

Using actual footage collected from local residents, the Historical Society has produced a movie-length film depicting life in Washington County during the post-war years of the 1940s and 1950s. Relive the lives of the residents of Washington County during and after World War II, as the soldiers return home and families blossom and reorient their activities to civilian and domestic life. Viewers might recognize old friends and neighbors as they celebrate holidays, engage in school activities, participate in parades, enjoy leisure time, shop, and earn a living. The film features seventy-year-old scenes of Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Funkstown, Williamsport, Keedysville and more. Please join us for a nostalgic stroll down Memory Lane! Tickets: $10/person. Available online by clicking here or at the Maryland Theatre Box Office, 301-790-2000.
July 3, 2019

The Washington County Historical Society will be closed tomorrow, July 4th, in observation of Independence Day.

This includes the Miller House Museum, kinship Family Heritage Research Center, and the WCHS offices. We will reopen Friday, July 5th, following normal hours. We hope everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday!
March 23, 2019

Fantastic fossil finds in Washington County

Working for an organization that has been collecting artifacts for over 100 years sometimes feels like participating in a massive scavenger hunt. As the organization moved, so did those artifacts, sometimes losing records along the way. So sometimes I am lucky enough to come across complete collections that were previously unknown to us. One of these is our collection of local natural history specimens – especially, our fossils. After rediscovering some of our fossils a few years ago, we were offered the very special opportunity to have some identified by a Smithsonian expert. His identifications are what sparked the journey that would end in our ‘Fantastic Fossils’ exhibit that is now on display at the Miller House Museum. At first glance, it does seem weird that a collection of fossils is on display in a Federal Period townhome, but there are multiple historical ties that make the exhibit a great fit with the house and our mission at the WCHS. Scientific experimentation made great strides during the Age of Enlightenment on a global scale, including here in America. Great minds and founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin are still renowned for their scientific pursuits. The groundwork for modern paleontology […]
March 23, 2019

Wrapping things up for the New Year

One of the things I most enjoy about being a curator for an historic house is the opportunity I have to share the little details about everyday life in the past with those who visit the museum. Having been privately owned from its construction in 1825 until its donation in 1966, the Miller House is perfect for connecting new visitors with life during the early to late 1800s. As Wi-Fi, tablets, and smart phones become ever present in our 21st century lives, we lose a lot of the contextual knowledge involved in understanding how life worked for our ancestors, and it is crucial that museums now provide that background knowledge. The lessons of the past are only valuable to those who can actually understand and apply them. One of the most effective ways to do this is to build upon connections we still maintain with the past – like the ways in which we celebrate holidays. It is wonderful to be able to point at familiar Christmas traditions like the tree or the stocking and see the interest and comprehension on a visitor’s face as you describe the history behind them. All of that being said, however, sometimes explaining the […]