Upcoming Events

May 10, 2024 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

Do you know the fasinating history of the Washington County Fine Arts Museum?

On Friday, May 10, Executive Director of the WCMFA Sarah Hall will touch on key aspects of the museum’s history, while sharing the museum’s vision for expansion, hosting ambitious exhibitions, and creating an arts campus in City Park.

This month’s cocktail is the French 75, a refreshing and sparkling drink made from gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. Doors open at 5:30 PM and light hors d’oeuvres will be served!

Culture & Cocktails 2024 has been made possible by the generous support of the James and Mary Schurz Foundation.

$15 $15 members – $20 non-members
135 West Washington Street, Hagerstown, MD 21740
Hagerstown, MD 21740 US
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May 10, 2024

Culture & Cocktails: Past, Present, Future: Get to Know Your Art Museum

Do you know the fasinating history of the Washington County Fine Arts Museum? On Friday, May 10, Executive Director of the WCMFA Sarah Hall will touch on key aspects of the museum’s history, while sharing the museum’s vision for expansion, hosting ambitious exhibitions, and creating an arts campus in City Park. This month’s cocktail is the French 75, a refreshing and sparkling drink made from gin, champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. Doors open at 5:30 PM and light hors d’oeuvres will be served! Culture & Cocktails 2024 has been made possible by the generous support of the James and Mary Schurz Foundation.
April 12, 2024

Culture & Cocktails: Frontier Forts Around Fort Frederick

Guided by the expertise of Maryland Park Service Ranger Rob Ambrose, learn about the network of frontier forts that shaped Fort Frederick. On Friday, April 12, immerse yourself in the rich narratives that bring the history of this State Park to life. This month’s cocktail is the Cherry Bounce, a favorite drink of George and Martha Washington. Doors open at 5:30 PM and light hors d’oeuvres will be served! Culture & Cocktails 2024 has been made possible by the generous support of the James and Mary Schurz Foundation.
February 16, 2024

Bellevue Asylum records recall the lives of local residents with mental and physical needs

Article Author: Abigail Koontz (This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail June 11, 2023) The name “Bellevue” may bring to mind the infamous Bellevue psychiatric hospital in New York City, which has a history reaching back to an 18th century almshouse. But did you know that Washington County had its own institution named Bellevue Asylum? Built in 1879, the historic Bellevue Asylum was located on the present site of Coffman Nursing Home. Bellevue Asylum stood for 77 years before it was torn down in 1956, and its history is deeply connected to the lives of Washington County residents and the development of healthcare facilities in the United States. To understand Bellevue Asylum’s history, we must return to the year 1800, when Trustees of the Poor for Washington County proposed building a home for the “relief of the poor” in Elizabethtown (now Hagerstown). This building, completed in 1800, was called the Washington County Almshouse. It still stands at 239 N. Locust Street. But attitudes toward the almshouse location caused concern. The almshouse developed a reputation for attracting “tramps” and “idlers,” and town residents requested a more remote location. In 1878, John Nicodemus of Boonsboro gifted farmland to Washington County for a […]
February 12, 2024

To learn more about Black history in Washington County, trace the experiences of a family

Article Author: Abigail Koontz (This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail February, 2024) In 1866, Samuel and Amanda Clark traveled north from Virginia into Maryland with their younger sons. The Clarks, a young Black couple, settled first in the Bakersville area and then in Sharpsburg. They built lives amid the turbulent events of the Reconstruction era in a country still grappling with the atrocities of slavery. The Clarks’ story is integral to understanding the history of Washington County and the Miller House, home of the Washington County Historical Society. By 1870, Samuel and Amanda (Jackson) Clark had settled in Bakersville, just north of Sharpsburg. Samuel, 35, and Amanda, 38, were raising a family that included three young sons — William, 8, Samuel Jr., 5, and Edward, 4. Samuel and Amanda were born in Virginia in the early 1830s; William and Samuel Jr. were also born in Virginia. Edward, their youngest son, was born in Maryland around 1866. It is difficult to determine whether the Clarks had been enslaved before the Civil War ended. Although census records can be inaccurate, Edward’s birth date creates a timeline for the Clarks’ journey to Washington County during a pivotal time in American history, just […]