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Transportation in Washington County

Union Bridge

From Frederick North

From Thurmont West

Reminiscences Western Maryland RR

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Western Maryland Railroad in Washington County

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Western Maryland RR

The story of the Western Maryland Railway Company is an interesting one from the day, June 6, 1872, when the first train puffed into the city of Hagerstown.

It was the first train from Baltimore, a distance of eighty-three miles. The journey took three hours and twenty minutes. The locomotive was decorated with flags and flowers. The train was met by the Mayor and other officials. The depot was at Antietam Street and the west side of Foundry Street.

On December 17, 1873, the road reached Williamsport where coal could be transferred from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal barges for transport to Baltimore. Governor William F. Whyte of Maryland was among the dignitaries for the inauguration of this service. Business in Williamsport had been suspended. Church bells were rung and flags floated from the windows. Banners even hung from the harness of the mules drawing the canal barges.

There were two interesting signs. One sign read:
"THE CHESAPEAKE AND OHIO CANAL AND THE WESTERN MARYLAND RAILWAY COMPANY WATER THE ELEMENT, STEAM THE OFF-SPRING, COAL THE AGENT."

The other read:
"BALTIMORE AND WILLIAMSPORT UNITED BY IRON BONDS; MAY THE FUTURE TRADE AND FRIENDSHIP REQUIRE THESE IRON BONDS TO GROW."

From tidewater to mountains, the Western Maryland Railway Company helped build communication via rail service and to make possible the transport of materials to and from Washington County in the communities it touched.
 

Reprinted from:

"It Happened in Washington County" by Reuben L. Musey; published by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, 1976; pp 89-97

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