Trolley festival is full of history lessons

October 13, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

MYERSVILLE, Md. - The focal point of the 12th annual Myersville Trolley Festival is Trolley Car 150, a 1918 restored trolley that at one time helped carry the modern era into Western Maryland.

The story of the trolley, the Hagerstown-Frederick railroad line and the surrounding economic impact are just some of the history lessons presented during the trolley festival, sponsored by the Myersville Lions Club this weekend near Myersville.

"The trolley system really brought this area out of the backwoods situation that they were in," says Don Easterday, host of the festival and owner of trolley 150. The electric trolley that ran between Frederick, Md., and Middletown, Md., allowed the farmers of Middletown Valley to bring their produce to market in a more efficient way. Before the trolley system was fully functioning in 1896, their only option was to move their food products by horse and buggy over rough mountain roads, Easterday says.


The Braddock Mountain trolley became so successful and important that other lines were quickly established. Rail lines were extended into Myersville and Hagerstown. The trolley system also is credited with helping to build the region's electricity infrastructure since the railroad required electricity to operate, Easterday says.

On Oct. 7, 1938, car 150 made its last trip from Hagerstown to Frederick. In 1993, the Easterday family decided to restore the car that was being used as a cabin on Braddock Mountain and return it to Myersville. The family also cleared out a half-mile segment of the original Hagers-town-Frederick railroad right of way that runs through their property. After further investigation, in a neighbor's field they found a "waiting station" for passengers. Car 150 and the waiting station now are located on the Easterday property and will be open for the public to peruse during the festival.

Other events this weekend at the festival include pottery, sawmill, blacksmith and maple syrup demonstrations. On Saturday, members of the 4-H Horse and Pony Club and the 4-H Club Tailwaggers (dog acts) will hold demonstrations.

A sheepherding demonstration by border collies, a Maryland Department of Natural Resources exhibit, "Scales and Tales," showing reptiles and birds of prey, and a strolling magician are some of the featured entertainment programs Sunday. Multiple food booths and a children's station with pony rides, face painting, balloon sculpting, clowns and hands-on crafts, will be available both days.


Saturday, Oct. 15

  • 10:30 a.m. - Opening ceremony

  • 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. - Trolley Facts & Tracks

  • Noon - Music by Certain Harbors

  • 1 p.m. - Falconer Mark Urlaub gives demonstration

  • 2 and 3:30 p.m. - Cajun/Blues musicians Crawdaddies

Sunday, Oct. 16

  • 10:30 a.m. - Worship service

  • 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. - Trolley Facts & Tracks

  • Noon - Certain Harbors

  • 1 and 2:30 p.m. - Bluegrass and blues music by Yard Slippers

  • 3:30 p.m. - Myersville Elementary School songs and talent show

  • 4:15 p.m. - Auction, including many handmade items and an American flag - donated by U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett - that once flew over the U.S. Capitol.

If you go ...

WHAT: Myersville Trolley Festival

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, and Sunday, Oct. 16

WHERE: Off Canada Hill Road, outside of Myersville, Md.

COST: Free

DIRECTIONS: Take Interstate 70 east toward Frederick. Take exit 42, turning left off the exit onto Md. 17. Continue through the town of Myersville. Md. 17 becomes Main Street and then Canada Hill Road. Follow signs to the trolley festival.

MORE: For more information, go to

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