National Pike Festival wagon train starts Friday

May 18, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

CLEAR SPRING - The National Pike Festival wagon train will have an extra travel companion this year to record stories about the event and local history, coordinator Laura Bowman said.

Liz Hand, a writer and substitute history teacher from Pennsylvania, will ride along, interviewing participants about the wagon train and their own history farming with mules and draft horses, Bowman said.

The wagon train is expected to leave Clear Spring by 9 a.m. Saturday and arrive in Boonsboro around 2 p.m. Sunday.

The local wagon train re-creates travel along a portion of National Pike, an approximately 300-mile-long route from Ohio to Maryland that includes 32 miles in Washington County. The Washington County portion of the National Pike was built around 1797, providing an alternative to traveling the Potomac River or American Indian paths.


"It's a part of history that's getting so far beyond us now," Bowman said. As we pay almost $3 a gallon for gasoline, we forget the challenges of travel back then, she said.

Hand and Bowman plan to co-author short stories about the National Pike in Washington County and about the personal experiences of the event's participants, she said.

People are welcome to pet the horses and mules and ask wagoners questions.

There will be activities in the Clear Spring area on Friday and Saturday and in the Boonsboro area on Sunday.

A more detailed schedule is available online at For more information, visit the Web site or call the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 301-791-3246.

Wagon train schedule

Friday, May 19

5 to 8 p.m. - Overnight wagon train encampment and community dinner at American Legion, South Martin Street in Clear Spring. Public can visit the encampment.

Saturday, May 20

6:30 to 9 a.m. - Community breakfast at American Legion. Wagon train departs east along U.S. 40 and travels toward Hagerstown.

10:30 a.m. - Stop at Wilson's Store.

11 a.m. - Cross historic Wilson Stone Bridge (weather permitting).

11:45 a.m. - Huyetts Crossroads lunch stop.

2 p.m. - City Park, Hagerstown - arrive at north end of City Park at parking lot between museum and Hager House.

4 p.m. - Ag Center Inc. near Four States' Livestock Sales.

Sunday, May 21

10 a.m. - Wagon train departs, traveling east on Alt. U.S. 40 toward Funkstown.

10:30 a.m. - Ravenwood Lutheran Village, Kenly Avenue, Hagerstown.

12:30 p.m. - Auction Square Complex lunch stop.

2 p.m. - Boonsboro Shafer Memorial Park, wagon train ends. Entertainment.

All wagon train times are approximate. Wagons are subject to unexpected delays.

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