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Herbs in Colonial Md.

August 19, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Most people know thyme is good with chicken, but the herb also has been used to treat bronchitis, hangovers and alcoholism, says John Bryan, the City of Hagerstown's historic sites facilitator.

Herbs were quite important from the Colonial era into the early 20th century. They were used not just for cooking, but for medicinal use, Bryan says.

The Hager House, in Hagerstown's City Park, will host Herbs of Hager's Thyme on Saturday afternoon. The free event invites people to walk among the Hager House's gardens and learn more about some of the herbs commonly grown during Colonial times.

The house was built in 1739 and was the first home to the city's founder, Jonathan Hager, and continued to serve as a home until 1947, Bryan says.

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The house has two herb gardens that contain a sampling of herbs that would have been grown during the Colonial era, Bryan says. Back then there would have been more herb plantings, close to the home for convenience. They would have been used almost daily.

The herbs would have been dried by hanging them in the attic or the barn (which stood near where the Hager House office now stands), or near the fire while cooking, Bryan says.

If you go ...

WHAT: Herbs of Hager's Thyme. Learn about some of the herbs commonly grown during Colonial times and their uses. Presented by Jennifer Kram, recreation assistant; assisted by John Bryan, historic sites facilitator.

WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25

WHERE: Hager House, City Park, Hagerstown

COST: Free

MORE: The Hager House also will be open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours cost $3, adults; $2, ages 62 and older; $1, ages 6 to 12; and free for ages 5 and younger. For more information, call the Hager House at 301-739-8393 or e-mail hagerhouse@hagerstownmd.org.

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