Sharpsburg shares its heritage

September 13, 2007|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

SHARPSBURG - Say the word "Sharpsburg" to a Washington County resident and a single event usually comes to mind: the Battle of Antietam.

But did you know Sharpsburg was a flourishing community nearly a century before that 1862 battle?

"There was a vibrant community here well before Lee and McClellan met," said Washington County historian Sandy Izer during a telephone interview. She said Sharpsburg in its early days was an economic hub and a hotbed for development.

Sharpsburg Historical Society will host Sharpsburg Heritage Day on Saturday, Sept. 15, in downtown Sharpsburg. The event will celebrate broad aspects of the town's history - including what town life was like before the Civil War, said organizer Jan Wetterer.

Sharpsburg Heritage Day was revived in 2005 after a two-year hiatus and is held around the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862.


Craft vendors, Civil War-era performers and history lectures are among the activities scheduled throughout downtown Sharpsburg. Izer will give a lecture about Sharpsburg's founder, Joseph Chapline, at Town Hall. Chapline, a soldier during the French and Indian War, was one of Washington County's earliest settlers.

Other Washington County lecturers include historian Ted Alexander, who will discuss how the battle affected Sharpsburg citizens, and historian John Nelson, who will lead walking tours of Sharpsburg.

Here's the full schedule:

Daylong activities - Information table at the square; demonstrations and craft and food vendors on South Mechanic Street; self-guided walking tour of the hospitals of the Battle of Antietam; and food provided by the Sharpsburg Lions Club, Christ Reformed United Church of Christ, Sharpsburg Church of the Brethren and Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Company.

· 9 to 10 a.m. - Rohersville Band concert, music tent

· 10 a.m. - Walking tour of the hospitals of the Battle of Antietam, led by John Nelson

· 10 to 11 a.m. - Wildcat Regiment Band concert, music tent. The band will perform again from 2 to 3 p.m.

· 10:30 a.m. - "Citizens of Sharpsburg during the Battle of Antietam," a lecture led by Ted Alexander at Town Hall.

· 11 a.m. to noon - 2nd Maryland Fifes and Drums concert, music tent. The band will perform again from 3 to 4 p.m.

· Noon - Remembrance ceremony and battle of the bands - North Hagerstown High School vs. South Hagerstown High School. South Mechanic Street.

· 1:30 to 2 p.m. - Antietam Women's Ensemble concert, Trinity Lutheran Church

· 2:30 p.m. - Sandy Izer will give a lecture about Joseph Chapline, the founder of Sharpsburg. Town Hall.

· 5 to 7 p.m. - Pig Roast picnic dinner. $10 for adults; $4 for children 12 and younger. Proceeds benefit the Sisters of Charity Haiti Relief and the Manchurian Mission. St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 209 W. Main St.

· 7 p.m. - Alley walk with the 2nd Maryland Fifes and Drums. Meet at the music tent.

· 7:30 p.m. - Jimmy Brown and Friends will perform Appalachian and Celtic music. St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

If you go ...

WHAT: Sharpsburg Heritage Day

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15

WHERE: Downtown Sharpsburg

COST: Free admission

MORE: For more information, e-mail Jan Wetterer at

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