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Walking tour map available for Hagerstown area

July 29, 2012

Citizens and visitors can guide themselves through local history with the city of Hagerstown’s new Civil War walking tour map.

City staff pioneered the idea of the tour map, which is a product of many volunteer hours and partnerships with Rose Hill Cemetery and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

 The guide is comprised of two maps: one that portrays 19th-century Hagerstown with the locations of 50 designated Civil War historical markers and other notable Civil War sites; the other lays out the final resting places of more than 70 Civil War notables as well as past Hagerstown mayors and other figures of historical significance in Rose Hill Cemetery.

City zoning administrator, and noted Hagerstown historian and author Stephen Bockmiller compiled the data for the maps, volunteering his time on evenings and weekends.

A portion of Rose Hill Cemetery was purchased by the state to create the Washington Confederate Cemetery after the war, where the remains of nearly 2,500 identified and unidentified Confederate soldiers were interred. 

 Rose Hill paid for the design and production costs of the first 5,000 walking tour maps.

“We have veterans buried here who were involved in conflicts throughout our nation’s history. Our Civil War history is a very important part of our heritage here in Hagerstown, and that’s why we wanted to be a part of this endeavor,” said Roger Finn, president of Rose Hill’s board of trustees. “We’re looking forward to a celebration commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Hagerstown next year here at the cemetery.”    

The 50 historical markers throughout the city have been a joint effort between the city of Hagerstown, Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, Maryland Heritage Area Authority, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau and local historians.

Together, the group unveiled new historical information and collaborated on the story of Hagerstown’s past, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to understand and explore the city’s roots. Most of the markers are within three blocks of Public Square, and some of them relate stories and depict landmarks before and after the war.

The maps are available at the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as other area tourist destinations and City Hall.

For more information, call Stephen Bockmiller at 301-739-8577, ext. 139 or send an email to sbockmiller@hagerstownmd.org.

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