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Monocacy, Maryland facts for kids

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Monocacy is an abandoned village in Frederick County, Maryland. It is believed to have been located nearby present day Creagerstown, but has never been precisely located. There are signs of the towns existence going back as far as 1730.


German settlers arrived in Frederick County in 1729. The first settlement created by settlers in Frederick was Monocacy, which was founded between 1725 and 1730, making it the oldest settlement in Western Maryland. The town was settled nearby the Monocacy Trail, an old Indian trail that ran along the Monocacy River. In 1730 the Monocacy Trail was made into a wagon road. In its early days, Monocacy was the main settlement in the area. This position was eventually taken by Fredericktown.

Between 1732 and 1734 a church known as "the Log church" was built in Monocacy.Moravian missionaries visited the area regularly and many of the people of "Manakasy," as the Moravians spelled it in their records, often visited the Moravian Settlements in nearby Pennsylvania.

By the time the log church was built the village was somewhat important to the area. The town had a number of taverns and other places to sleep. "As late as 1747 it possessed accommodations better than those of Frederick."

Sometime between 1760 and 1770 the town of Creagerstown supplanted Monocacy.

By 1808 Monocacy road was macadamized.

Search for town

As early as 1896 knowledge of the location of the town had been lost. In 1896, Rev. George A. Whitmore, a resident of Thurmont, wrote upon interviewing two residents of Creagerstown who were in "bordering on 80 years" about the location of the Log Church, he had been told that Creagerstown was built on the old location of the church. Whitmore mentions that one of the people he interviewed, Mr. W. L. Grimes Sr., actually helped tear down the Log church so that the new church could be built in its place.

Whitmore goes on to say that traditional lore states though that the town of Monocacy is located to the southeast of Creagerstown at the intersection of Monocacy Road and Poe's Ford nearby Hunting Creek. Both Whitmore and his contemporary Mr. Schultz investigated the site and found flat land with a few dwellings. In a History of Frederick County, Mr. Schultz is quoted as saying that the location to the southeast of Creagerstown "agrees in every particular with the data that we have heretofore been able to obtain and I therefore believe that the few old houses and the graveyard are all perhaps that remain of the ancient village of Monocacy."

In the late 60's Charlotte Hearthly, then a senior in high school, mounted a search for the site. Many locals believe that their land parcels were the site of Monocacy. Much of the evidence for where Monocacy is located has been destroyed. Spencer Geasey speaks of a location where there was a school, a cemetery, and some other log buildings. He states that the area is now developed though and that a dig in this location would not be useful.

There is no doubt that the town existed. In August 1756 George Washington mentions Monocacy in a letter. Two different riding ministers both wrote about the log church at different times. They were riding trails about 10 miles north of Frederick. During the French and Indian War the site was mentioned in the Maryland Gazette. In 1729 a complaint was filed by a Mr. Carroll with the Pennsylvania government that referenced Monocacy. The complaint was filed because the area was under dispute by Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The town was located near Creagerstown and Jimtown. According to Paul Gordon, one expert has stated that the Sebastian Derr house may once have been a church and might be the old site of Monocacy.

The site of Monocacy has never been conclusively located. There is a lot of evidence that the settlement existed, but not a lot of tangible evidence as to where it was actually located.

In the media

In 1999 a documentary film came out about the region titled "Monocacy" which chronicles the history and pre-history of the area and the town. The documentary was produced by Chris Haugh for GS Communications.

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