World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hagerstown, MD


Hagerstown, MD

Hagerstown, Maryland
City of Hagerstown
downtown Hagerstown
Official seal of Hagerstown, Maryland
Nickname(s): Hub City, Maryland's Gateway to the West,[1] H-Town, (formerly) Home of the Flying Boxcar
Motto: A Great Place to Live, Work, and Visit

Location in Maryland and in Washington County

Coordinates: 39°38′34″N 77°43′12″W / 39.64278°N 77.72000°W / 39.64278; -77.72000Coordinates: 39°38′34″N 77°43′12″W / 39.64278°N 77.72000°W / 39.64278; -77.72000

Country  United States
State  Maryland
County Washington
Founded 1762
Incorporated 1813
 • Mayor David S. Gysberts (D)
 • City Council
 • Senate Christopher B. Shank (R)
 • Delegate John P. Donoghue (D)
 • U.S. Congress John Delaney (D)
 • City 11.80 sq mi (30.56 km2)
 • Land 11.79 sq mi (30.54 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
 • Urban 76.7 sq mi (196.4 km2)
 • Metro 1,019 sq mi (2,637 km2)
Elevation 538 ft (164 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • City 39,662
 • Estimate (2012[4]) 40,638
 • Density 3,364.0/sq mi (1,298.8/km2)
 • Urban 120,326
 • Urban density 1,568.8/sq mi (612.7/km2)
 • Metro 269,140
 • Metro density 260/sq mi (100/km2)
 • Demonym Hagerstonian
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 21740-21749
Area code(s) 301, 240
FIPS code 24-36075
GNIS feature ID 0598385

Hagerstown /ˈhɡərztn/[5] is a city in Washington County, Maryland. It is the county seat of Washington County[6], and by many definitions, the largest city in a region known as Western Maryland (if you exclude Frederick County from Western Maryland).[1] The population of Hagerstown city proper at the 2010 census was 39,662, and the population of the Hagerstown-Martinsburg Metropolitan Area (extending into West Virginia) was 269,140. Hagerstown ranks as Maryland's sixth largest city.[7]

Hagerstown has a distinct topography, formed by stone ridges running from northeast to southwest through the center of town. Geography accordingly bounds its neighborhoods. These ridges consist of upper Stonehenge limestone. Many of the older buildings were built from this stone, which is easily quarried and dressed onsite. It whitens in weathering and the edgewise conglomerate and wavy laminae become distinctly visible, giving a handsome and uniquely “Cumberland Valley” appearance. Several of Hagerstown’s churches are constructed of Stonehenge limestone and its value and beauty as building rock many be seen particularly in St. John’s Episcopal Church on West Antietam Street and the Presbyterian Church at the corner of Washington and Prospect Streets. Brick and concrete eventually displaced this native stone in the construction process.[8]

Hagerstown anchors the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which lies just northwest of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical Area in the heart of the Great Appalachian Valley. The population of the metropolitan area in 2010 was 269,140. Greater Hagerstown is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the state of Maryland and among the fastest growing in the United States.[9]

Despite its semi-rural Western Maryland setting, Hagerstown is a center of transit and commerce. Interstates 81 and 70, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Winchester and Western railroads, and Hagerstown Regional Airport form an extensive transportation network for the city. Hagerstown is also the chief commercial and industrial hub for a greater Tri-State Area that includes much of Western Maryland as well as significant portions of South Central Pennsylvania and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Hagerstown has often been referred to as, and is nicknamed, the Hub City.[1]



In 1739, Jonathan Hager, a German immigrant from Pennsylvania and a volunteer Captain of Scouts, purchased 200 acres (81 ha) of land in the Great Appalachian Valley between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in Maryland and called it Hager’s Fancy. In 1762, Hager officially founded the town of Elizabethtown which he named after his wife, Elizabeth Kershner. Fourteen years later, Jonathan Hager became known as the "Father of Washington County" after his efforts helped Hagerstown become the county seat of newly created Washington County which Hager also helped create from neighboring Frederick County, Maryland. The City Council changed the community's name to Hagerstown in 1813 because the name had gained popular usage, and in the following year, the Maryland State Legislature officially endorsed the changing of the town’s name.[1]

In 1794 government forces arrested 150 citizens during a draft riot which was staged by protesters in response to the Whiskey Rebellion.

Civil War

Hagerstown's strategic location at the border between the North and the South made the city a primary staging area and supply center for four major campaigns during the Civil War. In 1861, General Robert Patterson's troops used Hagerstown as a base to attack Virginia troops in the Shenandoah Valley. In the Maryland Campaign of 1862, General James Longstreet's command occupied the town while en route to the Battle of South Mountain and Antietam. In 1863, the city was the site of several military incursions and engagements as Gen. Robert E. Lee's army invaded and retreated in the Gettysburg Campaign. In 1864, Hagerstown was invaded by the Confederate Army under Lt. Gen. Jubal Early. On Wednesday, July 6, Early sent 1,500 cavalry, commanded by Brig. Gen. John McCausland, into Hagerstown to levy a ransom for $200,000 and a large amount of clothing, in retribution for Federal destruction of farms, feed and cattle in the Shenandoah Valley. McCausland misread the amount, instead collecting $20,000. This is in contrast to neighboring Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, which McCausland razed on July 30 when the borough failed to supply the requested ransom of $500,000 in U.S. currency, or $100,000 in gold.

Throughout the Civil War, private physicians and citizens of Hagerstown gave assistance or aid to men from both the North and South in a number of locations, including the Franklin Hotel, Washington House, Lyceum, Hagerstown Male Academy, Key-Mar College, and a number of private residences.

The spread of smallpox by returning soldiers to families and friends was a substantial problem during the war. The Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church volunteered the use of its church as a smallpox hospital when an epidemic spread throughout the town.

Following the war, in 1872 Maryland and Virginia cooperated to re-inter Confederate dead from their impromptu graves to cemeteries in Hagerstown, Frederick and Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Roughly 60% however, remained unidentified. In 1877, 15 years after the Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, approximately 2,800 Confederate dead from that battle and also from the battles on South Mountain were re-interred in Washington Confederate Cemetery, within Rosehill Cemetery in Hagerstown.[10]


Hagerstown's nickname of the "Hub City" came from the large number of railroads (and roads) that served the city. Hagerstown was the center of the Western Maryland Railway and an important city on the Pennsylvania, Norfolk and Western, Baltimore and Ohio, and Hagerstown and Frederick Railroads. Currently, the city is a vital location on CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Winchester and Western Railroads.

Hagerstown was formerly served by the Hagerstown & Frederick Railway, an interurban trolley system, from 1896 to 1947.

Little Heiskell

One of the most recognizable symbols of Hagerstown is the weathervane known as "Little Heiskell." Named after the German tinsmith Benjamin Heiskell who crafted it in 1769 in the form of a Hessian soldier,[1] it stood atop the Market House first and City Hall second for a combined 166 years. It was moved from the Market House to City Hall in 1824.

During the Civil War era, the weathervane gained its characteristic bullet hole from a Confederate sharpshooter, who won a bet after shooting it from a full city block away.

Finally in 1935, the original was retired to the Museum of the Washington County Historical Society, later to be moved to its present display in the Jonathan Hager House. An exact replica has replaced it atop City Hall.

The weathervane has also been depicted in the city's annual Mummers Day Parade by Mr. Charles Harry Rittenhouse, Sr. sporting all of the necessary accoutrements of a German Mercenary Soldier.

Little Heiskell was at one time the mascot of North Hagerstown High School.

William Zantzinger and Hattie Carroll

On February 9, 1963, William Zantzinger, a wealthy white tobacco farm owner, had been attending a ball in a hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.  Intoxicated, he used a cane to strike 51-year-old barmaid, Hattie Carroll.[11]  He also showered her with racial epithets.  Carroll soon said that she felt deathly ill and went into the hotel kitchen, where she collapsed.  The mother of eleven died several hours later.   [12]

Zantzinger was arrested for disorderly conduct and attacking other staff and patrons at the ball.  When Carroll died, he was charged with her murder.

An autopsy by Charles Petty, Medical Examiner, said that Carroll died of a cerebral hemorrhage.[13]  Because she had hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure, the judges reasoned that her death was caused by stress (from the attack) aggravating poor health.[14] The charge was lessened to manslaughter and assault.

Zantzinger’s trial was moved to Hagerstown where he was tried by three judges instead of by jury.[14]  He was found guilty of manslaughter and assault and sentenced to six months’ jail time on August 28, 1963.  This was the same day as the peaceful March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech.  The judges also allowed several weeks’ delay before he was to serve his prison term so he could bring in his tobacco crop.  

Zantzinger's fines amounted to $625: $125 for assaulting hotel employees, and $500 for the death of Hattie Carroll.[15]

The judges reasoned that Zantzinger would be safer in the smaller Washington County jail than in a larger state jail, where he might be harmed by angry African-American prisoners.  A jail sentence of over a year would need to be served in the state prison; shorter sentences could be served in a county jail.[13]  Zantzinger served his sentence in the Washington County Jail in Hagerstown.

The episode is memorialized in Bob Dylan’s song, “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”. 

After serving his sentence, Zantzinger returned home to his first wife (Jane Duvall) and his three children. They eventually divorced; he remarried. He ran afoul of the law again in 1991. He had owned several "rural shacks" but lost them due to his failure to pay taxes. Zantzinger continued to collect the rent at the properties, which lacked indoor plumbing. This time, Zantzinger was sentenced to 18 months (again, in a county jail) and fined $50,000. In addition, he was ordered to spend 2,400 hours in community service helping low-cost housing advocacy groups.[16]

Aviation heritage

Hagerstown's first aircraft production came in WWI with the Maryland Pressed Steel Company building the Bellanca CD biplane in hopes of securing government contracts.

From 1931 to 1984, Fairchild Aircraft was based in Hagerstown and was by far the area's most prominent employer. The importance of the company to the city and the country as a whole earned Hagerstown its former nickname "Home of the Flying Boxcar."

Fairchild moved to Hagerstown from Farmingdale, New York, in 1931 after Sherman Fairchild purchased a majority stock interest in Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company of Hagerstown in 1929. Among Fairchild's products during World War II were PT-19/PT-23/PT-26 (Cornell) and AT-21 trainers, C-82 "Packet" cargo planes and missiles. At its height in World War II, Fairchild employed directly and indirectly up to 80% of Hagerstown's workforce or roughly 10,000 people.

In the postwar era, Fairchild continued to produce aircraft in Hagerstown such as C-123 Provider, Fairchild F-27 and Fairchild Hiller FH-227, FH-1100, C-26 Metroliner, UC-26 Metroliner, Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, and the Fairchild T-46 jet trainer. All production ceased in Hagerstown in 1984 and the company moved elsewhere. Presently, the company is based in San Antonio, Texas and after a series of mergers and acquisitions, is known as M7 Aerospace.

The The museum is located near Hagerstown Regional Airport in the airport's former terminal.

Hagerstown is also the birthplace of Salisbury, Maryland-based Piedmont Airlines which started out as Henson Aviation. It was founded by Richard A. Henson in 1931. Today, Hagerstown Regional Airport-Richard A. Henson Field is named as such in honor of the airlines' founder.

Today, only small to medium-sized aviation companies remain in the area. Two notable names include Fugro EarthData, which maintains its aviation division in Hagerstown, and Sierra Nevada Corporation, a defense electronics engineering and manufacturing contractor.


Location and topography

Hagerstown is located at 39°38′34″N 77°43′12″W / 39.64278°N 77.72000°W / 39.64278; -77.72000 (39.642771, -77.719954).[18] It is south of the Mason-Dixon Line and north of the Potomac River and between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in a part of the Great Appalachian Valley known regionally as Cumberland Valley and locally as Hagerstown Valley. The community also lies within close proximity of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. Hagerstown, by driving distance, is approximately 70 miles (110 km) northwest of Washington, D.C., 72 miles (116 km) west-northwest of Baltimore, Maryland, and 74 miles (119 km) southwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.80 square miles (30.56 km2), of which, 11.79 square miles (30.54 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[2] Major waterways within Hagerstown include Hamilton Run and Antietam Creek that are tributaries of the Potomac River. Natural landscape around Hagerstown consists of low, rolling hills with elevations of 500 feet (150 m) to 800 feet (240 m) above sea level and rich, fertile land that is well-suited and utilized for dairy farming, cornfields, and fruit orchards typical of Mid-Atlantic agriculture.


Hagerstown is situated in the transition between the humid subtropical climate zone and the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfa), with hot, humid summers and cool to moderately cold winters.

Climate data for Hagerstown, Maryland (Washington County Airport), 1981−2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 38.3
Average low °F (°C) 23.3
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.68
Source: NOAA[19]


2010 census

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 39,662 people, 16,449 households, and 9,436 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,364.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,298.8 /km2). There were 18,682 housing units at an average density of 1,584.6 per square mile (611.8 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.8% White, 15.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.1% from other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

There were 16,449 households of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.6% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.6% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 34.5 years. 25.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.6% were from 25 to 44; 24% were from 45 to 64; and 12.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.3% male and 52.7% female.

2000 census

As of the U.S. census[20] of 2000, there were 36,687 people, 15,849 households, and 9,081 families residing in the city. Updated 1 July 2008 census estimates reflect Hagerstown having 39,728 people, an increase of 8.3% from the year 2000.

According to Census 2000 figures, the population density was 3,441.5 people per square mile (1,328.8/km²). There were 17,089 housing units at an average density of 1,603.1 per square mile (619.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.95% White, 10.15% Black, 1.77% Hispanic or Latino, 0.25% Indigenous American, 0.96% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.83% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. There were 17,154 males and 19,533 females residing in the city.[21]

There were 15,849 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.[22]

The median income for a household in the city was $30,796, and the median income for a family was $38,149. Males had a median income of $31,200 versus $22,549 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,153. About 15.1% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.0% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.[23]



The current city executive or Mayor of Hagerstown is David Gysberts (D) who has served the city since November 2012.

Past Mayors:

City Council

The representative body of Hagerstown is known as the City Council. Among its members are: Lewis Metzner (D), Kristin Aleshire (D), Martin Brubaker (D), Penny Nigh (D), and Donald Munson (R).[25]

Other representation

Christopher B. Shank (R) represents Hagerstown in the Maryland Senate while John P. Donoghue (D) stands for the Hagerstown area in the Maryland House of Delegates. John Delaney (D) serves Maryland's 6th congressional district which includes Hagerstown in the U.S. Congress.


Once primarily an industrial community, Hagerstown's economy depended heavily on railroad transportation and manufacturing, notably of aircraft, trucks, automobiles, textiles, and furniture.[1] Today, the city has a diversified, stable business environment with modern service companies in various fields as well as continued strength in manufacturing and transportation in railroads and highways. Surrounding Hagerstown, there has been and continues to be a strong agricultural presence while tourism, especially with respect to the retail sector, also provides support to the local economy.

Major companies

(*=corporate headquarters in area)


  • Brook Lane Psychiatric Center, private mental health facility.
  • Meritus Medical Center, acute care facility
  • Western Maryland Hospital Center, chronic-care state-run health center.


Hagerstown-Washington County boasts one of the highest densities of retail in the country.[26]

Hagerstown has 2 major shopping malls:



Mass transportation


  • Electricity within the city is distributed at cost by Hagerstown Light Department, a municipal electric utility.[29] Outside the city limits, electricity is provided by Potomac Edison, a division of FirstEnergy, an Ohio based power company.
  • Columbia Gas of Maryland, Inc., a subsidiary of NiSource, services the area with natural gas.[30]
  • The city's water supply is provided by City of Hagerstown Water & Sewer Department with public drainage at Antietam Drainage Basin.[31]
  • Hagerstown-based Antietam Cable, a subsidiary of Schurz Communications, provides the area's cable television.
  • Landline phone service in Hagerstown is provided by Verizon.


Historical sites

Hagerstown's location at the center of the Western Maryland region makes it an ideal starting point for touring, especially with respect to the Civil War. Antietam National Battlefield, the site of the bloodiest single day in American history, is located in nearby Sharpsburg, Maryland. South Mountain State Battlefield is also located in Washington County in Boonsboro. Gettysburg, Monocacy, and Harpers Ferry battlefields are all located within a 30 minute drive of Hagerstown.

Fort Frederick State Park, which features a restored fort used in the French and Indian War, is west of the city in nearby Big Pool, Maryland.

Washington Monument State Park near Boonsboro pays tribute to the country's first president, George Washington. It is the oldest structure to honor the 'father of our country.'

Hagerstown is also home to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Headquarters.

The city also has a number of sites and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[32]

Parks and museums

Within the city, there are numerous parks including Hagerstown Aviation Museum.

Theater and arts

Hagerstown is home to the Maryland Theatre,[1] a symphony house that plays host to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the annual Miss Maryland USA Beauty Pageants. The city also has the Washington County Playhouse, which does dinner theater performances. The new Academy Theatre Banquet & Conference Center, located downtown, houses the community theater group Potomac Playmakers.[33] And the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts is a magnet school for gifted art students, located in downtown Hagerstown's arts and entertainment district on South Potomac Street.

Festivals and events

And the annual Alsatia Mummers' Halloween Parade happens to be the largest nighttime parade on the East Coast.

Professional sports

Hagerstown is home to the Hagerstown Suns minor-league baseball team. The Suns play in the South Atlantic League. They play in Municipal Stadium.

To the west of the city lies Mason-Dixon Dragway, is located just southeast of Hagerstown.



  • The Herald-Mail, daily (Hagerstown-Tri State Area's newspaper of record).
  • Hagerstown Magazine, monthly lifestyle magazine for Washington County and surrounding communities.
  • The Crossroads, seasonal e-newsletter by Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
  • Frederick counties.
  • Shenandoah Valley, and beyond.
  • J. Gruber's Hagers-Town Town and Country Almanack, America's second-oldest continuously published periodical which has gained worldwide fame for its remarkable accuracy in weather predictions. It is distributed in many True Value and Orgill hardware stores throughout the country.
  • Review and Herald Publishing Association, one of two North American publishing giants for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
  • The Franklin Shopper, weekly advertiser.
  • Picket News, weekly community interest news for the Tri-State Area.


Hagerstown shares a radio market, the 166th largest in the United States, with Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.[38] The following box contains all of the radio stations in the area:


Hagerstown is the base for four television stations and shares a Designated Market Area, the ninth largest in the United States, with Washington, D.C.[39]


High schools

Colleges and universities

Notable residents and natives

Sister cities and municipal partnerships

  • U.S. (unofficial)

Metropolitan area

Main article: Hagerstown Metropolitan Area

Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA consists of three counties:

The Primary Cities are Hagerstown, MD and Martinsburg, WV. Other communities in the MSA include: Halfway, MD, Paramount-Long Meadow, MD, Fountainhead-Orchard Hills, MD, Robinwood, MD, Maugansville, MD, Boonsboro, MD, Smithsburg, MD, Williamsport, MD, Falling Waters, WV, Hedgesville, WV, Inwood, WV and Berkeley Springs, WV.

The metropolitan area's population in 2000 was 222,771. The 2008 estimate is 263,753, making Greater Hagerstown the 169th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The growth rate from 2000-2008 is +18.4%, the 48th highest among metropolitan areas in the entire country and the highest in Maryland (and in West Virginia).[9] The growth is mostly due to the influx of people from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD.


External links

Template:NIE Poster

  • City of Hagerstown website
  • Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitor's Bureau
  • Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce
  • Hagerstown Downtown Directory
  • Maryland Online Encyclopedia Hagerstown
  • Template:-inline
  • DMOZ
  • WHILBR - Western Maryland's Historical Library
  • Washington County Free Library - Historic Newspaper Indexing Project
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.