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Since its establishment in 1745, Frederick has been one of Maryland’s most important towns. It rose from western outpost to inland market center and county seat within a few short years, settled largely by German and Scots-Irish immigrants. Its development was enabled by early roadways that cross at the center of its city grid and commercial area: the north-south road from Georgetown to Pennsylvania, and the east-west road from Baltimore that became the National Road. Although bypassed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, it enjoyed a spur line to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad by the mid-nineteenth century. Even once usurped by Hagerstown as regional industrial leader, Frederick maintained its prominence as the region’s municipal, financial, and commercial epicenter, and remains the area’s most prosperous town.

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie

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