From a museum of Civil War medicine to a museum dedicated to Maryland’s iron workers, Frederick is a history-lover’s dream spot

Located in the northern part of Maryland, close to Baltimore, Gettysburg and Washington, DC, Frederick is a city rich in agriculture, outdoor adventures and cultural attractions. Local pride is everywhere in Frederick, from its specialty shops and one-of-a-kind breweries to farm-to-table restaurants that take advantage of the nearby abundance Mother Nature provides. History, and more specifically that of the United States, is deeply rooted in this area and in the people who call Frederick home. Here, we spotlight three places where that history can be seen, felt and truly experienced in a way that is uniquely Frederick.

Museum of the Iron Worker in Maryland

It’s not a story that often gets told but that’s the point of the Museum of the Iron Worker. A project of the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, whose mission it is to celebrate, study and preserve the rich history of this pre-revolutionary industrial village, including the architecture, cultural landscapes, lifeways and foodways of the workers, this museum uses conserved artifacts and interpretive exhibits to tell the unique stories of those who worked there. Two forensic facial reconstructions of two of its employees are a highlight of the museum. An added bonus for teachers: The Museum of the Iron Worker offers a number of downloadable lesson plans on its website.

Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland

About one hour from Baltimore and Washington, DC, and 2 miles from Frederick, you’ll find 1,647 acres of rolling farm fields offering beautiful views along the Monocacy River. Don’t let the serene ambiance of this area fool you. It was here in the summer of 1864 that the Federal soldiers, outnumbered three to one, fought bravely against the Confederacy. Their victory became known as the battle that saved Washington, DC. Now part of the National Park Service, Monocacy National Battlefield offers many ways to take in its significance with a staff dedicated to helping you make the most of your visit. The park includes six historic properties reflective of the area’s agriculture, including a unique stone barn (Best Farm) and the Georgian style of the Thomas Farm. Whether you opt for a self-guided auto tour (be sure to download the audio tour from their website), walk one of the park’s six trails or attend one of the many special events, Monocacy National Battlefield is a true historic treasure.

Inside the Maryland National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Inside the Maryland National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Fredrick, Maryland National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Now that you’ve experienced where one of the Civil War’s great battles took place, it’s time to delve into the stories of the healing and devotion of those who took care of the many wounded soldiers amidst so much death and destruction. The 7,000-square-foot National Museum of Civil War Medicine features five immersion exhibits that recreate aspects of Civil War medical issues, including life in an army camp, evacuation of the wounded from the battlefront, a field dressing station, a field hospital and a military ward. Surviving tools and equipment from the war further tell the stories of these brave individuals, and of the innovations that continue to save lives today.

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