Boonsboro, Maryland

Have you ever heard of the small town of Boonsboro in the U.S. state of Maryland?  For a vast majority of you, the answer is no.  There are many people who have lived their entire lives in the Washington D.C. metropolis who have never heard of the town of Boonsboro.

Some of you are saying, “Well, duh!  That is because there is absolutely nothing significant to this town.”

Let us see.  It is a town on the National Road, the first major roadway to run west.  It is the home of Crystal Grottoes, one of the most naturally kept caverns in the nation.  You have the Washington Monument.  No, not the famous one in Washington D.C.  This was also erected in honor of George Washington.  The Appalachian Trail crosses the National Road on the east side of and passes through the Washington Monument State Park.  By the way, to get to the Washington Monument, you must hike a section of the famous trail.  It is close proximity to two American Civil War battlefields: South Mountain and the famous Antietam Battlefield.  If you still think that there is nothing special about Boonsboro, you will need to explain that to George and William Boone.  Who is George and William Boone?  You may not have heard of George and William Boone, the two brothers that this town is named for, but you have heard of their famous cousin, Daniel Boone, yes, that Daniel Boone, the famous pioneer and frontiersman.  If you still see nothing special about this town, you will also need to explain that to Nora Roberts, yes, that Nora Roberts, the New York Times Best Selling Author who owns the Inn BoonsBoro, a bed-and-breakfast located at the center of the town.  After all of this, you can no longer say that there is no reason to visit the town, of Boonsboro, Maryland.

Now some of you are saying, “Wow!  That is a lot.  There is one big problem.  One thing that is not mentioned is the railroad.  Because this was never a railroad town, there is no reason for me to visit this town.”

Well, it is true that this was never a railroad town.  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, North America’s first railroad, took a more southern route through Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and the Western Maryland Railway went north of the town.

So what does the town of Boonsboro have to do with the railroad?

As you drive through the town on the National Road, you will see an old trolley station.  How can you have a trolley station in a town where there was never a railroad?  Although the major railroads avoided this town, the Frederick and Middletown Railway did not.  The trolley station, built in 1902, was a terminal for the Frederick and Middletown Railway that served the Maryland towns of Frederick, Hagerstown, and other towns to include a few towns in Pennsylvania.  The Hagerstown Railway which later formed the Hagerstown and Boonsboro Railway, brought freight service to the town.  This allowed farmers to bring their goods to the trolley station and have them transported to the major railroads in Frederick and Hagerstown.  Sadly, the service ended in Boonsboro in 1938.

The trolley station was spared demolition, and it remains in its original location, and it is the only trolley station that is still standing in Washington County, Maryland today.  On September 12, 2009, it became the home of the Boonsboro Trolley Museum.  It is open on the fourth Sunday of the month from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.  The museum houses artifacts of the trolley, and you can see old photos of the trolley.  In front of the trolley station, you can see the old trolley tracks.  It is located on Main Street (the National Road, Alternate U.S. Route 40) at Shafer Park Drive.  Parking is street parking.  Admission is free, but they will gladly accept a donation to help keep the museum operating for many years to come.  Please note that due to the age of the structure that the museum is not wheelchair accessible.  You can learn more about the history of the trolley station at

Now you have heard about the small town of Boonsboro, Maryland.  Now you have seen the great significance of the town.  Now you see how this town was a benefactor of the trolley.  Go visit Boonsboro.  You will be glad you did.


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