Introduction to Frederick, Maryland
The city of Frederick, county seat of Frederick County, Maryland, lies about 50 miles west of Baltimore and roughly the same distance northwest of Washington, D.C. Major highways servicing the city include Interstates I-70 and I-270, and U.S. Routes 15, 40, and 340.
Founded in 1745 by English and German settlers, Frederick (originally called Fredericktown) began as a frontier town servicing wagon trains blazing the initial trails across the Allegheny Mountains. The starting place for the career of Star Spangled Banner poet Francis Scott Key, Frederick later became a natural crossroads for troop movements during the Civil War. Up until World War I, Frederick was largely a farming community and a local center for agricultural trade. Things began to change, especially after World War II, with the establishment of Fort Detrick, a center of biological warfare research, and the building of the interstate roads system, leading to growth in residential areas by workers who commuted to jobs in other cities. Frederick today is one of Maryland’s largest cities, boasting a stable quality of life and an expanding economic and cultural base.
Frederick Arts and Entertainment
Frederick's downtown historic district has a wealth of shops, eateries, and museums for residents and visitors to enjoy. The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is located here, as is the Barbara Fritchie House and Museum, former home of the woman memorialized in an 1864 poem by John Greenleaf Whittier as having waved the Stars and Stripes in defiance of Confederate commander Stonewall Jackson and his troops during their march through downtown Frederick. Also in Frederick is the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, the city's oldest building and one of the nation's best examples of early German-Colonial Architecture. Another Frederick institution, the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, includes a gallery with monthly changing exhibits and classroom/studio spaces for drawing, painting, crafts, photography, wood, printmaking, and ceramics. The Weinberg Center for the Arts showcases performing arts through a wide range of dramatic, musical, and educational programs. Frederick also boasts The Frederick Symphony Orchestra, a community orchestra which performs five concerts of classical masterpieces per year.
Throughout the year, the city hosts several celebrations and activities, such as the Summer Concert Series held throughout the months of June, July, and August. "Frederick's 4th" is the city's annual Independence Day celebration, and the month of December is a festive one, with celebrations such as the Candlelight House Tour and the Festival of Lights. One of the more unique attractions in Frederick is the Community Bridge (also called the "Mural Bridge"); a concrete bridge constructed to yield the stunning illusion of an old stone bridge. The entire structure was painted by hand using advanced "trompe l'oeil" (deception of the eye) techniques and yet contains ideas and symbols offered by thousands of local and international contributors.
Baseball fans in Frederick have a local professional team to root for. The Frederick Keys, named for Frederick County native Francis Scott Key, are the Class High-A minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball's Baltimore Orioles. The Keys are members of the Carolina League and play their games in Harry Grove Stadium. Major league pro sports can be found an hour away in either the Baltimore or Washington, D.C. areas. Local Baltimore teams include:
- Baltimore Orioles (MLB baseball)
- Baltimore Ravens (NFL football)
- Baltimore Blast (MISL soccer)
- Baltimore Bayhawks (MLL lacrosse)
- Baltimore Pearls (ABA basketball)
Washington pro teams include the following:
- Washington Nationals (MLB baseball)
- Washington Capitals (NHL hockey)
- Washington Wizards (NBA basketball)
- Washington Mystics (WNBA basketball)
- DC United (MLS soccer)