Boonsboro Reflections


Harvey Bomberger is a famous son of Boonsboro, having served in the House of Delegates and the Maryland State Senate.  He was the co-founder and first chairman of the Washington County Historical Society and president of the Boonsboro Cemetery Association.  But the adoption of the black-eyed Susan as Maryland’s State Flower ranks as one of Bomberger’s more enduring accomplishments.   In 1898, the Maryland Agricultural College hosted a...

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Mayors (originally called burgesses) were elected annually from 1831-1839, bi-annually from 1940 through 1975 and, since then, mayors have been elected to four-year terms.  At Boonsboro’s first election in 1831, Jonathan Shafer was chosen as first Burgess and Captain Lewis Fletcher, Assistant Burgess.  They served until 1835.  Since that time, over 70 individuals (all men) have been elected as Mayor with Charles F. (Skip) Kauffman,...

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The Bowman House, at 323 North Main Street, was built in 1826 and is typical of log dwellings built in Western Maryland during the first half of the 19th century.  It has two stories built in an “L” shaped plan.  A hewn V-notch construction detail was used at the exterior corners and there are three interior brick chimneys.  John Bowman, Boonsboro’s well-known potter, purchased it in 1868 and operated his pottery business on the...

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Potters were familiar tradesmen in the 19th century, playing a necessary role fashioning utilitarian and decorative containers for local households.  John Bowman enlisted in the Union Army in 1862 and after his discharge in 1865 he apprenticed with his father, a potter, in Benevola.  In 1868 John E. Bowman established Boonsboro Pottery and manufactured a variety of red-clay earthenware, including jugs, crocks, pie plates, chamber...

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While the economy of western Maryland was largely founded on agriculture, the growing population in and around Boonsboro attracted an impressive range of tradesmen and craftsmen. Coverlet makers, shoemakers, carpet weavers, cabinetmakers, tinners, tailors, potters and gunsmiths all found opportunities in the growing village. And, of course, the steady traffic along the turnpike brought patrons to several hotels and taverns. This...

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The first of Boonsboro’s 44 half-acre lots was sold in 1792.  By 1801 the Eagle Hotel (now Inn Boonsboro) was built and a post office established.  Peter Conn, the proprietor of the new hotel was also the Town’s first postmaster.   At first, the town grew slowly; in 1803, 11 years after Boonsboro was established, only 24 houses had been built.  But the all-weather turnpike connecting Baltimore and the western settlements facilitated...

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