Boonsboro Reflections


Ruins of a community that grew up and prospered from 1772 to 1918 can still be seen where Roxbury Bridge crosses Antietam Creek northwest of Boonsboro.  John Shafer settled along the banks of Antietam Creek in 1772, eventually constructing a water powered stone gristmill.  Early settlers provided flour to markets in Baltimore and Philadelphia but soon understood that using their rye and corn to make whiskey was more profitable than...

Read More

As reported in last week’s Boonsboro Reflection, Harvey S. Bomberger was an industrious and progressive citizen involved in politics, commerce, civic organizations, publishing and expansion of libraries in the region.  Late in his life he served Boonsboro as Mayor from 1929 to 1934.  His life of service was chillingly interrupted as described in the June 20, 1932 issue of Hagerstown’s Morning Herald that carried the headline “PLOT TO...

Read More

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...

Read More

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,...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More