Reisterstown During the Revolution
While records don’t trace any soldiers from Reisterstown to the battlefields of the Revolution, the town was undergoing its own changes.
Ever wonder why Benjamin Franklin’s name and face are all over Reisterstown?
Rumor has it that the founding father visited town sometime during the Revolution to get wagons and supplies for the war. This may be why Reisterstown’s first school was named Franklin Academy.
Although research doesn’t show Reisterstown as having soldiers in the war, the town was on the verge of its own changes.
With Methodists organizing around Bishop Asbury in 1777, a log church called Asbury Chapel was built in 1791 where the Reisterstown Cemetery sits today. A second was built closer to the road in 1830, and a third in 1868. That third church is now known as the Reisterstown United Methodist Church.
As the church cemented its presence in Reisterstown, the business community sprung up around it. Travelers would pass through town on their way to Pittsburgh, Wheeling, WV, Baltimore and several other nearby cities, so taverns thrived.
“There was a tavern for every mile along this turnpike, but this town, just two miles long, had seven or eight taverns,” wrote Louise Bland Goodwin in her 1966 essay, “Milestones in the History of Reisterstown, Maryland: 1758 – 1965.”
Many of the town’s taverns have their own claims to fame. Forney’s Tavern was known for its entertainment and meals, and American Revolutionary War General Lafayette and Henry Clay once stayed there. George Washington once stayed at Bower’s Tavern, one of the oldest in town.
Be sure to read next week for some more insight into Reisterstown’s history.
The information contained in this article came from “Milestones in the History of Reisterstown, Maryland: 1758 – 1965,” written by Louise Bland Goodwin, a former vice principal of Franklin Elementary School, published on April 30, 1966.