Historic accounts help paint a picture of what Reisterstown’s founder was like.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Marc Shapiro
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
John Reister was described as a “pioneer, wilderness clearer and town founder,” in Lillian Bayly Marks’ book Reister’s Desire. Reisterstown’s founder was an adventurous man, leaving his home country of Germany for the U.S. at the young age of 23. The industrious and independent Reister preferred farming his own land in Frederick County than working at his father-in-law’s public house in York Town. After buying 20 acres in what would become Reisterstown in 1758, in his entrepreneurial nature, John Reister opened an inn in the underdeveloped town, which travelers would pass through thanks to Native American trails that would later become roads. The inn was expanded to include a blacksmith shop and other businesses, which became the center of…
A brief history of how a German immigrant founded Reisterstown, and why the town was a hub even before white settlers came here.
Even before white settlers came to Reisterstown, the area was a central meeting point for Susquehannock Native Americans. It was their original trails that eventually became highways. White settlers later lived and farmed on the town’s rich land, even before 1659, when Baltimore County was organized. The town became a settlement and stop for settlers going West because of highways that link many Native American trails. The town’s original road was known as the Patapsco Trail and was open as early as 1741. It wasn’t where present day Reisterstown Road and Hanover Pike are, but ran west of it and connected to Baltimore by going southeast. On March 2, 1758, John Reister, a German immigrant who came to Maryland by way of York, PA, purchased 20…