Hotel Atlantic Berlin Philip Young

Berlin, Maryland – Main Street

Main Streets 2017: Maryland

Hotel Atlantic Berlin Philip Young
Church Mouse Thrift Shop Philip Young 2
Church Mouse Thrift Shop Philip Young
Hotel Atlantic Berlin Philip Young Church Mouse Thrift Shop Philip Young 2 Church Mouse Thrift Shop Philip Young

Berlin’s Main Street began as part of a path connecting neighboring Indian tribes and later became the Philadelphia Post Road, a primary transportation route up the Atlantic coast. Stroll down Main today and you’ll see why this community was named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Traveler in 2014.

Starting at the Atlantic Hotel, you can take a walking tour of historic homes along and around Main Street. Berlin has some 47 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including Burley Manor and Burley Cottage on South Main and the Chandler House on North Main. After a series of devastating fires in a ten-year period from 1895-1904, the town passed an ordinance requiring that every new structure be built of brick. As you’ll see, even many local streets are brick-laid.

With early 20th century improvements in water and fire protection, Berlin became home to several successful industries, including the Berlin Milling Company, Phillips Cannery and Harrison Nurseries, which called itself the world’s largest fruit producer in 1924. The Berlin Peach Festival celebrates this history every summer at the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum on North Main, with pie-baking and pie-eating contests, music, games and craft demonstrations.

The museum’s namesake was a banker whose bank building, built in 1902, still stands at the corner of Main and Commerce. Historical information suggests that Taylor taught Charles Albert Tindley how to read and write. Tindley, born in Berlin in 1851, became a well-known Methodist minister and a founding father of African American gospel music.

Downtown also hosts the Berlin Fiddler’s Convention, concerts on the lawn, a Fourth of July celebration and Classical Christmas. Activities for all ages also include Spring Celebration in March, the Jazz and Blues Bash in May, June’s Annual Bathtub Races, the Second Friday Art Stroll, and the Haunted Berlin Ghost Walk. From Main Street you can also connect to bike trails that can take you away from downtown, past historic sites, parks and monuments in the city and onward to the wildlife areas and beaches along the coast.

With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Berlin continues to win awards and be named to many “best of” lists. It might just be time to put it on your list of “must places to visit.”

All photos taken by Philip Young
Berlin, MD is home to a 2017-18 LifeChanger: Laurie Chetelat

Read More  

PatrickStreet2 CreditCKurtHolter min

Frederick, Maryland – Patrick Street

Main Streets 2016: Maryland

Patrick Street’s most famous moment was one of defiance. The city was a major crossroads of the Civil War, and in September 1862, Stonewall Jackson led his Confederate infantry along this street en route to a series of clashes that would end nearby at Antietam, in the bloodiest one-day battle in American history. Legend has it that in Frederick, local women booed the rebels as they passed — and one, Barbara Fritchie, either stood in the street or leaned out an upstairs window, waving an American flag. Today her reconstructed home on Patrick Street is the Barbara Fritchie House and Museum.

That’s far from the only reminder of the past in Frederick, which has been the county seat since 1742 and where, say the city’s promoters, “hip meets historic every day.” For example, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine is also on Patrick Street. So is the Weinberg Center for the Arts, which presents theatre, dance and music, from classical to bluegress, plus vintage movies and more.

Frederick has been absorbing rapid growth in recent years as commuters move outward from the Washington, D.C. suburbs. Set in a scenic spot just east of the eastern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city has been called the gateway to western Maryland. Patrick Street is its primary east-west corridor, with Market Street its north-south counterpart. On Patrick, you’ll find antique stores, boutiques and clothing shops that range from fine to funky, art galleries, craft stores and studios, a bookshop, cafés, a tea room and quite a few pubs and dining options. You can eat American, Italian, Irish, New York deli-style — even Ethiopian.

And there’s a whole lot more to the city center. Hood College is downtown, as is family-friendly ballpark Harry Grove Stadium, home of the Frederick Keys, a minor-league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. The team is named for Francis Scott Key, the Frederick County native who composed the Star-Spangled Banner, and was a friend of Barbara Ritchie. The city hosts a very full schedule of concerts, festivals and special events. One downtown highlight, every August, is the country’s only high-wheel bicycle race.

The more you look, the more that “hip meets historic” sounds like just the right slogan for downtown Frederick.

All photos courtesy of C. Kurt Holter – Visit Frederick

Read More