Sharpsburg will celebrate 255th birthday with Founder's Day weekend
SHARPSBURG — Every year, residents of Washington County can enjoy a weekend celebrating the birth of Sharpsburg.
Sharpsburg Founder’s Day commemorates the founding of the town with a three-day event, which starts Friday, July 6, and continues through Sunday, July 8, at various locations throughout the town.
“Sharpsburg was founded July the 9th, 1763,” said Ed Beeler, chairman of the Sharpsburg Founder’s Day. “This year, it’ll be 255 years old.”
The weekend brings the community and different organizations together.
“It started 20 years ago,” Beeler said. “Then they took a break, and we started picking it up again five years ago. It’ll help bring the businesses in Sharpsburg and the organizations together. A lot of them will have booths. The Boy Scouts will have a booth where they’re selling food to raise money for their troop.”
There are several different events and vendors that will await participants. The opening will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the newly established Antietam Creek Vineyards.
“That will be our kickoff for the Founder’s Day weekend,” Beeler said.
Beeler said The Speakeasy Boys will perform. There will also be craft vendors, demonstrations and living history, which starts around 9:30 a.m.
“The Sharpsburg Heritage Museum will be open from 9 to 5. There’s a book signing there at 1 o’ clock. There’s people going to be dressed up in colonial and Civil War garb; the different time periods of Sharpsburg,” he said.
There will be a fireworks display to culminate the festivities on Saturday night with Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s Salute to Independence at Antietam Battlefield. (See page 5 for more information about that event).
“It generally draws thousands of people who sit around the battlefield,” Beeler siad.
Saturday there will also be a ceremony involving the founder’s descendants and the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of Sharpsburg.
“On Saturday it starts at 9 o’clock at the founder’s view cemetery,” Beeler said. “Joseph Chapline is the founder of Sharpsburg. He owned almost 20,000 acres around Sharpsburg. He laid out the town; I think it was 300 acres. We’ll have one of the descendants lay the wreath on his grave. On Sunday, there’s going to be a community church service at the Lutheran church. Back 250 years ago, the founder of Sharpsburg gave the land for the church and he requested only a peppercorn for rent in return. They’re going to do a thing on Sunday where they give one of the descendants a peppercorn.”
Beeler’s favorite part of the event is the rich history that participants learn from it.
“I like the historical part of it; the colonial timeline, the wreath lane, the different demonstrations and learning about the different stuff that happened in the the earlier days in Sharpsburg,” he said. “People who visit are more interested in how the people were before the Battle of Antietam. Many people think of Sharpsburg and think of the Battle of Antietam, but many don’t get to learn about Colonial Sharpsburg.”
Beeler believes that the Founder’s Day is healthy for the prosperity of Sharpsburg.
“I think it’s important so that the people have a sense of community and pride,” he said. “It’s a good thing, it shows the people what kind of businesses are here. And it helps organizations that will help them better themselves. It helps keep people together.”
For more information, visit the Founder's Day 2018 page on Facebook.
Top photo: Hancock String Band will perform at noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Victory Garden Ranch, 101 W. Main St., Sharpsburg, for the Sharpsburg Founder’s Day event. (Submitted photo)
Sharpsburg Founder's Day Schedule
Friday, July 6 – 6 to 9 p.m.
- Founder's Day Kick off – Antietam Creek Vineyards, 4835 Branch Ave., Sharpsburg
- Wine by Antietam Creek Vineyard and barbecue Bentwood Smokers; live music by the Speakeasy Boys and wine tasting. Antietam Creek Vineyard will be selling Founder’s Day commemorative bottle of wine.
Saturday, July 7 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Various locations throughout Sharpsburg
- 9 a.m. — Ceremony in the Mountain View Cemetery at the monument of Sharpsburg’s founder.
- Activities throughout the day include live music, craft and farmers market, living history demonstrations, historical displays, walking tours, lectures and of course great food and ice cream
Sharpsburg Town Museum – Sharpsburg Town Hall
- All day - town historical artifacts on display
- 1 p.m. – Book signing with Ed Beeler, “Finding Joseph Chapline”
Walking tours – Town Hall
- 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Chapline / Biggs House with Anna Ash
- 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Sharpsburg historical walking tours with Mark Brugh
- 11 a.m. — Town cemeteries tour with Vernell Doyle
- 3 p.m. – Tolson’s Chapel with Ed Beeler
- 8:30 p.m. — Fireworks Ghost Tour of Sharpsburg with Mark Brugh
Demonstrations and crafts — Victory Garden Ranch, 101 W. Main St.
- 9:30 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m. — Butter making
- 10:00 a.m., 12:30 and 3 p.m. — Candle and soap making
- 10:30 a.m., 1 and 3:30 p.m. — Rug hooking and weaving
- 11:00 a.m., 1:30 and 4 p.m. — Blacksmith
- 11:30 a.m., 2 and 4:30 p.m. — Food Preservation
- All day – children's crafts at the Washington County Historical Society tent
Lectures - Jacob Rohrbach Inn, 138 W. Main St.
- 10 a.m. — John Schildt, “Drums along the Antietam”
- 11 a.m. — Ted Alexander, "Sharpsburg before & after the battle"
- 2:30 p.m. — Tim Snyder, “The Sharpsburg Rifles”
- 4 p.m. — Stephen Recker, "O.T. Reilly: Sharpsburg Relics & Remembrances”
Military Encampment – The Grove House, 100 N. Main St.
- Living history demonstrations throughout the day.
- 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. — – “Military through the Ages” program
- 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. – Voices for Vets @ VGR Deck
- Noon to 3 p.m. — Hancock Civil War String Band @ VGR Deck
- 1 p.m. — The New Horizons Band @ the Jacob Rohrbach Inn
Vendors and Farmers Market - VGR
- Kelley Farm - pickles, salsa, & preserved goods
- Moonshine Forge - blacksmith & craftworks
- Cedar Ridge Soaps - soaps, body butters, & lotions
- Millhouse Candles - beeswax tapers, pillars, tarts & lotions
- Pheasant Run Farm - jams & fresh herbs
- Stillwater Farms – fresh grown vegetables
Sunday, July 8 —10 a.m.
Homecoming Community Church Service will be held at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 201 E. Main St.