September 22, 2017 — History Day
On a warm, humid day, “The Best Class Ever-2018” met, with great anticipation, for our first monthly outing, History Day! We began our day at the Frederick Visitor’s Center where John Fieseler, Executive Director of Tourism, described the roots of Frederick and explained “Where we come from and Who we are.”
Located where the Catoctin Mountains (the easternmost ridge of the Blue Ridge mountains) meet the rolling hills of the Piedmont region, the Frederick area became a crossroads even before European explorers and traders arrived. The challenges the first settlers faced were water (flooding) and conflict (war). Sitting in our nice, dry auditorium, we viewed images of the devastating Frederick floods, and the damage and repair thereafter. This was particularly striking after watching scenes of similar devastation in Houston, Florida and the Caribbean caused by the recent hurricanes.
When we look at our beautiful Carroll Creek Park now, we realize how fortunate we are that our local government and business leaders, and citizens, took action to protect Frederick from future floods and at the same time provide a fabulous downtown park for the local population and more than 1.5 million annual visitors to enjoy.
On our bus ride to the Brunswick Heritage Museum, John continued to enlighten us with fascinating historical facts. When we arrived at Brunswick Heritage Museum, we were greeted by Mayor Jeff Snoots. Born and bred in Brunswick, he shared, with great passion, how he and the citizens of Brunswick (once known as Berlin) are “bringing back the community” He revealed a very hands-on plan of revitalizing the downtown area. As more new homes are added into the community, there are plans already in the works for exciting new venues for Arts and Entertainment.
We learned from Jim Castle (President of the Heritage Museum) how important the B and O Railroad and the C & O Canal are/were to the community, especially during war time.
Back on our (thankfully air-conditioned) bus, we were given a tour of Burkettsville and Gathland State Park, along with a narrative from John Fieseler. He included descriptions of the three important battles that led to the Antietam devastation during the Civil War.
During our delicious lunch at Barley & Hops, we were treated with an exercise with Scott Alexander “Leadership with hard conversation.” Scott is a leadership and martial arts expert who works with individuals and organizations to improve their impact. He described his creative style of making tough decisions from an objective view from “left field.” Remember – engage the people in policy (purpose and values), forward positive momentum, and do the right thing.
On the road again — this time to the Monocacy Battlefield. Ranger Brian described the battle in such depth, one would think he was there back in 1864. He clearly explained how the Battle of Monocacy saved Washington DC
Our last stop of the day was the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. Our tour guide, Jake Winn, talked about the “heroic age of medicine.” It was amazing to learn that in that era, anesthesia, pain killers (opiates) and alcohol were used 95% of the time for the wounded during surgeries. So, “Bite the Bullet” didn’t apply during the Civil War time. During the Civil War, this building was where the dead soldiers were being processed. During this era, innovators created ambulances, and learned triage (the procedure used today)
Frederick County is rich in history, and played such an important role in what makes us who we are today.
We are not makers of history. We are made by history…….
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
LFC CLASS OF 20198 History Day
Photo Credit: Whitney Hahn