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Hagerstown ( ) is a city in northwestern Marylandmarker, United Statesmarker. It is the county seat of Washington Countymarker, and, by many definitions, the largest city in a region known as Western Maryland. The population of Hagerstown city proper, according to estimates conducted by the United States Census Bureau for a 12-month period ending 1 July 2008, is 39,728, and the total 2000 Urbanized Area population is 120,326 (~80,000 in MD). Hagerstown ranks as Maryland's sixth largest city, but if the urban area were to likewise incorporate, it would be Maryland's second-most populous city.

Hagerstown anchors the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which lies just northwest of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical Area in the heart of the Great Appalachian Valley. The population of the metropolitan area in 2000 was 222,771 and the 2008 estimate is 263,753 (U.S. Rank 169). Greater Hagerstown is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the state of Maryland and among the fastest growing in the United States.

Despite its semi-rural Western Maryland setting, Hagerstown is a center of transit and commerce. Interstates 81 and 70, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Winchester and Western railroads, and Hagerstown Regional Airportmarker form an extensive transportation network for the city. Hagerstown is also the chief commercial and industrial hub for a greater Tri-State Area that includes much of Western Maryland as well as significant portions of South Central Pennsylvaniamarker and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginiamarker. Hagerstown has often been referred to as, and is nicknamed, the Hub City.



Hagerstown Public Square circa 1900.
1739, Jonathan Hager, a German immigrant from Pennsylvania and a volunteer Captain of Scouts, purchased 200 acres of land in the Great Appalachian Valley between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in Maryland and called it Hager’s Fancy. In 1762, Hager officially founded the town of Elizabethtown which he named after his wife, Elizabeth Kershner. Fourteen years later, Jonathan Hager became known as the "Father of Washington County" after his efforts helped Hagerstown become the county seat of newly created Washington County which Hager also helped create from neighboring Frederick County, Marylandmarker. The City Council changed the community's name to Hagerstown in 1813 because the name had gained popular usage, and in the following year, the Maryland State Legislature officially endorsed the changing of the town’s name.

Civil War

Hagerstown's strategic location at the border between the North and the South made the city a primary staging area and supply center for four major campaigns during the Civil War.

In 1861, General Robert Patterson's troops used Hagerstown as a base to attack Virginiamarker troops in the Shenandoah Valleymarker.

In the Maryland Campaign of 1862, General James Longstreet's command occupied the town while en route to the Battle of South Mountainmarker and Antietammarker.

In 1863, the city was the site of several military incursions and engagements as Gen. Robert E. Lee's army invaded and retreated in the Gettysburg Campaign.

In 1864, Hagerstown was invaded by the Confederate Army under Lt. Gen. Jubal Early. On Wednesday, July 6, Early sent 1,500 cavalry, commanded by Brig. Gen. John McCausland, into Hagerstown to levy a ransom for $200,000 and a large amount of clothing, in retribution for Federal destruction of farms, feed and cattle in the Shenandoah Valleymarker. McCausland misread the amount, instead collecting $20,000. This is in contrast to neighboring Chambersburg, Pennsylvaniamarker, which McCausland razed on July 30 when the borough failed to supply the requested ransom of $500,000 in U.S. currency, or $100,000 in gold.

Throughout the Civil War, private physicians and citizens of Hagerstown succoured men from both the North and South in a number of locations, including the Franklin Hotel, Washington House, Lyceum, Hagerstown Male Academy, Key-Mar College, and a number of private residences.

The spread of smallpox by returning soldiers to families and friends was a substantial problem during the war. The Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church volunteered the use of its church as a smallpox hospital when an epidemic spread throughout the town.

Following the war in 1872, Maryland and Virginia cooperated to re-inter Southern Confederate dead from their impromptu graves to cemeteries in Hagerstown, Frederick and Shepherdstown, West Virginiamarker. Roughly 60% however, remained unidentified. In 1877, 15 years after the Battle of Antietammarker, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburgmarker, approximately 2,800 Confederate dead from that battle were re-interred in Washington Confederate Cemetery and in Rosehill Cemetery in Hagerstown.


Hagerstown's nickname of the "Hub City" came from the large number of railroads (and roads) that served the city. Hagerstown was the center of the Western Maryland Railway and an important city on the Pennsylvania, Norfolk and Western, Baltimore and Ohio, and Hagerstown and Frederick Railroads. Currently, the city is a vital location on CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Winchester and Western Railroads.

Hagerstown was formerly served by the Hagerstown & Frederick Railway, an interurban trolley system, from 1896 to 1947.

Little Heiskell

of the most recognizable symbols of Hagerstown is the weathervane known as "Little Heiskell." Named after the German tinsmith Benjamin Heiskell who crafted it in 1769 in the form of a Hessian soldier, it stood atop the Market House first and City Hall second for a combined 166 years. It was moved from the Market House to City Hall in 1824.

During the American Civil War era, the weathervane gained its characteristic bullet hole from a Confederate sharpshooter, who won a bet after shooting it from a full city block away.

Finally in 1935, the original was retired to the Museum of the Washington County Historical Society, later to be moved to its present display in the Jonathan Hager House. An exact replica has replaced it atop City Hall.

The weathervane has also been depicted in the city's annual Mummers Day Parade by Mr. Charles Harry Rittenhouse, Sr. sporting all of the necessary accoutrements of a Germanmarker Mercenary Soldier.

Little Heiskell is now also the mascot of North Hagerstown High School.

Aviation heritage

From 1931 to 1984, Fairchild Aircraft was based in Hagerstown, Maryland and was by far the area's most prominent employer. The importance of the company to the city and the country as a whole earned Hagerstown its former nickname "Home of the Flying Boxcar."

Fairchild moved to Hagerstown from Farmingdale, New Yorkmarker in 1931 after Sherman Fairchild purchased a majority stock interest in Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company of Hagerstown in 1929. Among Fairchild's products during World War II were PT-19/PT-23/PT-26 (Cornell) and AT-21 trainers, C-82 "Packet" cargo planes and missiles. At its height in World War II, Fairchild employed directly and indirectly up to 80% of Hagerstown's workforce or roughly 10,000 people.

In the postwar era, Fairchild continued to produce aircraft in Hagerstown such as C-123 Provider, Fairchild F-27 and Fairchild Hiller FH-227, FH-1100, C-26 Metroliner, UC-26 Metroliner, Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, and the T-46 jet trainer.
production ceased in Hagerstown in 1984 and the company moved elsewhere. Presently, the company is based in San Antonio, Texasmarker and after a series of mergers and acquisitions, is known as M7 Aerospace.

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum shows many of these original aircraft. Among the ones on display are: 1939 F24/UC-61C, 1945 C-82A, 1943 PT-19A, and the 1953 C-119. The museum is located near Hagerstown Regional Airport in the airport's former terminal.

Hagerstown is also the birthplace of Salisbury, Marylandmarker-based Piedmont Airlines which started out as Henson Aviation. It was founded by Richard A. Henson in 1931. Today, Hagerstown Regional Airport-Richard A.marker Henson Fieldmarker is named as such in honor of the airlines' founder.

Today, only small to medium-sized aviation companies remain in the area. Three notable names include Northrop Grumman California Microwaves, which manufactures airline equipment in its Hagerstown facility, Fugro EarthData, which maintains its aviation division in Hagerstown, and Sierra Nevada Corporation, a defense electronics engineering and manufacturing contractor.


Location and topography

Hagerstown is located at (39.642771, -77.719954). It is south of the Mason-Dixon Linemarker and north of the Potomac River and between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in a part of the Great Appalachian Valley known regionally as Cumberland Valley and locally as Hagerstown Valley. The community also lies within close proximity of Pennsylvaniamarker, West Virginiamarker, and Virginiamarker. Hagerstown, by driving distance, is approximately northwest of Washington, D.C.marker, west-northwest of Baltimore, Marylandmarker, and southwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvaniamarker.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.7 square miles (27.6 km²), of which 10.7 square miles (27.6 km²) of it is land and 0.09% is water. Major waterways within Hagerstown include Hamilton Run and Antietam Creek that are tributaries of the Potomac River. Natural landscape around Hagerstown consists of low, rolling hills with elevations of to above sea level and rich, fertile land that is well-suited and utilized for dairy farming, cornfields, and fruit orchards typical of Mid-Atlantic agriculture.


Hagerstown is situated in the transition between the humid subtropical climate zone and the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfa), with hot, humid summers and moderately cold winters.


As of the U.S. census of 2000, there were 36,687 people, 15,849 households, and 9,081 families residing in the city. Updated 1 July 2008 census estimates reflect Hagerstown having 39,728 people, an increase of 8.3% from the year 2000.

According to Census 2000 figures, the population density was 3,441.5 people per square mile (1,328.8/km²). There were 17,089 housing units at an average density of 1,603.1/sq mi (619.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.95% White, 10.15% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.96% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.83% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.77% of the population. There were 17,154 males and 19,533 females residing in the city.

There were 15,849 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.8% were married couples living together, 15.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,796, and the median income for a family was $38,149. Males had a median income of $31,200 versus $22,549 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,153. About 15.1% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.0% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.



The current city executive or Mayor of Hagerstown is Robert "Bob" E. Bruchey II (R) who has served the city since March 2006.

Past Mayors:

  • 2005-2006 Richard F. Trump (R)
  • 2001-2005 William M. Breichner (D)
  • 1997-2001 Robert E. Bruchey II (R)
  • 1985-1997 Steven T. Sager (D)

  • 1981-1985 Donald R. Frush (R)
  • 1973-1981 Varner L. Paddock (R)
  • 1965-1973 Herman L. Mills (R)
  • 1953-1965 Winslow F. Burhans

  • 1949-1953 Herman L. Mills (R)
  • 1941-1949 Richard H. Sweeney
  • 1937-1941 W. Lee Elgin
  • 1933-1937 I. M. Wertz

City Council

The representative body of Hagerstown is known as the City Council. Among its members are: Lewis Metzner, William M. Breichner, Martin Brubaker, Forrest Easton, and Ashley Haywood.

Other representation

Donald F. Munson represents Hagerstown in the Maryland Senate while John P. Donoghue stands for the Hagerstown area in the Maryland House of Delegates. Roscoe Bartlett serves Maryland's 6th congressional district which includes Hagerstown in the U.S. Congress.


Once primarily an industrial community, Hagerstown's economy depended heavily on railroad transportation and manufacturing, notably of aircraft, trucks, automobiles, textiles, and furniture. Today, the city has a diversified, stable business environment with modern service companies in various fields as well as continued strength in manufacturing and transportation in railroads and highways. Surrounding Hagerstown, there has been and continues to be a strong agricultural presence while tourism, especially with respect to the retail sector, also provides support to the local economy.

Major companies

(*=corporate headquarters in area)

  • AeroSys Inc.*
  • Bowman Development*
  • Brethren Mutual Insurance*
  • Cinetic Landis
  • Citigroup
  • DOT Foods
  • FedEx Ground
  • First Data
  • Fugro EarthData
  • High Rock Interactive*
  • Home Depot

  • Horizon Goodwill Industries*
  • Intelsat
  • Jamison Door*
  • JLG Industries
  • Lehigh Phoenix*
  • Lenox
  • Macro Retail*
  • Maryland Paper*
  • NetConn Solutions*
  • Northrop Grumman California Microwaves

  • Pavestone
  • Progress Media
  • RadioShack
  • Review and Herald Publishing Association*
  • Sealy
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Staples
  • Susquehanna Bank
  • Unilever "Heartbrand" Ice Cream
  • Volvo Powertrain
  • Wolters Kluwer Health



Hagerstown-Washington County boasts one of the highest densities of retail in the country.

Hagerstown has 2 major shopping malls:

Other significant retail centers/areas include:
  • Dual Hwy.- Wonder Book & Video and Super Shoes.
  • Garland Groh Blvd.- Wal-Martmarker Supercenter, Home Depot, Dick's Sporting Goods, PetSmart, Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath and Beyond, Office Max, Marshalls, A.C. Moore, Border's Books and Music, Five Below, and Best Buy.
  • Longmeadow/Leitersburg Pike- Ashley Furniture, Pennsylvania Dutch Market, Lowe's, and Hagerstown Cinemas 10.
  • South End/Town Center- Aaron's, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Big Lots, and Tuesday Morning.
  • Wesel Blvd./Halfway Blvd./Massey Blvd./Cole Rd.- Kmart, Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Tractor Supply, Staples, Value City Furniture, Sam's Club, Just Cabinets &, Lowe's, Petco, David's Bridal, Michael's Craft, Target, Kohl's, RoomStore Furniture, Christmas Tree Shops, and Ross Dress For Less.



Mass transportation

A street corner on Broadway near downtown Hagerstown.


  • Electricity within the city is distributed at cost by Hagerstown Light Department, a municipal electric utility. Outside the city limits, electricity is provided by Potomac Edison, a regional subsidiary of Allegheny Power, which itself is a division of Allegheny Energy.
  • Columbia Gas of Maryland, Inc., a subsidiary of NiSource, services the area with natural gas.
  • The city's water supply is provided by City of Hagerstown Water & Sewer Department with public drainage at Antietam Drainage Basin.
  • Hagerstown-based Antietam Cable, a subsidiary of Schurz Communications, provides the area's cable television.
  • Landline phone service in Hagerstown is provided by Verizon.


Historical sites

Hagerstown's location at the center of the so-called Historic Highlands makes it an ideal starting point for touring, especially with respect to the Civil War. Antietam National Battlefieldmarker, the site of the bloodiest single day in American history, is located in nearby Sharpsburg, Marylandmarker. South Mountain State Battlefieldmarker is also located in Washington County in Boonsboromarker. Gettysburgmarker, Monocacymarker, and Harpers Ferrymarker battlefields are all located within a 30 minute drive of Hagerstown.

Fort Frederick State Parkmarker, which features a restored fort used in the French and Indian War, is west of the city in nearby Big Pool, Marylandmarker.

Washington Monument State Parkmarker near Boonsboromarker pays tribute to the country's first president, George Washington. It is the oldest structure to honor the 'father of our country.'

Hagerstown is also home to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Headquarters.

The city also has a number of sites and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Parks and museums

Within the city, there are numerous parks including Hagerstown City Parkmarker, which is home to the Washington County Museum of Fine Artsmarker, Mansion House Art Gallery, Western Maryland 202 Locomotive Display and Museum, and the Hager House and Museummarker (once home of Jonathan Hager, founder of Hagerstown). Outside of the Park, Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum showcases exhibits of Hagerstown's early railroad history. Discovery Station, located downtown, is a hands-on science and technology museum featuring exhibits in numerous galleries and display areas, including the Hagerstown Aviation Museum.

The house of Sandeep. The legendary Sandeep resides in a house made of completely composite materials. He is responsible for all the world's carbon fiber. He invented it and to anger him would mean no more carbon fiber. So be weary when you pass by the house of Sandeep.

Theatre and arts

Hagerstown is home to the Maryland Theatremarker, a symphony house that plays host to the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and the annual Miss Maryland USA Beauty Pageants. The city also has the Washington County Playhouse, a traditional dinner theatre. The new Academy Theatre Banquet & Conference Center, located downtown, houses the community theatre group Potomac Playmakers. And the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts will be opening as a magnet school for gifted art students in downtown Hagerstown's arts and entertainment district.

Festivals and events

Downtown Hagerstown recently has enjoyed a resurgence and now hosts several popular annual events. Downtown Live! is an alternative festival that features live reggae and rock music and entertainment held at various times throughout the year. The city draws thousands every year around May-June to the Western Maryland Blues Fest, which showcases blues artists from around the country. The popular Augustoberfest celebrates Hagerstown's German heritage. And the annual Alsatia Mummers' Halloween Parade happens to be the largest nighttime parade on the East Coast.

Fairgrounds Park features recreational facilities such as the Hagerstown Ice & Sports Complex and hosts various events throughout the year like the annual Hagerstown Hispanic Festival held in mid-September.

Professional sports

Hagerstown is home to the Hagerstown Suns minor-league baseball team. The Suns play in the South Atlantic League and are a Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. They play in Municipal Stadiummarker.

To the west of the city lies Hagerstown Speedway, a nationally known dirt-track racing venue. Another professional racing track, Mason-Dixon Dragway, is located just southeast of Hagerstown.




Hagerstown shares a radio market, the 166th largest in the United States, with Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and Waynesboro, Pennsylvaniamarker. The following box contains all of the radio stations in the area:


Hagerstown is the base for four television stations and shares a Designated Market Area, the ninth largest in the United States, with Washington, D.C.


High schools

Public high schools(Administered by Washington County Public Schools)

In addition, many Hagerstown students attend the following:

Private high schools

Colleges and universities

  • Kaplan Universitymarker, Hagerstown Campus, formerly known as Kaplan College and Hagerstown Business College.

  • University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, a branch of the University of Maryland offering various associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in connection with other state colleges and universities in Maryland.

Notable residents and natives

Sister cities and municipal partnerships

Metropolitan area

Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA consists of three counties:

The Primary Cities are Hagerstown, MD and Martinsburg, WV. Other communities in the MSA include: Halfway, MDmarker, Paramount-Long Meadow, MDmarker, Fountainhead-Orchard Hills, MDmarker, Robinwood, MDmarker, Maugansville, MDmarker, Boonsboro, MDmarker, Smithsburg, MDmarker, Williamsport, MDmarker, Falling Waters, WVmarker, Hedgesville, WVmarker, Inwood, WVmarker and Berkeley Springs, WVmarker.

The metropolitan area's population in 2000 was 222,771. The 2008 estimate is 263,753, making Greater Hagerstown the 169th largest metropolitan area in the United States. The growth rate from 2000-2008 is +18.4%, the 48th highest among metropolitan areas in the entire country and the highest in Maryland (and in West Virginia). The growth is mostly due to the influx of people from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD.


  1. Hagerstown - Definitions from
  2. Hagerstown, Maryland, Maryland Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15 September 2008.
  3. Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Maryland, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008, U.S. Census Bureau, 2008. Released 01 July 2009. Retrieved 01 July 2009.
  4. USA Urbanized Areas: 2000 Ranked by Population (465 Areas), Demographia, 2000. Retrieved 2007.
  5. Maryland by Place - GCT-T1-R. Population Estimates (geographies ranked by estimate), U.S. Census Bureau, 2006. Retrieved 2007.
  6. Table 7. Cumulative Estimates of Population Change for Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Rankings: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008, Census Bureau 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2009.
  7. The Crossroads of the Civil War - Hagerstown, Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Civil War, Retrieved 2007.
  8. Fairchild Aircraft, Retrieved 2007.
  9. Maryland Manual |
  10. Tom Riford, Hagerstown area called a 'Retail Mecca, The Herald-Mail ONLINE, Published Thursday January 6, 2005, Retrieved 2007.
  11. Sarah Hopkins, Allegiant Air Takeoff To Orlando A Success,, Published Friday 14 November 2008, Retrieved Saturday 15 November 2008.
  12. Jeannie Flitner, New Service to Baltimore Takes off From Hagerstown,, Published Tuesday 24 March 2009, Retrieved Tuesday 24 March 2009.
  13. Hagerstown Light Department
  14. Electric & Gas, Hagerstown EDC - Utilities, Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission. Copyright 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
  15. Water & Sewer, Hagerstown EDC - Utilities, Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission. Copyright 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
  16. Andrew Schotz, Downtown Hagerstown theater, banquet center takes center stage, The Herald-Mail. Published 18 November 2008. Retrieved 19 November 2008.
  17. Jennifer Von Reuter, Downtown Live Band "Sister Hazel" Has Ties To Area,, Published Tuesday 21 October 2008, Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  18. Kaitlin McCarthy, First Ever Hispanic Festival Takes Off In Washington County,, Published Sunday 16 September 2007, Retrieved November 2007.
  19. Joshua Bowman, Festival's growth reflects increase in local Hispanic population, ONLINE, Published Sunday 20 September 2008, Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  20. Market Ranks and Schedules 151-200, Arbitron, Fall 2007, Retrieved 22 March 2008.
  21. Local Television Market Universe Estimates, Nielsen, 27 September 2008. Retrieved 02 November 2008.

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