Point of Rocks

My last article focused on Lucketts, Virginia. Driving north on US-15 from there we cross into Maryland at the Potomac River, just over the river we come to Point Of Rocks. Before turning onto MD-28 into Point of Rocks take a quick look to the left and you can see the original tunnel that bears the name of the town.


Today the town has spread northward to a few subdivisions, another of the many bedroom communities surrounding Washington. But as usual I’m concentrating on the old towns and one of its raison d’être, the railroad station. The other reason is that it is located on the C&O Canal, but more of the canal in a later article.



As seems to be the habit of small towns, Point of Rocks has a fair number of churches and one convenience store/gas station, and of course a small town park.

But what is most important, a railroad station. This station has the reputation of being one of the most photographed station in this part of the country, and I’ve contributed to that reputation.

Many freight trains pass through here, both from Washington to the south and Frederick a few miles north on their way westward. This station is one of the stops on the MARC Commuter Train in southern Frederick County and Loudoun County in northern Virginia.


Twice a day Amtrak’s CAPITOL LIMITED passes through Point of Rocks on its trips between Washington, DC and Chicago.

Take a detour in Detour

This is the next post in a new series I call Small Towns, Tiny Towns. We all pass through some of these when we’re out driving in the countryside. Some readers may actually live in one. Often we just think of them as wide spots in the road. in the past many of them were thriving communities but today they are relegated to just a small dot on the map, if they are even marked. Most if not all of them residents that are proud of the town and do their best to keep its memory alive.

The next couple paragraphs are from the About page.

Small towns, even tiny towns fascinate me – the kind that could be called “wide spots in the Road”. Sometimes they will hardly show up on Google Maps, most of the time they will be villages that earn a dot or circle on maps. I have no schedule but I hope to make a posting at least monthly, but no promises. I will be roaming in Maryland, and surrounding states from time to time and just taking photos, roughly at random. There is a lot to see in nowhere’ville. I’ll be wandering around with no real destination in mind, and taking shots from odd points of view, not the typical tourist view. So get ready to see some different views.

Places that interest me include: Sykesville, Galesville, Chestertown, Queenstown, Stevenstown – all in Maryland, as well as some in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the Carolina’s, and possibly Georgia. If you have a favorite you’d like to see please send me a comment and I’ll see if it fits into my travels.

This trip took me to Detour, Md. A Google search will only lead you to the Detour Winery and a UrbanDictornary entry that isn’t too flatteing, so I’m skipping that.

Yes, there is a community called Detour in Maryland. Detour is in western Carroll County. The eastern edge of the town us bordered by a single railroad track. Trains still pass through, but on a very irregular schedule. The two old warehouses are falling into decay.



There is one Deli, it’s the only place in town to get a bite to eat.


Yes, a Barn-Star


Twin Pipe Creek
Hardly enough water to float a kayak.

Big Pipe Creek and Little Pipe Creek form the western border of downtown Detour. Downstream from the confluence of the two creeks, and off to the Monocacy River it’s known as the Double Pipe Creek. When I last visited the Double Pipe Creek Park very little water was flowing, and two kayak paddlers, after exploring for a possible put-in, turned and headed north to a lake in Pennsylvania that held plenty of water.

On the map downtown Detour looks like it’s about 1/10 mile square, but the surrounding countryside with colorful farms and at least one old mill.





in the countryside within a couple miles of downtown

Somehow I missed the winery that takes its name from the town. I won’t let that happen again.

Where will I head next? So far I’ve featured both Carroll and Frederick Counties in Maryland. Probably I’ll head more south and see what I can find. If you have any suggestions, leave them in a comment.

The South River runs West, the West River runs South

This trip brought me to the village of Galesville, one of two village on the West River about 10 miles south of Annapolis. There are a couple small rivers below Annapolis, MD the South River, which runs west from the bay and south of that the West River, which runs mainly south off the bay. Got that straight? South is west and West is south. I’m focusing my travels to small towns and villages, mainly in the mid-Atlantic states, looking for really small, tiny towns in out-of-the-way places.

All along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay one can find small villages on the rivers and creeks. One that I saw many times in my younger days is Galesville. My father’s passion was sailing so after a day’s cruise, when my brother and sisters were not busy on the boat we’d row ashore and explore. If it was a Sunday morning we’d row ashore and walk about half a mile to attend Mass said by a priest that rode “the circuit” from one village to the next. Not many Marylanders know about Galesville. Most of them that do approach this small town on the West River by boat.


Arriving from the Chesapeake this is the first view of Galesville

Here’s a bit of history I found when searching for a Geocache. yes I found the cache on this trip.

Nestled between Tenthouse and Lerch Creeks on the north and south, and Route 468 and the West River on the west and east, Galesville has always held a special place for those who have visited here. Galesville is a village which encompasses not only residential but commercial, recreational and industrial areas. Some of the businesses are still run by descendents of the founders — Hartge Yacht Yard, Hardesty Funeral Home, Smith Brothers Pile Driving, and Purner Well Drilling. Watermen and farmers have long populated the small village of Galesville and we welcome you to our home on the West River.

I didn’t know how to get to it by road for most of my life, I’d sailed into it with my parents on their Kings Cruiser. and here My dad’s boat had “US 45” on the mainsail. We would anchor in the West River then row the dinghy ashore to a fantastic restaurant, well anytime we went ashore to eat it seemed better than the food cooked over a 2-burner Primus stove on the boat. Today that restaurant is the Pirates Cove Restaurant. I’ll admit that I haven’t eaten there since the late ’50s.

Today I mainly go to Galesville launch my kayak for a paddle up the West River or across to Shady Side. Or I bicycle to Galesville with the Annapolis Bicycle Club. Most of those rides had one destination, a General Store for fresh Cranberry Muffins right out of the oven, but that store has closed, now it’s a Real Estate office. It was the only source of groceries for miles. I remember the charm of the Potbelly stove with the Barber Chair in the back where people would gather to eat, and the lever operated Coke machine. I wish I had some photos of it, but alas the easy to use digital camera hadn’t been popularized yet.

What follows is a few photos from a Photo Walk on a recent trip to Galesville.


Boats waiting high and dry for next season


Stuff in the boatyard, these are the stands that boats will rest on while ashore


“I wish I was out there”


Waiting for the crews to row out to sailboats moored in the harbor.



Old buildings now used by yacht brokerages.


Pier used by visitors and fisherman.


A nautical themed sculpture in the town park.


Artwork


The garden in the Galsville Heritage Center



A few old buildings


A shady land on one of the stately mansions (does this one really need a capton)


The Quaker Cemetery at the east end of Galaville.


Where will I end up next time, I’m not sure yet. I normally keep my camera handy, or I’ll take note of an interesting place and head back soon. I have some ideas, if you have a favorite place you think would look good here, let me know in a comment.

A stroll through New Market, Md.

This is the first post in a new series I call Small Towns, Tiny Towns. We all pass through some of these when we’re out driving in the countryside. Some readers may actually live in one. Often we just think of them as wide spots in the road. in the past many of them were thriving communities but today they are relegated to just a small dot on the map, if they are even marked. Most if not all of them residents that are proud of the town and do their best to keep its memory alive.

The next couple paragraphs are from the About page.

Small towns, even tiny towns fascinate me – the kind that could be called “wide spots in the Road”. Sometimes they will hardly show up on Google Maps, most of the time they will be villages that earn a dot or circle on maps. I have no schedule but I hope to make a posting at least monthly, but no promises. I will be roaming in Maryland, and surrounding states from time to time and just taking photos, roughly at random. There is a lot to see in nowhere’ville. I’ll be wandering around with no real destination in mind, and taking shots from odd points of view, not the typical tourist view. So get ready to see some different views.

Places that interest me include: Sykesville, Galesville, Chestertown, Queenstown, Stevenstown – all in Maryland, as well as some in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the Carolina’s, and possibly Georgia. If you have a favorite you’d like to see please send me a comment and I’ll see if it fits into my travels.

Now on to the first of what I hope will be a long running series

New Market, Maryland

New Market once was a thriving village on the National Road and the Gateway to the West. but today it is mainly a mecca for Antique hunters. But in 1954, U.S. Route 40 moved a mile or so south, more recently US-40 was swallowed up by I-70. Most east-west traffic bypasses New Market. The 2010 census counted a bit over 600 residents. Known locally as “The Antique Capitol of Maryland” New Market in eastern Frederick County

Before I get away from the National Pike let me add a few links to its history.

New Market is small, but has an important niche in history.

Late in June 1863, the Union Army of the Potomac pursued Gen. Robert
E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia as it invaded the North less than
a year after the Antietam campaign. On Monday June 29, the Federal
Corps marched northward toward Pennsylvania on parallel roads like the
fingers of a glove, after being ordered to tay between and he large
Northern cities.

General George Sykes marched northeastward along present day Rte.26 to
Liberty and Unionville. Gen John Sedgwick’s VI Corps, which guarded
the army’s right flank move by here (New Market) to Mount Airy and
Westminster, reaching Manchester on June 30. Then next day the corps
began an epic 34-mile march to Gettysburg and arrived late in the
afternoon of July 2.

A soldier in the 37th Massachusetts Infantry, VI Corps, later wrote
that on entering New Market, “two or three young ladies were
discovered standing in front of their home waving small Union
flags. It was an electrifying sight\, and the enthusiasm which had
pervaded the troops in advance was emphasized from the strong throats
of the Thirty-seventh. There was no question that they were in the
land of friends.

The photos are at random, but show some of the old buildings and how they look now. We’ll start at the Town Hall. There’s no order to these, just a photo-stroll one Sunday afternoon.