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Early Rural Life

Photo of the Rural Heritage Museum

The Rural Heritage Museum One features exhibits depicting early rural life in Washington County, MD prior to 1940.

Exhibits in this building range from an authentic country store (from the Washington County Historical Society), to four rooms furnished in the manner of a Victorian era farmhouse. Also featured is an extensive display of antique clothing and attire. Take a glimpse into a one-room schoolhouse or reminisce at the children’s toy collection. Textiles are displayed in this building, along with the steps of processing them. You will also see exhibits of a communications, and mourning.

Farming Progression

Photo of the Rural Heritage Museum

Rural Heritage Museum Two, the Farm Equipment Building, houses large pieces of farm equipment and farm implement exhibits. This building shows the progression of farming from human powered and horse drawn era, to the motorized era with pieces for working soil, planting, harvesting and processing crops.

You will see various early farm pieces such as tractors, grain and seed cleaners, cultivators, harnesses, plows and implements for planting and harvesting. Also view our display of dairy processing items and orchard items.

Transportation Methods

Photo of the Rural Heritage Museum

The Rural Heritage Museum Three features transportation exhibits. It tells the story of how people traveled in Washington County in an earlier era, from horse-drawn sleighs and buggies to automobiles. Once inside the door, step back in time and enjoy seeing the replica of a rural repair garage. There is also an early Conestoga wagon which traveled the National Road from Baltimore to Wheeling.

The museum’s stellar collection of bicycles and automobiles, many of which were manufactured in Hagerstown, reflects the rich history of transportation in Washington County. Hagerstown became known as The Hub City because it served as a major crossroad for many railroad lines, including Western Maryland, Baltimore & Ohio and Norfolk & Western.

Rural Heritage Village

Photo of children dressed in colonial attire at the Rural Heritage Museum

The Rural Heritage Village Homestead is located at the upper grounds of the property. Step back into the era before 1865 and view the many sights in these authentic buildings. This area includes two log homes, outdoor drying shed, windmill, and brick wood fired bread oven. During special events, delight in warming yourself by the hearth of the stone fireplace in the cabin, or enjoy the aroma of artisan bread as it comes out of the oven.

Also located at the Homestead are the gardens. During peak season, take a stroll in our German Four-Square Garden filled with heirloom plants including vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The Rural Heritage Village is located at the lower portion of the grounds. Bask in the era of the 1800’s while learning the unique and extensive history behind these buildings. The growing village showcases a log church, log home, doctor’s office and medicinal garden, blacksmith, cobbler and broom makers shop. Several new additions are underway and more are yet to come.

Rural Heritage Museum logo

Rural Heritage Museum

Open Saturday and Sunday


Closed on all major holidays

Open- April 3, 2021-December 5, 2021

Phone: 240-420-1714