Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Search for the Black Rock Hotel.



I'm fascinated by History. From my office I am at the foothills of South Mountain and can view Black Rock. (I want to take a picture the opposite way from there to my office - how cool would that be?) In talking to some church members, they gave me some history. One is a man whose father, built a log cabin from the lumber of South Mountain. He generously gave me these two pictures to scan. (I haven't found any others online and just some scarce history about the ole Black Rock Hotel)


"Black Rock is located just over the crest of the Mountain, over looking Washington County and Hagerstown to the west. About 20 years after Reason’s return visit to Wolfsville the Black Rock Road was built across the mountain toward Hagerstown, passing to the northside of
Black Rock. This was in 1876 while Wolfsville’sDaniel Biser was a County Commissioner.About four years later Jacob Drill Wolfe built a
hotel at Black Rock Spring. Both this hotel andthe second “Black Rock House” built about1906 on the same site fell victims to mountain fires."

Source

Black Rock, MD
By the time Jack D Wolf, whose family gave its name to nearby Wolfsville, had opened the Black Rock Hotel here in the mid 19th century, the name Black Rock was already in currency. The hotel prospered until it burnt in 1880. Shortly afterwards, Wolf's wife and daughter died. Despondent, Wolf moved to NY, where he grew wealthy marketing a formula for tapeworm medicine. In 1907, he returned to Wolfsville and rebuilt the hotel. It was considered fine accomodations, but was too remote to prosper once again. It fell into disrepair, then was destroyed by arson in the 1920s. Source: Appalachian Trial Names by David Edwin Lillard


My goal is this Spring to hike the A.T. (Lord, willing)and find the remains of where the hotel was near Black Rock. Anyone want to join me?   HT to the Huntsberrys for these photos.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just saw these great photos. My grandmothers brother was Walter Rowe.He lived at Pleasant Walk MD. My cousin and I used to hike to the ruins in the 60's.

Anonymous said...

we hiked by the site two weeks ago, and I was looking for more information on its history. so happy to find your post! There is sparse rubble left there today. We would have missed it if not for the sign posted along the Appalachian Trail.

Jameel Johnson said...

Great photos. I love going to exotic hotels to visit and photograph. I have been looking for ahotel in Quebec that would be affordable and adventurous. Anyone know of any?

Anonymous said...

In the early 1970's, we kids of Wolfsville would hike up to the ruins of the Black Rock hotel in the summer months and we would sit on the rocks and gaze out over the valley. It was an awesome sight to see. I live out of state and every time we pass the rock i have fond memories. THere are several books out there pertaining to the history of the hotel and the surrounding areas.

Gerrard Fess said...

Would love to know the books Anon. Let me know

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics and history lesson. Like you, I love history and am fascinated by Black Rock Hotel. Have done that hike a few times and enjoy checking out the old ruins. I will do some checking to see if Cracker Barrel has ever done an article on this.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Here's another pic: http://www.whilbr.org/itemdetail.aspx?idEntry=1674

Anonymous said...

I use to hike up there when I was a kid. I believe if I remember correctly my grand parents Jesse and Marjorie Brown lived there for a time. She walked in to the doctor with a sick child and on her way home a mountain fire started. The rest of her children were at the house. They were safe. She often talked about those times.

Howard Lichtman said...

I'm a hiking enthusiast from Germantown MD. I'd like to use your post in a research document I'm writing about South Mountain. Love to speak to you about permission to use the post and about your sources. Ugh! Posting my email is rather scary. hjlichtman@lichtman.ws

Ray J Jr said...

I just hiked/ran there today. I have some pics of the trail if you want any? I go up once a week.

Gerrard Fess said...

Ray I wouldn't mind to be sent some pics ...fess2@juno.com is my email. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

My cousins lived near there 40 years ago. We what hike and camp up at black rock. Back in that time period there were partial walls still left of the old hotel. As of last spring we found the rubble rock foundations. Was hard uncover.

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