Spring Break

By Rebecca Crago, Research Center Coordinator, Historical Society of Frederick County | Posted on 06.05.13 – History, Look Back

It’s said that Gen. Edward Braddock and his troops stopped here to rest while on the move to Fort Duquesne (in what is now Downtown Pittsburgh, PA.) During the Seven Years War, where he was mortally wounded. Although no evidence can substantiate the claim, it’s possible that either Braddock or his staff (including young aid-de-camp George Washington) paused here to refresh themselves, but it’s less likely he diverted his entire regiment from the road, as the detour would have cost precious time. Regardless, this site was named Braddock Spring after the famous general and the area later became Braddock Heights.

According to local legend, Braddock buried a chest that contained £12,000 near the spring during his trip in 1755. Although the chest was accounted for after the defeat at Fort Duquesne, the notion that some of the booty was left near Chigre Hill has all but disappeared from Frederick County lore.

OLD BRADDOCK SPRING

—by Mrs. Hammond Urner, 1915

Old Braddock Spring, by the side of the way
Where Braddock’s men marched on a long ago day,
And stopped here, tis said, to drink and to rest,
As over the mountains they passed to the West.

Statesmen and soldiers have paused here to drink,
And linger a while by the cool mossy bring,
While children still stop here with chatter and laugh,
On their way to the school house, the water to quaff.

Forever the cool crystal waters shall flow
For man’s joy and refreshing, as toiling they go.
More previous to mortals than gold from the mine,
More cheering and gladdening than bright FM sparkling wine.