9701 Main Street,
on the grounds of the Library/Senior Center
Damascus, Maryland 20872
Wednesday and Saturday 12:00pm-4:00pm
We would like to thank
Renee Jackson, past President of the Damascus Heritage Society for providing Everything Damascus with the history of Damascus.
Damascus – A Crossroads on a Hill
The town history began two hundred thirty-six years ago when Matthew Pigman received a land grant for 1,101 acres of fertile land on a hill in Maryland. He officially registered his grant as "Pleasant Plains of Damascus." The original location started on Parrs Ridge in the center of the present town and extended eastward toward Etchison. By the time Mr. Pigman received his patent (deed) in 1774, there were already many settlers in the area including families with names like Beall, Browning, Burdette, Duvall, Hyatt, King, Moxley, Mullinix, Watkins, and Zeigler, to name just a few.
In 1816, Edward Hughes purchased a portion of the original "Pleasant Plains of Damascus" from James Whiffing, and laid out a town containing 14 lots. The town of Damascus is first mentioned officially on April 30, 1816 when Hughes received congressional approval for a postal route through the town. Hughes was appointed as the first postmaster by the fourth President, James Madison. Religion and education were very important to the early residents, and by the late 1800’s, Damascus had established several churches and schools. The crossroads location helped Damascus grow into a bustling commercial center with several stores, a blacksmith, a saddler, and a variety of other businesses to serve the surrounding communities.
Damascus was an incorporated town from 1890 until 1914 at which time the incorporation was dissolved to allow the Old Quaker Road to be paved into a state highway (now Rt. 27). Improved roads meant farmers had better access to markets. Following the road improvements, the community of Damascus thrived. The post office, which closed in 1908 reopened in 1923, J. B. Beall Funeral Home moved to town from Kemptown in 1915 (now Molesworth – Wiliams Funeral Home), the Bank of Damascus opened in 1921, the Damascus Electric Company opened in 1924, and the Community Fair opened in 1927. Another growth spurt occurred after World War II with the establishment of a fire department in 1944, the Gladhill Meat Market in 1946, the Druid Theatre and Boyer and Cramer Hardware Store opened in 1947, and fun could be had at the Recreation Center which provided bowling alleys, a pool hall, and a grill. Restaurants in town included Steve and Bells and by 1960, Tom & Rays.