Signs of the Time on the Washington Heritage Trail

Gerrardstown signHistoric Gerrardstown is unveiling its new town signs on December 7, 2014 at each entrance to its National Register community placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The brief ceremony on Dominion Road and Destiny Lane, will start at 1:00 with a reception and presentation of donor plaques, to follow at the Gerrardstown Presbyterian Church.

The signs honor America’s heritage by placing one of its remaining small towns in the ranks of historic places elsewhere that have learned to boast and announce their worth.

The design, voted on by over 200 residents, is new shiny metallic, not antiquarian, and is in keeping with the town’s historic character. The signs were manufactured by Vital Signs in Charles Town. Funds for the three signs were raised from two weekends in 2012 that celebrated Gerrardstown’s 225th Anniversary, private donors, and the sale of T-Shirts at Tracy’s Corner Grocery.

The signs are sympathetic to the two cast iron State Highway Markers erected during the American Bicentennial in 1976.

The project was supported by the Berkeley County Historical Society; and the Berkeley County Commissioners, who individually voted their support and encouragement. Significant donations came from the National Fruit Company, Jefferson Security Bank, South Berkeley Pharmacy, Berkeley County Historic Landmarks Commission, and the Martinsburg and Berkeley County Visitors Bureau.

David Gerrard laid out the village of Gerrardstown in 1784 although a small community already existed there. It was known as Middletown when it was officially established in 1787. Site of the first Baptist church and cemetery west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, today’s unincorporated village has numerous historic structures of log or stone construction.

Marshy Dell at the eastern entrance to the village is an 18th century two-story log home, one of the largest log homes in the county. The stone Gerrard House built by John Hayes is one of the oldest houses in West Virginia. Ward “Hill” Lamon, Abraham Lincoln’s Law Partner and personal body guard is buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery.

Travelers are able to appreciate the rare setting they are in—a traditional town preserving its past while eyeing the future.

Mark your calendars to attend the unveiling on 12/7/14 at 1:00 on Dominion Road and Destiny Lane with parking and reception at the Gerrardstown Presbyterian Church.

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