Until the early 20th century, the area between Church and Broad streets was mostly farmed or undeveloped. Present-day Broad Street was the town’s eastern boundary. As Middletown grew, Church Street became the dividing line between West and East Main Street. Despite the development of this land into a residential area in the 1900s, a few houses from the mid-to late 1800s remain. You can identify these earlier houses, like ones at 11 East Main and 100 East Main, by their closeness to the street and foundations conforming to the hilly topography. More formal Victorian and Colonial Revival styled homes were developed here from 1900-1930.
Church Street did not originally extend north past Main Street. One block north of Main Street, at present-day Church and Green streets, was open pasture known as the ‘North Commons.’ Travelers in the 1800s could park their wagons here and set their cattle or other livestock out to graze. Modern Green Street gets its name from this town green. This area remained a stop for travelers when the Hagerstown and Frederick Electric Railway system located a trolley stop here in the early 20th century.
The tract between 11 and 35 East Main Street was the famed orchard fo Lewis P. Coblentz. Behind a high hedge fence grew peach and pear trees, yielding fruit for his business selling pear cider, peach cider, peach brandy and pear honey. In front of the hedge, a long boardwalk stretched from the bottom of the hill to the top, locally known as ‘lover’s walk.’ The land was subdivided between 1896 and 1910 to build large late-Victorian houses.
Gen. George McClellan used this house as Union Headquarters before and after the Battle of South Mountain. McClellan probably chose this house because of its excellent views up and down Main Street.
Built by orchard magnate Lewis P. Coblentz in Gothic Revival Style, the house was later modified in Queen Anne style with a distinctive round turret, stained-glass transom window and front porch. Until the land was subdivided in the early 1900s, the house sat in the middle of Coblentz’ vast orchard. In front of the house, an opening in the hedge framed his distinguished residence.
This brick mansion was built by Emory L. Coblentz on land purchased from the Coblentz Orchard. Colonial Revival elements include heavy massing and a Palladian window. This was his second home, after he moved from 204 East Main. A successful lawyer, banker and president of the Hagerstown and Frederick Electric Railway, Emory Coblentz was renowned in Frederick County for his wealth and philanthropy. He donated to Hood College in Frederick, and was a principal contributor to both Middletown’s Memorial Hall and the Town Clock in the Lutheran Church steeple.
Roy V. Hauver, one of Middletown’s well known physicians, lived in this Colonial Revival home. It was later converted to a tourist home called The Gardens, with rooms and a meal costing what was then an exorbitant 75 cents a night.
The south side of what is now East Main Street between the eastern boundary of the Christ Reformed Cemetery and Broad Street remained largely open land with neighbors few and far between. Before the 1900s, this area was sometimes referred to as Grove’s Additions. As the town limits expanded, side streets like Prospect and Broad streets developed. Look for the variety of architectural styles popular from 1900 through the 1960s. We often think of this area as purely residential, but there were commercial endeavors in this section of town.
Built by Clayton Summers this Queen Anne-style house served as a tourist home called Villa Rest in the first half of the 20th century.
In the late 1800s, Henry ‘Harry’ Crone operated a blacksmith shop (no longer standing) at what is now the entrance to Prospect Street. By around 1900, when Prospect Street was built, the blacksmith shop was gone.
Historically called Middletown High School #3, it was a state-of-the-art public school of its time. Its architecture reflects the Colonial Revival influence prevalent then, with distinct window and window-frame construction of six-over-six divided panes paired with segmented arches and flat lintels.
Originally called a log cabin in the 18th century, with just a single room and fireplace, the house was eventually enlarged. The two story brick front was added around 1810. Today it is one of the oldest homes in town, and is often called the Old Main House for its former occupants, the Clinton Main family.
This open lot is the former site of the Old Carriage Factory, or formally referred to as the Kahle and Bowlus Carriage Factory, which operated in the 19th century. Documents from the 1890s refer to it as the ‘paint and wagon’ shop.’ It appears on an 1873 map, just east of the blacksmith shop of N. Bowlus.
According to an 1873 map, this was the home of J. Routzahn. The large brick house, which stood on what was the western edge of the Routzahn farm, shows Greek Revival characteristics. The porch, with its Doric columns, is a 20th-century addition. J. Routzahn was the father of Herman Routzahn. Herman owned farmland just east of Middletown.
As late as 1890, this brick house stood just outside of what was then the town’s eastern limit. In the late 19th and early-20th centuries, the Edwad Ifert family lived here. Mr. Ifert was an agent of the Hagerstown and Frederick Railway.
This was known for its uses as the Beachley Store, a general store and community gathering spot that was in operation until the 1960s.
The building now fronting Main Street is a 1960s addition, formerly Ingall’s Lumber & Supply. Behind the modern storefront rests the foundation of a much older warehouse associated with the D. V. Beachley & Bro. Supply Co. from the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. Along the western edge of this property are two large frame warehouses, also associated with the Beachley Co.; they were moved to their current location around 1960. This business selling and transporting agricultural and other goods took advantage of the electric railway, whose track curved north off Main Street behind the business onto Green Street.
These residences stand out from neighboring homes, whose architectural styles are from the first half of the 20th century. 100 Broad Street, with its central cross gable, gingerbread trim, and turned posts, indicates Carpenter Gothic. The Colonial Revival home at 101 Broad Street, originally Victorian, was remodeled by Fred Rudy in the 1960s. Rudy served as Burgess from 1984 to 2006. Both homes remind us that before the 20th century, open land was abundant and houses were few on the east side of town.