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Making Hagerstown, MD, Home: A Guide for New Residents

If you want to live in an area full of opportunity, Hagerstown, MD, is the place for you! Situated along the edge of the state, minutes from Pennsylvania and West Virginia, our city is the gateway between the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and more western cities like Pittsburgh and Morgantown. Discover the unique advantages of our location and all it has to offer!

Moving to the area soon? Valley Storage can help with all of life’s transitional moments! We have numerous locations in Hagerstown and Washington County to serve our neighbors. As you take your time settling into your new space, get to know the neighborhood with our guide to the city!

Table of Contents

I. About Hagerstown: History, Industry & Education

II. Attractions, Dining & Recreation

III. Move in with the Support of Self Storage

Life in Hagerstown: Exploring the Past & Today

Understanding Our Role in History

Hagerstown, often referred to as the “Hub City,” was founded in 1762 by Jonathan Hager, a German settler. Its location at the crossroads of the Great Wagon Road (part of today’s Route 40) and the Indian Trail (Route 11) made it a pivotal center for commerce and trade. During the Civil War, Hagerstown was the site of several battles due to its strategic location. Situated near the Mason-Dixon line, it was at the heart of several key transport routes used by both Union and Confederate forces. The city later thrived as a manufacturing hub, with significant industrial growth in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The arrival of the railroad, particularly the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, further cemented Hagerstown’s role as a commercial center. Industries such as manufacturing of farm machinery, engines, and wagons flourished. The 20th century saw a boom in Hagerstown’s industrial sector. The city became known for its production of aircraft, trucks, and railroad equipment. While the nature of its industries has evolved, Hagerstown continues to be an important regional center.

Major Employers & Industry

Hagerstown has transitioned from a primarily industrial economy to a more diversified one. Major employers in the area include:

  1. Meritus Medical Center: A key healthcare provider in the region.
  2. Volvo Group Trucks: Involved in manufacturing and distribution.
  3. Washington County Public Schools: One of the largest employers in the education sector.
  4. Hagerstown Community College: Offers employment opportunities in education and administration.
  5. City and County Government: Providing various public service roles.

The city also has a growing retail and service sector, with the Valley Mall and other shopping centers serving as significant employers.

K-12 & Higher Education

Education in Hagerstown is well-rounded, with several options for both public and private schooling. Washington County Public Schools serve the area, offering a range of educational programs. For higher education, Hagerstown Community College provides various degree and certificate programs and adult education courses.

Attractions, Dining & Recreation: Curate Your Hagerstown Bucket List

Whether you are settling into the area for the foreseeable future or your are just visiting for a short while, Hagerstown has plenty to do and see. The whole family get in on the fun, exploring historical attractions, outdoor recreation opportunities, cultural staples, and more! Check out our top stops in Hagerstown.

The Maryland Theatre

The Maryland Theatre is a cornerstone of Hagerstown’s cultural scene, offering a rich array of performances that cater to all artistic tastes. From concerts and plays to dance recitals and comedy acts, the theatre showcases an extensive range of arts. Its beautifully restored historic setting adds to the charm of each event. The Maryland Theatre not only entertains but also enriches the community by hosting educational programs and community events.

Antietam National Battlefield

Just a short drive from Hagerstown, Antietam National Battlefield stands as a solemn reminder of one of the most critical and bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. The battlefield is preserved as a national park, offering visitors a chance to step back in time and understand a pivotal moment in American history. The park provides self-guided tours, ranger-led programs, and interpretive exhibits, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the Battle of Antietam and its impact. 

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum is a testament to the region’s aviation history, particularly its contributions to aircraft manufacturing and innovation. The museum showcases a collection of aircraft and artifacts that trace the evolution of aviation in Hagerstown. Visitors can see a range of historic aircraft up close, many of which were built in the city, and learn about the city’s role in the development of aviation technology. 

Outdoor Recreation in Hagerstown

Close to a number of state and national parks, Hagerstown offers a plethora of outdoor recreational activities. Nature enthusiasts can explore numerous hiking and biking trails in and around the city, such as those in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Fishing and boating are popular on the Potomac River and nearby lakes. Hagerstown’s proximity of the Appalachian Trail and various state parks also provides opportunities for more adventurous outdoor pursuits like rock climbing and camping. 

For those looking for a more relaxed outdoor experience, the city’s parks, including the Hagerstown City Park, offer picnic areas, playgrounds, and sports facilities. A highlight of the park is the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, which houses an impressive collection of art ranging from traditional to contemporary. The museum, set against the backdrop of the park’s natural beauty, offers a cultural and visual treat. The park itself is perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and enjoying the tranquil environment. Golfers can enjoy several scenic golf courses in the area—notable courses include Black Rock Golf Course and the Beaver Creek Country Club

Popular Restaurants

Since we are right in the middle of it all, we get a delicious melting pot of flavors in our local dining scene. Find a new favorite spot among some of our top picks!

  1. Schmankerl Stube Bavarian Restaurant: Offers authentic Bavarian cuisine in a traditional cozy setting.
  2. Rik’s Café: A popular spot for American fare with a creative twist.
  3. Nick’s Airport Inn: Known for its fine dining and vintage wine list.
  4. El Ranchero Mexican Restaurant: A local favorite for Mexican dishes with multiple locations in the area.
  5. Broad Axe: A historic tavern offering classic American food.
  6. Bulls & Bears: Bringing New York City to you with themed ambiance and a blend of classic and contemporary American fare.
  7. Black Rock Bar & Grill: An award-winning steakhouse featuring hot rock cooking.
  8. Foster’s on the Point: Affordable and offering family favorites, from burgers and salads to seafood and pasta.
  9. Chic’s Seafood: Family owned, serving all your choice Maryland seafood dishes.
  10. House of Kobe: Traditional Japanese cuisine and hibachi—operating since 1981.

5 Valley Storage Facilities Serving Hagerstown, MD 

Need a hand as you settle into Hagerstown? Valley Storage offers a variety of self storage facilities near you! Between our five Hagerstown locations, our solutions include drive-up storage, temperature-controlled storage units, and vehicle storage. Look through our available self storage units at the location closest to you online to find a rental space quickly and easily. Our storage calculator can guide you to the best storage unit size to support your load. Explore the Valley Storage options near you to find your perfect self storage solution!

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Katie Mest

Katie Mest

About the Author: Katie Mest is an SEO Specialist at Storage Asset Management in York, PA. She specializes in writing about the self storage industry, including storage tips and helpful resources. Outside of work, Katie enjoys camping, hiking, and exploring the outdoors with her newly adopted Greyhound rescue, Titan.