2. HYATTSTOWN WALKING
[See Full Hyattstown Walking Trail Guide for More Detail]
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A Stagecoach Stop on the Great Road
With an Optional Cycling Trip Through Little Bennett Regional Park
A Walk Around Hyattstown
First, a word of caution: Be very careful when walking through Hyattstown. Please walk or park bikes in Hyattstown.
Cars and bikes can be parked at the lower end of town in the lot near the fire station, where Hyattstown Mill Road joins Rt. 355. As you walk in Hyattstown, please respect the privacy of residents.
1. Volunteer Fire Department and Site of Tabler’s Tannery
Organized May 2, 1929, (as its uniform emblem proudly states) the Hyattstown Volunteer Fire Department occupied the concrete block structure before moving south to its present brick headquarters, built in 1942.
We suggest you now walk north from the traffic light, using the left side as you walk uphill facing oncoming traffic, at least until reaching the Methodist Church at the far end of town. Hyattstown sidewalks are sparse and in poor condition, so please use caution. Sites 2 through 5 will be on the opposite side of the street.
2. Five Victorian Houses
The first five houses across the street are characteristic of the town’s fine late 19th century buildings.
3. Hyatt House Hotel
The next building, also across the street (it has a red roof and is directly across the highway from the Hyattstown Christian Church), is a rambling, weather-beaten old house, part log, built in several sections during the early and mid-1800s.
4. E.G. Gardner House
The next house was built sometime before the Civil War, perhaps as early as 1810.
5. Methodist Episcopal Church, North
The congregation of the church on the East side of the Road, at the northern edge of town, was organized in 1804 when 18 members built a log church on this site, purchased from Eli Hyatt. Take a few moments to cross the highway so you can stroll through this small serene cemetery—you’ll find monuments to many of the families mentioned earlier in our story of Hyattstown history.
6. Methodist Episcopal Church, South
Again, on the west side of the Road continue up the Road a little way to the white frame country Gothic Revival building on the west side of Rt. 355.
7. John Gardner House
As you walk back downhill (west side of the road) re-tracing your steps, you’ll be looking at buildings on the same side as your walk. Just to the south of the former church is a house built partly of logs sometime before the Civil War that is one of Hyattstown’s earliest.
8. Smith-Darby House
Continue down the western edge of Route 355 to where it curves. Philemon M. Smith, Sr., who was postmaster and magistrate for Hyattstown, built this large brick Federal-style house on the curve about 1840.
9. Brengle House
The front part of the next closely adjacent house was a log cabin built in the early 1800’s by two prominent local residents and mill owners, Dr. Belt Brashear and Eli Brashear.
10. Davis House
The next house, brick Federal in style, has been vacant and ruinous for many years and is now enshrouded in undergrowth. Nevertheless, it is perhaps the handsomest building in town – and also one of the oldest still standing.
11. Christian Church and Parsonage
Focus attention now on the Hyattstown Christian Church, organized in 1840. Its first church building, a log meeting house, was on a corner of the church cemetery, which is along Route 355 just south of town.
12. Hyattstown School
From the church parking lot, you can see this one-room schoolhouse, up one of the alleys originally planned by Jesse Hyatt.
13. Zeigler House
Continuing downhill, look at the second house after leaving the church parking lot.
14. Tailor Shop
William Davis operated a tailor’s shop here in the next small two-story frame building (now sheathed with aluminum siding) in the 1860’s and 1870’s.
15. Dutrow’s Blacksmith Shop
A vestige of Hyattstown’s association with the Great Road is the site of Dutrow’s blacksmith shop, at the intersection of Routes 109 and 355.
16. Hyattstown Mill and Miller’s House
Before returning to your car, walk two-tenths of a mile up Hyattstown Mill Road to see the Hyattstown Mill and Miller’s House, the last site on the walking tour.
Bicycling Excursion Through Little Bennett Regional Park
Walk your bike cautiously up Rt. 355 to Hyattstown’s northern edge. Turn right at Rt. 75 and begin a ride through undulating countryside that is becoming a patchwork of pastures, fields, and new subdivisions. After the road crosses Little Bennett Creek turn right on Price’s Distillery Road, a narrow road named for the distillery complex that once stood near the intersection. Be careful: These are all narrow roads.
17. Price’s Distillery Buildings
Here were located a mill – which dated back to at least 1800 – and a distillery operated by Levi Price in the late 19th and early 20th century. Only the foundations of the distillery, and some supporting pillars and a millstone from the mill are now visible. The distiller’s house remains.
From Price’s Distillery continue on Price’s Distillery Road past heavy woods, farmland, and the Pheasant Lane development down to a bridge at Bennett Creek. At the first intersection after the creek, turn right and take Haines Road. Turn left to Lewisdale Road, and then immediately right onto Prescott Road.
18. Little Bennett Regional Park
Prescott Road parallels Little Bennett Golf Course, an 18-hole public golf course with stunning views of the rolling countryside and Sugarloaf Mountain. You are welcome to stop for refreshments in the clubhouse. Not long after passing the golf course, Prescott Road’s pavement stops but you can continue biking on the trail as it takes you into Little Bennett Regional Park.
At the intersection of Prescott Road and Hyattstown Mill Road (both are unpaved park trails) are the remains of a 19th century bone mill (where fertilizer was made), marked by a stone wall 100 feet to the south. Turn right onto Hyattstown Mill Road and ride back to town following the old mill-race of the Hyattstown Mill.
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