Rose Hill Manor

Rose Hill Manor, Frederick MDChildren love hands on learning. The ability to interact, create, and learn by doing helps them focus all of their senses into remembering what they are being taught. One building in Frederick believes strongly in these methods of teaching. Located at 1611 N. Market Street, Rose Hill Manor Museum in Frederick is a popular children museum. The manor has been part of Frederick Parks & Recreation since 1968 and has been a great place for children to learn history in a “hands on” setting. The manor also has some interesting legends and stories to offer guests as well.

Rose Hill Manor was built in the late 18th century. Taking several years to complete its construction began in 1793 and was complete by 1798. The mansion was built by Ann Johnson and her husband Major John Grahame. Ann was the daughter of Thomas Johnson, the first governor of Maryland. Governor Johnson lived in the home until his death in 1833.

The home has a lot of interesting legends and ghost stories that have been passed down throughout the years. The most popular one is of a buried fortune somewhere hidden on the property. A rich man left directions as of where it was located before he died but no one was able to find it. This began the legend of the Blue Dog. It is said a blue looking dog haunts the property and will lead you to the treasure. The dog is seen at midnight and if you follow the dog while he is barking you will be lead to where the treasure is buried. People that have claimed to see the dog says the dog always disappears before anyone can find the treasure. There is a ceramic replica of the blue dog in Rose Manor that seems to mysteriously get moved around.

Other ghost stories besides the dog have also been told about the house. Once a man and his son rode up to the house on a horse and carriage and claimed to see a ghost swirling above them at the property. This lead to a town search the following day trying to find this ghost. Another spooky story is claims of a woman during a candlelight tour being disruptive and trying to tell stories of Rose Manor over the poor guide that was trying to do her job. The woman insisted on telling a story of where a woman jumped to hear death after her beloved soldier died. She claims the spot in the yard where grass never grows is where the woman landed. At the end of the tour the guide noticed the woman had vanished! People have considered the house bad luck since crops would not grow, sad events, and failed marriages. Actors for reenactments have also claimed to hear strange sounds in the house.

2016 Update

In 2016 an exciting discovery was made in the rose garden of a hidden structure in the ground! Unfortunately due to lack of funds they were unable to do any further digging to see what exactly it could have been. The structure was filled in but done in a way so when the funds are available it can be excavated without causing damage. One thing that was noticed was stacked stones sitting in the hole. Could this possibly be the Blue Ghost Dog’s treasure?

Resources

Cannon, T. & Whitmore, N. (1979) Ghosts & Legends of Frederick County. Cannon & Whitmore Publishing. Frederick, MD

Day. D.G (1997). A Guide to Historic B&Bs in The Free State: Historic Inns & Famous Houses of Maryland. Eastwind Publishing. MD.

Frederick- The Journey Through Hallowed Ground (n.d.) Rose Hill Manor Park & Children’s Museum retrieved from https://www.hallowedground.org/Explore-the-Journey/Museums/Rose-Hill-Manor-Park-Children-s-Museum

Masters,K. (2016). Buried Structure At Rose Hill Manor to Remain Hidden [Electronic Version]. Frederick News Post. Retrieved from https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/buried-structure-at-rose-hill-manor-to-remain-hidden/article_22457f68797f-5dbb-a0a5-eaf9f70c1085.html

Okonowicz,E. (2010). The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories. Stackpole Books. Mechanicsburg, PA

Weinberg, A. (1992) Spirits of Frederick. Weinberg Publishing, Braddock Heights, MD.