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Our Mission

The publishing in 1906, of George Helman's 'Emmitsburg, MD' cumulated the first serious attempt to document the history of Emmitsburg and the life and time of its residents.  However, without preexisting, in depth, detailed knowledge of the Emmitsburg area and its history, the valuable information contained within its pages, while interesting, is often difficult to understand.

Like Helman, the members of The Greater Emmitsburg Historical Society believe that Emmitsburg has a story worthy of being told.  It is a story of families settling fertile land, of a community pulling together to nurture its own, of churches which faith built, of triumph and sorrow.  These are the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation.  These are the stories of our community.  It is the goal of the Greater Emmitsburg Historical Society to capture these stories and to document them for all time.

To carry out this task, the Greater Emmitsburg Area Historical Society has undertaken a nine year effort to document the detailed history of Emmitsburg and the surrounding area from the very first settlers to the present time.

We are seeking information from all sources especially ex-residents, or descendants of former resident, living across this great country of ours.  The results of our efforts will be a updated history of Emmitsburg in chronological format, including  maps showing the evolution of the towns and the farms and homesteads surrounding it.

It is our fervent hope that this web site will help us accomplish this enormous undertaking.  To facilitate exchange of information, we have included a bulletin board were you are encourage to post your requests for information, as well as to post any information you might have.  

A key component in our effort is the identification of the families that once called Emmitsburg home.  As part of this task, we have begun efforts to collect and organize all the deeds for the 15,000 or so acres surrounding the Emmitsburg area.  The results of our efforts to date are posted on this site.  Please feel free to peruse it and we'll be more then happy to send you copies in exchange for your stories.

For almost four years, through painstaking searches of abandoned filing cabinets to conducting oral histories, we have reached a greater understanding and clearer image of Emmitsburg in first half of the 20th Century.

Unlike other Historical Societies which rely upon regular meeting and periodic articles to share their work, we are primarily a 'virtual historical society,' meaning, all our work is online for all to both access and contribute to.  Our goal is to create a 'hyperlinked' history of the Greater Emmitsburg Area.

Unlike a traditional history book, which forges a set path through time, hyper-linking allows readers to follow any path through history they chose. For example, readers will be able to click on a related link to go backwards, forwards, sideways, or diagonally through time, follow the evolution of a particular industry, organization, or family line, and in doing so, make their discovery of Emmitsburg's rich history so much more rewarding and meaningful.

You'll quickly come to realize, as we have already, that every new path leads to wonderful discoveries and insights on the people and events that have shaped Emmitsburg history.

It is our greatest hope that the memories raised by the path you chose to explore - or remember - will result in one more addition to our online archives. Please share your memories with us and help us to recover what may otherwise be forgotten.

We hope you find our site rewarding and fun, and please, tell us your family stories!

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