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Bryan and Charlotte Chaney now own a piece of history!
The Barbara Fritchie sold and the Chaney's plan on making improvements so it can be transformed into a welcoming Airbnb. Already re-clad with a brand new cedar shake roof and other improvements, the Chaney's plan on making even more, like a small kitchen, central air conditioning and plan to restore as much of the history as possible.
The property is situated with a sweet garden and access to the Carroll Creek Park, just moments from Baker Park. Not to mention in a central and very visible spot in downtown Frederick.
The building, which was reconstructed about 1926 as an homage to Fritchie’s early-1800s home originally built in 1806, but was washed away in a storm. The house that stands there today is a replica of Fritchie's house, which was torn down in 1869 and according to research from the Tourism Council of Frederick County, it now stands only a few yards from its original location.
The site operated as a museum and housed furniture and other possessions that purportedly belonged to Fritchie. The structure was purchased at auction in 2015.
The new owners spent $40,000 on renovations including, but not limited to a new roof, interior and exterior painting and repair, sealing of windows, replacing sump pump and fence painting.
Barbara Fritchie was the heroine in John Greenleaf Whittier's 1863 poem from the Civil War. "Shoot if you must, this old gray head, but spare your country's flag, she said," while leaning out an upstairs window of her home.
According to Wikipedia, "The flag incident as described in the poem likely never occurred at the Barbara Fritchie house, although Barbara Fritchie was a Unionist and did have a Union flag. Friends of Barbara Fritchie stated that she shook a Union flag at and insulted Confederate troops, but other neighbors said Barbara Fritchie, over 90 years old, was ill at the time. The woman who inspired the poem was likely Mary Quantrell who lived on Patrick Street. In addition to confusing Barbara Fritchie with Mary Quantrall, the poem was likely embellished by a distant poet working from second or third hand accounts of the incident and other flag incidents. The Confederate general in the poem most likely was not (Stonewall) Jackson, but another Confederate officer since none of the men with General Jackson that day remembered the incident. Neither Gen. Jackson nor Barbara Fritchie ever commented on the poem; both had died before the poem appeared. Historians and reporters noted other discrepancies between the patriotic poem and witness accounts."
If you want to learn more about this fun story that landed Frederick in the newspapers in 1863, check out the following link by copying and pasting it in your browser: