lions club
middletown md middletown, md

An Early History of Middletown

Middletown, Maryland is a community with about 2500 people halfway between Frederick and Boonsboro within the beautiful Middletown Valley. The housing developments immediately outside the town boundaries add considerably the general population. According to George C. Rhoderick, Jr. ("The Early History of Middletown Maryland", published in 1989, Middletown Valley Historical Society, Middletown, MD) the fist settler is believed by tradition to have been Mr. Frederick Lauber, a gunsmith, who built a log cabin and gunsmith shop in 1730 near what is now the Gladhill Furniture Co. at the corner of Walnut and West Main Streets, Middletown. His cabin and shop were built on what was then an Indian trail leading from Susquehannah (now Wrightsville) to the Potomac and Shenandoah.

Middletown originally was named "Smithfield". Records at the Frederick, Maryland County Courthouse show that on October 10, 1750, a man by the name of Richard Smith had 44 acres of land surveyed and called it Smithfield, presumably after himself (The Early History of Middletown Maryland).

Smith transferred the land to Josiah Beall, and on July 8, 1766, Beall sold the 44-acre plat to Michael Jesserong. Jesserong laid out building lots, and in1767 began selling these lots as being in the town of "Middletown". As a result, Michael Jesserong is credited as the founder of Middletown (The Early History of Middletown Maryland).

Even to this day we do not know why Jesserong picked the name "Middletown", however it may have been because Middletown lies halfway between two Mountains, in the Valley.

Middletown grew rapidly in the 1740s, partly due to an influx of German and English emigrants. The French and Indian Wars were fierce around Middletown, but it is not known whether actual fighting took place in Middletown.

The first church built in the Middletown Valley was a Lutheran church constructed in 1710-1711 in what was then known as "Jerusalem" (The Early History of Middletown Maryland). About 1755, at the beginning of the French and Indian War, Reformers and Lutherans built and worshipped together in a church located 2 miles southwest of the village later to become Middletown. It was a crude log cabin used for services for about 20 years on a 67-acre tract of land purchased by Philip Kefauver from Mr. Caleb Touchstone for "forty pounds, current money". The first church built in what is now Middletown was the "Reformed Church", constructed about 1775 or 1776 and was a log building near the present site of the Christ Reformed Church (The Early History of Middletown Maryland).

© Middletown Lions Club, unless otherwise noted.