Home |  Search | Contact Us | Submit A Story | Links

Along Moser Road

A. W. Cissel,

When the first lands along today's Moser Road were granted in 1738, they were described as being "in the backlands of the Province". This grant for "Taylor's Lot" to Jacob Weller (The Moravian) predates the formation of Frederick County. Over the next few years Jacob (1704-1794) would survey and purchase adjacent parcels, most of which he named after the tools of his occupation: "Taylor's Shears, Taylor's Bodkin, Taylor's Needle".

The beginning point for the 1752 grant Taylor's Bodkin was a few hundred feet west of the north/ south "wagon road from Frederick Town to Ambrose's Mill" at Owens Creek (Roddy Road). This road follows Hessong Bridge, parts of modem Route 550 and past the site of later Apples Church, on its waynorth to Marsh Creek (Gettysburg). It was along this wagon road that the early Monocacy Church is believed to have been located.

One of the possible church sites is at the Jimtown intersection on a 36 acre parcel owned by Leonard Moser, a weaver. He called this land "Germantown", and although he sold his land in 1765 to move to North Carolina, two of his sons remained in Frederick County; 200 years later the road west from Jimtown would bear the Moser name.

On the grounds of the Maple Run Golf Course, adjoining the pro shop, is an interesting stone structure. The east side of this residence was originally a one room school. Known as "The Centre School", its location one and one-half miles from Graceham and its dedication is mentioned in the Moravian Church Diaries. Ceremonies were held on January 7, 1835 with sermons delivered in both German and English. The 1858 and 1873 maps of the county show it as a public school, located down the lane behind a Weller descendant's house.

During most of the 19th century, Moser Road was known as the road to Harmon's Gap or the Mountain Road. It was lined with farms belonging to later generation of Wellers or the heirs of Jacob's step-son the Firors. Where this road intersects the Thurmont to Frederick Turnpike, (now commonly called Cozy's Corner) were smaller farm holdings as well as several small industries: brickyard, blacksmith, lumber yard and Chambers Creager's greenhouses.

The Mosers returned to this neighborhood when George ‘Jerry" Moser purchased parts of the old Weller farms in 1943 and 1948. Jerry had grown up at the Moser Farm on the Pike near the site of today's Pizza Hut. He and his sons operated a dairy farm on 260 acres on Moser Road. He reported finding lots of Indian artifacts, along with bits of broken gravestones from the Weller family graveyard. According to the Moravian Diaries, at Jacob Weller's death in 1794 he was laid to rest in "the burial ground in his orchard". This ground had once been enclosed by a stone fence, but generations of plowing for farm use had eliminated the gravestones. Mr. Moser found one nearly whole gravestone naming Johannes Henge (Hankey) who died in 1775, which was put aside for safekeeping, but the other graves, as well as any sign of an early log church, had been erased by time.

Old timers say that the Jimtown Crossroads got its name from Jim Crouse's Tavern, a popular social center at the time the Thurmont Election District was "dry" or alcohol free. The east side of the intersection, lies within the Creagerstown District, which still allowed liquor, so the Thurmont citizens didn't have to ride far for a drink.

For whatever reasons and by whatever names the Jimtown area and Moser Road have seen a lot of history. So next time you pass this way imagine riding through a wilderness; a dense woods broken only by a rutted wagon road bringing settlers to a new life in these backlands of the Province of Maryland.

Have your own memories of Moser Road or other places in the Thurmont Area?
If so, please send them to us so we can included them in our archives.
E-mail us at:

Read more articles by Anne Cissel