Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania
|Blue Ridge Summit|
|Population (2010 census)|
Blue Ridge Summit is a census-designated place in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States, southwest of Gettysburg in the central part of the state, adjoining Pennsylvania's southern border with Maryland. It is less than 3 miles east of Pen Mar, Maryland.
The community is known for being the birthplace of Wallis Simpson, the late wife of Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (previously Edward VIII of the United Kingdom). It is also home to one of the 15 oldest golf courses in the United States. Built before 1885, the Monterey Country Club has served as a summer retreat for many Washingtonians, and American Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Dwight D. Eisenhower have all played the Monterey Country Club course.
John Howard McClellan writes about the history of the Blue Ridge Summit region in his book, Blue Ridge Summit, The Beginnings of a Resort Area:
- The Blue Ridge Summit community lies at the top of the South Mountain at the Monterey Pass. A community that stretches its environs into parts of four counties and two states, straddling the Mason-Dixon line. On the Pennsylvania side, it lies in parts of Franklin and Adams counties. On the Maryland side of the line, it extends into both Frederick and Washington counties.
- After the introduction of the railroad in 1872, this area grew to become a lively and fashionable vacation community. The railroad ran to Baltimore and many of the city's elite constructed summer houses there, before the advent of air conditioning, to escape the urban heat. The region was in its hey-day at the beginning of the twentieth century. Many Washingtonians also enjoyed the resort, where several posh "boarding houses", precursors of the "Bed and Breakfast", catered to the comfort-seeking elite. It remained a resort area until its decline during the Depression of 1929 and the following years of limited travel during World War II (1939-1945).
Local history during the Gettysburg Campaign
On June 22, the first skirmish occurred along the Monterey Mountain pass near Blue Ridge Summit. An armed civilian militia encountered a detachment of Confederates under General Albert G. Jenkins. The militia was forced to retreat after a very brief skirmish. General Jenkins and his Confederate troops withdrew toward Hagerstown joining General Richard S. Ewell, who was advancing with a larger force.
Following the events at the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederate Army retreated via Emmitsburg. On July 5, General J.E.B. Stuart's soldiers were engaged in some small skirmishes as he made his way back to General Robert E. Lee's army. A mountain swamp at Monterey Pass bogged down Stuart and the Army of Northern Virginia as they retreated. The Monterey Country Club sits upon 37 acres (150,000 m2) that were once part of that swamp.
Other local interest
Former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney sometimes resided in an underground complex near Blue Ridge Summit on Raven Rock Mountain when he was said to be "at an undisclosed location" in case of an attack on the United States. The complex is most commonly called "Site R", but also Raven Rock Mountain Complex or the Alternate Joint Communications Center, created in 1951 as a command center in the event of attack on Washington, D.C..
- "Ble Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey.
- Weir, p. 328
- "Baltimore in Her Centennial Year", Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, Volume 43 (Frank Leslie Publishing House, 1897), p. 702
- McClellan, John Howard (1982). Blue Ridge Summit, The Beginnings of a Resort Area, Part One. LC 83 105292.
- 'Undisclosed location' disclosed, Boston Globe, July 20, 2004.