eponym: Albert Ritchie
|Part of United States Army|
|northern Washington County, Maryland|
|Battles/wars||World War II, Cold War|
Fort Ritchie at Cascade, Maryland was a military installation southwest of Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania and southeast of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania in the area of South Mountain. Following the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission, it closed in 1998.
In 1815, the Buena Vista Ice Company constructed two lakes at the site. It was controlled by the Maryland National Guard from 1926–1942; the US Army activated the Military Intelligence Training Center (MITC) on June 19, 1942 and trained 19,600 intelligence troops, including the Ritchie Boys. Support for Raven Rock Mountain Complex transferred to Fort Detrick on October 1, 1997.
Fort Ritchie closed in 1998 under the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The property was sold to Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) for mixed-use development. As the 2007 Recession pressed on, PenMar Development Corporation took back ownership of the property in 2012. Since then the PenMar Board has worked to have Fort Ritchie designated as a “sustainable community” by the State of Maryland which qualifies the property for tax advantages and grants. The property has been cleaned up and a new project manager has been hired to market the property in an effort to bring back some of the jobs lost when the Army departed. Several alternative uses for the property are being explored which would create a mix of uses that would include residential, commercial, recreational, and some light office/industrial uses.
Currently there are some 300 people living on the property in 98 rental units. There is a new Community Center which hosts a Gym, workout room, nautilus equipment, lockers, community room, computer center, and game room. There are a number of small businesses scattered throughout the property and the former Officer’s Club now called Lakeside Hall is rented most weekends for weddings and special events. There is a tradition of fireworks on the Fourth of July which continues, as well as many events, such as 5k runs, fishing competitions on the lakes, cycling races, triathlons, festivals, fundraisers, meetings, and concerts.
- Roberts, Angelica (30 June 2008). "Fort Ritchie has storied history". Herald Mail. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Fort Ritchie BRAC/Environmental Impact Statement". Retrieved 2010-01-29.[dead link]
- Sherman, Natalie (8 Aug 2014). "Years after Fort Ritchie opened for redevelopment, base remains shuttered". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. MD-104, "U.S. Army Garrison Fort Ritchie, Upper Lake Dam, Fort Ritchie Military Reservation, Cascade, Washington County, MD", 8 photos, 11 data pages, 2 photo caption pages
- HAER No. MD-105, "U.S. Army Garrison Fort Ritchie, Lower Lake Dam", 9 photos, 13 data pages, 2 photo caption pages