|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2009)|
|Community of Jefferson|
An 1858 Frederick County detail map of Jefferson from Isaac Bond.
|Country||United States of America|
Jefferson is an unincorporated community located in Frederick County, Maryland, established in 1774, incorporated as a town in 1831. However, a year later, in 1832, the citizens of the town decided that municipal government was unnecessary, thus, it was disincorporated.
According to archaeologist Mary F. Barse, Jefferson was initially laid out in 1774 on a 96-acre (390,000 m2) tract owned by Mrs. Eleanor Medley and called New Town. It contained 40 rectangular lots – 20 aligned on each side of MD 180 – stretching between what are now Lander Road and Old Middletown Road. In 1795, twenty-two additional lots were platted by Elias Delashmutt on the western end of the original section, and called New Freedom. It was not until 1831 that both sections were incorporated as Jefferson by the Maryland Legislature.
Jefferson’s growth in the 19th century was due largely to its location on the main road between Frederick and Harpers Ferry, today's U.S. Route 340. Wagon traffic and livestock drives were frequent. Concomitantly, commercial development intensified to serve the surrounding farms as well as travelers. It was during this mid 19th century period of commercial growth during which Hemp's Meats was established in 1849. This butchering shop has continuously served the local community under Hemp family ownership since it opened its doors in 1849.
As a center of agricultural mercantilism, throughout most of the late 18th and 19th century Jefferson was also home to a sizable population of slaves.
Examined historic maps (Griffith 1795; Bond 1858; Martenet 1865, 1885; Lake 1873; USGS1910) depict Jefferson on what is now MD 180 as early as 1795. It is designated Trap Town at the close of the 18th century by Griffith (1795). Local history suggests that the name derives from the large number of taverns operating at the time. Purportedly, taverns were situated at both ends of town. Consequently, a traveler could be “trapped” on the way in or out of town.
Mar-Lu-Ridge Summer Camp and Education and Conference Center, located in Jefferson, has been a main retreat and outdoor ministry site for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America since 1959.