Founded in 1821 | Washington County

Clear Spring

Founded in 1821 | Washington County

Around 1818, the road that be known as the National Pike was extended west of Conocoheague Creek Washington County toward Cumberland. From there, it would strech westward to the wild west frontier of Ohio. Four miles west of Conococheague Creek, the new road bisected land owned by Martin Myers. Farmer Myers decided to become a land developer, and in 1821 he laid off lots on each side of the new road.

On one of his lots, next to a clear spring, Myers built a small log building where he made a sold crocks and jugs. The new road brought thousands of pioneers through “Myersville.” Next to Myers’ store, a small log hotel sprang up, which came to be identified by travellers as “the-hotel-at- the-clear spring.”

By 1825, the town had seven hotels, stores, blacksmiths, cabinetmakers, and other tradesmen – and this building town was no known to everyone as Clear Spring. But the Coming of the steam train a couple of miles to the south in the 1850s bought an end to the long line of wagon trains through Clear Spring. The town quickly declined, surviving only as a farming community that relied heavily on the labor of slaves.

The Civil War divided the town’s residents at first, but eventually they united in support of the Union.

The town remained dormant for the remainder of the 19th century, but the invention of the automobile revived it; once again, the road through Clear Spring was a favored route to the west. Prosperity returned and was to stay until the 1960s when again Clear Spring was bypassed-this time by Interstate 70.

Today, Clear Spring is about three blocks long; most of the businesses are gone; and developers have purchased many of the beautiful farms that surround the town. But Clear Spring still cherishes its beautiful location and its generations of families and friends that care about each another and the functioning of their small-town government. Volunteerism, churches, service organizations, and clubs play dominant roles in the life of the town. Its tradition of offering warm hospitality to travelers survives – and that welcome extends to anyone who has a hankering to pull up stakes permanently and find friendly neighbors in the coziness of a small town by the mountains.