View Point

Custodian With a dry mop in a hallway

By Olivia Millunzi, Heritage Frederick

There is no evidence supporting the veracity of the message on this undated postcard, but Braddock Heights does have a fascinating history as one of the first planned communities in the nation. In 1896, George William Smith founded Braddock Heights as a resort town catering to visitors from Baltimore and Washington, D.C.; Smith boasted that Braddock Heights, at 900 feet above sea level, was 10 degrees cooler than the cities. By 1901, custom houses joined the hotels, pool, wooden-floor skating rink, amusement park and ski resort. Braddock Heights billed that no two houses in the town were alike—a statement that still rings true if you drive through the community today.

Braddock Heights’ history isn’t all resort, though. The town is named for British Gen. Edward Braddock, who passed through the area with then-Lt. Col. George Washington during the French and Indian War. Into the 19th century, the area was known as Fairview because of the picturesque views offered of Frederick and Middletown valleys. When Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. passed through Fairview in 1862, he observed that “in approaching Frederick the singular beauty of its clustered spires struck me very much. … I wish some wandering photographer would take a picture of the place … to show how gracefully, how charmingly, its group of steeples nestles among the Maryland hills. The town has a poetical look from a distance, as if seers and dreamers might dwell there.”

Frederick Magazine