Historic Rocky Springs Chapel, Inc. (HRSC) is an interdenominational community church with a preservation focus. Incorporated under the laws of Maryland on August 12, 2014, HRSC was organized exclusively for charitable purposes within the meaning of section 501 ( c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. HRSC is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and all work of the organization is accomplished by dedicated volunteers. HRSC’s mission is to provide a fitting place of worship for area residents and visitors to conduct interdenominational religious services, ceremonies, education and fellowship activities in keeping with the Christian faith and to develop, rehabilitate and restore historic Rocky Springs Chapel (built c. 1882) and Rocky Springs School House (built c. 1839) for which HRSC received title on March 23, 2015. HRSC’s charter requires it to take all required actions to qualify for and successfully convey a perpetual Preservation Easement on the Rocky Springs School House and Rocky Springs Chapel property to the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) to ensure the protection and preservation of the historic value of the buildings in perpetuity.Both Rocky Springs Chapel and Rocky Springs School House are listed in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Places (Survey No. F-3-95 and Survey No. F-3-96). The Chapel is HRSC’s principle place of worship and HRSC is working to develop, rehabilitate and restore it to its original 1882 appearance for public worship purposes. HRSC is also working to develop, rehabilitate and restore the School House to its original appearance during its initial period of use (1839-1865) and open it to the public as a historical interpretation and research center. This will include exhibition and interpretation of the structure and of artifacts, people and events associated with it which focus on its use as Frederick County Public School Number 26 from 1839-1930 and its simultaneous use as a house of worship for the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (U.B.) denomination from 1839-1882; and the cavalry skirmish that occurred on its grounds on July 8, 1864 as a prelude to the Battle of Monocacy, as well as other military actions, themes and events associated with the Civil War era that occurred in the vicinity of Rocky Springs.
Although the Rocky Springs area was one of the first places in Frederick County to be settled by German and Swiss immigrants in the 1740s, there is no museum or historical center to interpret its rich history. By preserving, conserving, interpreting and exhibiting these unique historic structures and the objects and events associated with them for the public, HRSC will educate visitors on the pivotal role they and the early settlers of Rocky Springs played in the history of Frederick County, Maryland.
Although HRSC is now the steward of Rocky Springs School House and Rocky Springs Chapel as well as the historical objects associated with them, its trustees believe they belong to the community. However, there is much work to be done to return the buildings to a condition worthy of their status as national historic treasures and educate the public on why they are some of the most historically significant buildings in our nation. With your help, HRSC can accomplish these goals.
Debby Ellen Moone (President)
JaNeen M. Kniprath-Smith (Vice President)
Maxine Bowens (Treasurer)
Frank John Smith (Secretary)
The design of HRSC’s logo is based on a well-worn wooden sign in its collection that relates to the history of the Rocky Springs Chapel. The sign bears the symbol of a Cross Patonce and reads “Rocky Springs Church.” Currently we do not know if the sign dates to the Chapel’s construction circa 1882 or if it was acquired sometime later in the building’s history. What we do know is that the sign is in several photographs taken of the Chapel that appear to date to the 1930s.
The Patonce Cross is one of the oldest cross variants and its use as a symbol can be traced to the Medieval period in Europe. It has expanded ends with each arm terminating in floriated points. As a Christian Cross, the three petals represent the Trinity and the total twelve petals represent the Apostles. In heraldry, the three petals represent Faith, Wisdom and Chivalry, and the four arms spread these qualities to the four corners of the world. Blue, the color of the sky and sea, symbolizes heaven, faith, wisdom, truth, trust, depth and loyalty.