Our History through Artifacts and Documents
The HRSC collection focuses on the history of Rocky Springs School House and Chapel and on the people and events associated with them, and is held in trust by HRSC for the education of the public. Information about the HRSC collection is made available on HRSC’s website and in its archives, and through educational exhibits, programming and publications. By maintaining this collections focus, HRSC serves the public by preserving the historic memory of the Rocky Springs area of Frederick County, Maryland, heightens the awareness and enjoyment of its rich cultural legacy, and stimulates the study of connections between Rocky Springs’ past and the broader historical themes of Frederick County, the State of Maryland, and the United States.
HRSC’s collections management program includes evaluating, documenting, storing, moving and maintaining artifacts; researching artifacts and their related topics to develop interpretative exhibits and educational publications and programs; and conserving and preserving historical objects using appropriate conservation and restoration techniques. HRSC’s collection encompasses a broad range of objects and while the number of artifacts in the HRSC collection is currently small, HRSC is confident that over time, its collection will continue to grow and it will become the community’s primary repository of artifacts pertaining to the history of Rocky Springs Chapel and School House and the people and events associated with them. Following is a brief description of some of the objects in the HRSC collection:
*Wooden Church Sign: A wooden sign that once hung on the exterior of Rocky Springs Chapel. Although the date of its manufacture is unknown, it appears in photographs taken of the Chapel as early as 1920.
The bell that hung in the bell tower of Rocky Springs School House until about 1990, when it was removed to prevent its collapse into the building’s interior due to rotting support beams. The bell was likely cast circa 1839 when the school-house was constructed.
*Teacher’s Chair: A chair manufactured by the J. S. F. J. & Company between 1867 and 1913. Two “revolving screw” teacher’s chairs similar to the one in the HRSC collection are pictured in the book “School-Houses” by James Johonnot, published in 1871.
*Wooden Collection Plate with Red Interior Lining (front, back and side views)(date unknown).
*Wooden Collection Plate with Green Interior Lining (front, back and side views)(date unknown).
*Teacher’s Cast Iron Hand Bell with Eagle Handle: (date unknown)
*Religious Books: HRSC has numerous books in its collection that were used by former members of the Rocky Springs Chapel congregation, to include The Holy Bible, various church hymnals and books containing sermons and other religious topics. Some of the books are inscribed by past members of the congregation. Pictured here are three books in the HRSC collection:
*Wooden Bookcase with Engraved Brass Plate Honoring Dorothy Free Putman (1909-1959), a former member of the Rocky Springs Chapel congregation:
*Engraved Brass Wall Plaque Honoring Former Rocky Springs Chapel Trustee Harry M. Free and his wife, Estie M. Free, who were both members of the Rocky Springs Chapel congregation: The plaque reads “In recognition of the leadership given this church by Harry M. Free, 1886-1971 and his wife, Estie M. Free, 1892-1965. This plaque is placed by a grateful congregation. Nov. 23, 1975”
*Historical Sheet Music:
There are thirty-three pieces of historical sheet music in the HRSC collection. Pictured below are the covers of some of the pieces with their copyright dates:
*Upright Piano manufactured by the Shaw Piano Company, Baltimore, MD, in 1909.
*Square Piano built by piano maker Johann Frances Kahl in Washington, D.C., sometime between 1844-1854.
RESEARCH & ARCHIVES
HRSC is the primary center for historical research on Rocky Springs School House and Chapel and preserves the historic memory of the Rocky Springs area of Frederick County, Maryland for the public. Therefore, HRSC collects, organizes, preserves, makes accessible, and promotes scholarly and public understanding of their documentary heritage. Examples of the type of materials in the HRSC archives include copies of historical photographs, maps, genealogies, books, land records, wills, birth certificates, military records, inscriptions from family bibles, letters, news paper articles, architectural drawings, church records, marriage records, school records, diaries, biographies, death notices and cemetery records, tax records, pedigree charts, atlases and plat books, citizenship papers, court records, information on artifacts in the HRSC collection and documents pertaining to the ongoing archaeological excavation of the Rocky Springs School House and Chapel properties by students and professors from Hood College and Frederick Community College. HRSC is dedicated to maintaining and providing for the storage, protection and preservation of its archival materials under conditions that ensure their availability for research purposes in keeping with professionally accepted standards.