Read Past Columns:

by Jack Lynch, Editor


Once Upon a Stream, Tom's Creek, Pennsylvania

A Tale of Two Walmarts

Commentary from Frederick News Post, March 31, 2013: "Voting for a Different Approach to Planning"

Grave of Jacob Pfauw, Birth of the Faw Brethren Churches

Commentary from Frederick News Post, July 15, 2012: "Unconvinced by optimism of (Downtown Frederick, MD) hotel report" Link

Commentary from Frederick News Post, May 27, 2012: "Charter rule (Frederick County, MD) will be no better than today's government" Link

Birely Tannery 1760 - 1960, Carroll Creek in Frederick

City Limits

Discovering the Descendants of Abraham Faw

Finding a Two Hundred and Eighty Year Old House Ruin Admidst Suburban Sprawl?

To Save a Stream - Abraham Faw Run

Adolphus Fearhake of Frederick, Maryland

Plan Maryland

Bulldozer Blaine Young

Remembering my Revolutionary Ancestor - Abraham Faw

Why Not the Best?

A Tree Grows in Frederick for Anne Frank

The Tragedy of Kai Hagen

Frederick County's Gunslinger Slate, Fire from the Lip, shoot from the Hip!

A Visit to Tangier Island

Historic Snowfall, Road Salt, Watershed Protection and the Chesapeake Bay

Will It be Progress or Retrenchment in Frederick County?

Is This the End of Frederick Smart Growth?

A Series of Links Follows from the Air It Out with George political commentary website:

Chesapeake Blues on Tangier Island

July 4, 2008

Mass Burn

Appalachian Blues on Hillbilly Highway

Buying a Congressional Seat in Maryland's First District - Coming to the Sixth District?

Democratic Candidates on American Foreign Policy

All the King's Horses!

Campaign in Song: Bushie Head Out the Mixing Bowl

Democratic Campaign's Vertical Treadmill on Space Mission

A Bit of Olympic Political History

Obama for the Chesapeake Bay?

Politics is Personal: Repeat Three Times

Prediction: Bad News for Obama, The End of Post-Racial Politics

American Exceptionalism on the World Stage

Obama Speaking on March 18th - Political Equinox

Yee Haw! On to Pennsyltuckey!

American Blackface: Tragic Octoroon

Key to Success - Lesson for Frederick:

Republicrats Yes, Middlecrats No

Too Many Promises ...Loaves and Fishes

Identity Black and White in Frederick

Mashup 1968 - 2008: On to Texas, Out with Clinton?

Fat Tuesday!

Symbol, Sense and Substance

Eight More Years

The Dollar Bubble

Judging a Candidate By Their Website

Baby, We Were Born to Bun!

The subsequent links are again from older dates of The Frederick Citizen:

A Rememebrance: Beijing Spring, Interrupted

County Officials and Public Communications

The Snallygaster in Frederick County

Fourth Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Frederick City Growth

American Promised Land - American All

Black Frederick and Matters of Race and Politics

Dumping on the Chesapeake Bay

Common Sense Writ Large

The Next Mayor of Frederick

Democracy in Action!

Ottawa: About a Greenbelt, Transit Oriented Development and Government FiatCountering Alderman Imhoff's Growth Beliefs

An Alternate View of Frederick CityGrowth Policy

An Acorn in the Bucket

Monocacy River Part II

Monocacy River Part I

New Market Regional Plan Affirmation

43 More!

Fish and Life

Talking Trash

Strike Three, Smoking Out!

A Green Fund Too Far, Or Not Far Enough?

Growth Back to the Future

Revisiting an Iraq War Opinion Four Years Later

Second Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

Unrepentant Cady

Sour Grapes and Fine Wine

There's Hope for Good Government

The Democratic Fifth

The County of Feel Good

Hypocrisy Indeed

The Alliance

The Growth Machine Slate

"The Issues are Bipartisan" - David Gray

The Importance of Jan Gardner's Campaign

Form Follows Function

Route 15 Scenic Walmart

Frederick Blue

The Curtain Rises

Housing Growth, Not Smart Growth, Not Progressive Planning

Understanding Lennie Thompson

Frederick's Tale of Two Rabbi's

Wellhead Protection

Make Believe, or Desperate Duncan?

A Progressive Concept Approved...then Defeated!

Hog Wild

Anniversary of the Frederick Citizen

We're No Gwinnett County

"An Election, Not a Selection...!"  Indeed!

A Potpourri of Thoughts and Issues...

Now That the Smoke Has Cleared


How am I to Decide on Mayor of Frederick?

Doomed To Repeat It

Frantic Orthodoxy

Stealth Candidate

Another Perfect Day for Bananafish

This Summer Election

Building Issues

Just Powers

Death Defying Election?

In the Heat

Horse Sense for Frederick County?

Kudzu and Million Dollar Homes

Bartlett's Ozone Trip

Let the Games Begin

Blood in the Water

Coffee Klatch

Archaeology in Frederick

Bizarro World

Mr. O'Malley's March

Playing All the Cards

Who are Your Friends New Market?

Mixed Use

Beijing Spring, Interrupted

Passion, People and Politics in Frederick City

Millennium project

A Frederick Leader of Distinction

APFO Under Attack

State Lands Sale

Frederick Water Sourcing

Frederick Water










The Frederick Citizen Logo jack lynch alderman candidate

Campaign Ad By Authority of

Eric Winnette, Treasurer

May 20, 2013

A Bit on Frederick’s Early Days of the Civil War 1861-1862

by Jack Lynch

Joseph Groff

I am no great historian on the Civil War, but rather falling into a brief glimpse of what was happening at the time of early 1861 here in Frederick through various accounts.  My journey began with searching old city ward maps and locating the history of a man and his fountain, which today still stands at Market and Seventh Streets.

Col. Joseph Groff was a tremendous character, and made more so by his display of a large Union flag across Market Street at his store, later hotel, on North Market Street, now the location of the Carmack-Jay’s building.

Groff Fountain

Groff Home, with fountain

Background, April 1861:  Baltimore is the scene of the first battles of the Civil War as mob fighting ensues against the Union forces paraded through town from railroad depot to railroad depot.  The legislature is convened in Frederick instead of Annapolis or Baltimore because they are too strongly divided and the Confederate sympathy afire.  Here, they vote down succession for Maryland.

The spillover of passions in Frederick and the political divide, not much less, but the town is secured.

Stonewall Jackson attends the Evangelical Church, where Rev. Daniel Zacharias preaches unaware, and the hymn is sung,

“Hail! mighty Jesus; how divine
Is thy victorious sword!
The stoutest rebel must resign,
At thy commanding word.”

His army passing through town, it misses passing by Barbara Frietchie’s house, turning from Bentz Street onto West Patrick, but it is said that Mary Quantrell waved a Union flag at him along Patrick Street.  Jubal Early, farther back in the rebel line, reports that a fourteen year old girl waved a flag at curbside. 

The rebels are destitute, some barefoot.

Farther north in town that same spring, Col. Groff has taken to displaying a large Union flag from his auction house and hotel property, and then stretches it across the street from rooftop to rooftop. He brought the thirty-four star flag from Philadelphia, where he had a hotel and stockyard prior to Frederick.

Arlington House Hotel 1903

Arlington House (formerly Groff Hotel)

Some Confederates are angered and threaten to remove it, they threaten to bring a certain Mr. Poffinberger, a noted combatant, to fight and take it down, but Groff meets them in the street, yelling He shouted out, "If any man took that flag down he would have me to whip first and if that man came in to do it, I would meet him." and the rabble-rousers recede and leave it in peace.

Colonel Groff offers us one more defiant flag waver, in a town with plenty of patriotic fervor and Unionism. He noteably added his name to the roles of Republican party stalwarts.

1866 -- John Uhler walked on a wire stretched across the street from the Groff Hotel to the Koontz house. Mr. Uhler fell to the paved street and broke his arm and leg.

Groff stopped in Woodsboro on his way to Gettysburg in 1863 to kiss his daughter good-bye.

At Spangler's Spring during the battle of Gettysburg, at Spangler's Spring, Groff was wounded by a bullet in the right foot. He was given permission to return to his home in Frederick to have it removed. Capt. Groff kept the bullet.

From his regiment 45 men were killed in battle and 86 died of wounds and disease.

Later his hotel is known as Arlington House. The bar room floor was dirt until the 1890's. The front was expanded out twenty feet to the street. A livery stable was in back. IN the 1920's it becomes known as the Hotel Frederick.

Groff's brickyard was at Eight and Market Streets. The bricks were used in homes on the east side of the 700 block of North Market Street.
Groff House was built form those same bricks in 1884.

Groff's house fronted twenty-eight acres, clubhouse, beer garden, a large private loop road with a pond and greenhouses where his son is said to grow flowers. It was known as Groff's Park. Groff Park also known as Schentzen Park.

1871 - the Union or Republican Party made nomination for councilmen, Mayor and Alderman at "Groff Hall" located on West 4th Street.

1885 - Groff partners in a "Frederick Colored Rink" - skating rink on 4th St. Groff Hall for the African American population.

1891 - Fountain built by M. P. Morse across from the Groff home.

His house in later years becomes the WFMD studios, with its mix of local country music, brother duos, Max Wiseman, and 1940’s style radio zaniness, ads and contests.

In the early nineteen-seventies, its planned destruction is a preservation cause of the nascent Frederick County Landmarks Foundation.

Groff's Fountain remains at roadside, once central to a traffic circle. A recent City charette looked at improving its site.

Today, razed, sadly the house site remains a parking lot of limited purpose.




Background Sources:

Capt. Joseph Groff - 19th Century Man

Groff Hotel

Frederick, Maryland's Flag Guardian