Woodmont open house
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Maryland Park Service will hold the annual fall Woodmont Lodge open house on Saturday, August 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Showcasing the Woodmont Lodge and surroundings, the open house enables visitors to hear stories of the early days of conservation and wildlife management in Maryland. Volunteers will answer questions and describe some of the rich history of the property. The public is welcome.
According to Fort Frederick State Park Manager Angie Hummer, "This event offers a rare opportunity for the public to tour the Woodmont Lodge that is known as America's First Presidential retreat. The lodge was originally built in 1870, and is known as America's FIRST presidential retreat. It has been visited by many presidents, and famous people in American history. This lodge is a gem in Western Maryland, and we urge everyone to take the chance and visit one of our state's hidden treasures." Presidents James Garfield, Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt stayed at the lodge.
What's known as America's first presidential retreat, Woodmont Lodge was founded in 1870 as a rod and gun club for men of prominence. The present-day massive building was completed in the 1930s. DNR owns the grounds and, under a unique arrangement, the property is managed by the Woodmont chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America which, in return, has the rights to the grounds for part of the year. Woodmont Lodge includes a 3,400 acre Wildlife Management Area. While 1,400 acres and the lodge has restricted use throughout most of the year, 2,000 acres are open to the public all year round. The building is more than 18,000 square feet. A large rocking chair at the lodge is certified to have been occupied by several presidents.
Organized in 1870 as a premier hunt club, Woodmont was in continuous operation for almost 125 years.
Today the Woodmont Chapter of the Isaac Walton League and Fort Frederick State Park jointly manage the Woodmont Lodge and property. The Woodmont property is located off of Interstate 68 (Exit 77) to Woodmont Road. The lodge entrance is on the left. The lodge is very near the Western Maryland Rail Trail, the C&O Canal National Historical Park, and other attractions in Western Washington County.
For more information, call Fort Frederick State Park at 301-842-2155. Fort Frederick State Park is a member of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.