Mount Airy: Four counties intersect near Parrs Ridge
Jun 20, 2018 | 12:19 PM
Mount Airy is located in the southern part of the county on the border between Carroll and Frederick counties, which is also an intersection with Howard and Montgomery counties.
The town can trace its beginnings to the early 1830s, when a few houses and stores congregated at the intersection of several major ancient Native American trading routes. One trail traveled from the Chesapeake Bay to the Allegheny River and Ohio to the west. A second traveled to Buffalo, N.Y., on Lake Erie, and another went from the Potomac River to the Susquehanna River.
Oral history suggests that the area was a "rest area" located on top of Parrs Ridge, a geographic divide that is the highest point between the Chesapeake Bay and Western Maryland.
The early village was unnamed and unnoticed until the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad went through town in 1831. The town grew rapidly from 1831 to the Civil War as a major trading center. Folklore has it that the town was named by a railroad locomotive engineer who noted the fresh air when traveling over the high elevation.
The town incorporated in 1894. Mount Airy's fire company was founded in 1921. Various historic accounts mention devastating fires in 1898, 1903, 1913, 1914, 1925, 1969 and most recently on Sept. 2, 2007.
According to the Mount Airy Business Association, Mount Airy celebrates its many accomplishments and new businesses while retaining its small-town charm. Residents and visitors alike experience a true sense of history and community as they enjoy a stroll along Main Street.