Jennifer K. Cosham
Brunswick Historic District
Brunswick, Frederick County
The boundaries of the Brunswick Historic District include the town of Berlin as laid out in the late 18th century, the B&O Railroad yards along the Potomac River, and the part of the 1890-1910 railroad "boom town" that stretches along the rail yards on either side of the original town. Only a few buildings remain from this town's first 100 years, 1790-1890. These include the American Legion Home, the original portion of which was built in the 1790s; the John L. Jordan House, built c. 1855; the Wenner farmhouse, the main block of which was built between 1825-1850; and the Koenig House. These and other early structures are scattered throughout the present corporate limits of Brunswick. The town of Brunswick consists of the railroad yards along the river with the several buildings connected to it, the downtown business district along West Potomac Street in what was Old Berlin, and numerous residential districts, of different character. Brunswick is stretched along the Potomac River bank which carries the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad tracks and yard that have supported the town since the early 19th century. With its varied residential districts and small business center, it survives as an example of the sort of town built by the railroads in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Brunswick is a town with a double heritage, one aspect of which is reflected in its physical appearance, and the other which, except for a few scattered buildings, is extant only as a part of recorded history. In its early days, Brunswick (then known as Berlin) was a small river town whose trade-oriented economy was boosted by the arrival of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the second quarter of the 19th century. The growth of the railroad ultimately altered the town beyond recognition when a large rail yard established there in the 1890s caused a massive building boom. Brunswick today is a railroad town of basically c. 1890-1930 period construction, with very few visual remnants of its earlier and quieter identity.