History

Log Cabin

The park possesses one of the strongest springs in Maryland, and is rich in wetlands.  Historically, the land has demonstrated a value in resources from limestone extraction, watercress farming, fish farming, and even moonshining. The park is open daily from 8:00 am to dusk. It is designated as an environmental park and provides nature programs to various groups year round.

Alice Nemitsas
Park Naturalist, Alice Nemitsas, presented the idea for the park to the county commissioners for their approval in 1987 as a student at Frederick Community College, studying Park Management. At this time the historic lime kilns were covered with scrubs, vines, and trees. Her principle interest was the spring because, where there is water, there will be animals.

Fountain Rock Park fit Alice Nemitsas’ expectation for a nature center not only because there was a beautiful natural environment, but also because there were existing buildings that could be modified. The building that is now the nature center was originally built by a prior owner, McKendree Fulks, who used it for cleaning trout that had been caught at his trout fishing operation.

Early History

Native Americans
Indian bookNative American Indians used rivers, streams, and creeks as highways to help them navigate in their hunting and traveling. Their villages would also be located close to water sources because of their importance in everyday life.

For this reason, it is possible that the land of Fountain Rock Park was utilized by Native Americans because of the powerful spring and its close proximity to the Monocacy River.

Artifacts
Indian tentLarge quantities of artifacts have been found less than a mile from the park in an area referred to as the Biggs Ford Site which was placed on the Maryland register in 1969. It is now on private property and inaccessible to the public. State archaeologists dug in the fall of 1969 and the spring of 1970. They brought in equipment from a bridge being constructed over the Monocacy River at the time. An 18’ x 400’ trench was dug and nine burial sites were discovered.

Unfortunately, much of the ground at the park has been disturbed by the limestone quarrying industry and the additional fill soil that was brought in for the fish hatchery operation between 1975 and 1983. No Indian artifacts have been found at the park to date.

Whiskey Stills
During prohibition, more than one reliable source has indicated that Fountain Rock Park was the location of several whiskey stills. The pure spring water was excellent for this type of production.  There is talk of a cave somewhere in the back of the quarry property, which has now collapsed, that housed and produced home-made brew.

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