Town History

The Town of New Windsor was laid out and surveyed in 1797 by Isaac Atlee, who hoped to capitalize on traffic coming from Winchester, Va. to Philadelphia on the Old Monocacy Wagon Trail. He opened an inn and tavern on the corner of Main and High Streets, which are now the town’s main thoroughfare MD Rt. 31. The commercial center consisted of 28 lots along Main Street which was called Bath Street on the original plat. The town thrived during the 1820’s and became the leading community for business. A military road intended to connect Buffalo, NY provided the town with considerable commercial activity.

The railroad through the town strengthened the town’s commercial ties and brought a need for hotels and stores. During the summer of 1863, 5,000 Union Cavalrymen rode through the town on their way to Gettysburg, PA. The following summer, the town fell to 500 Confederate Cavalrymen. Elegant Stately homes remain at the top of Church Street, which was called Quality Hill more than 100 years ago. Homes in the Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, Queen Anne and Bungalow styles were constructed.

The town also has a history of higher education. The Catholic based Calvert College began in 1851, although it was temporarily shut down when both teachers and students went off to fight during the war. The college was taken over by the Presbyterian Church and the name was changed in 1876 to New Windsor College. Blue Ridge College, which was located in neighboring Union Bridge, bought the college in 1912 and it opened as Church of the Brethren School until 1937. It was then sold to private corporations. It became the New Windsor Service Center in 1944. According to the town historian, it remains the oldest standing college building in Carroll County.

Today, New Windsor holds onto its history of the small town atmosphere, while welcoming new families as it moves into the 21st century, with the same charm and appeal as it did over two-hundred years ago.

This image of Isaac Altee's 1796 Town Plan provided by the New Windsor Heritage Committee.

1797

Original plan of the Town was filed in Frederick County Land Records

1820

A military road connecting Washington D.C. to Buffalo, New York was constructed through Town.

1825

Many Town citizens contribute to the construction of the Union Chapel, where all denominations could worship.

1830

Population 123.

1837

As Carroll County is created, the New Windsor area is incorporated into the County.

1839

New Windsor Presbyterian Church was organized.

1843

St. Paul’s Methodist Church was built.

1844

The Town of New Windsor was incorporated.

1850’s

Calvert College was founded (current site of The  Brethren Center).

1860

Strawbridge United Methodist Church was built.

1930

Population 503

1998

Population 1,250

Did you Know?

Throughout the early history of the New Windsor area, the Town shifted frequently between counties. The New Windsor area was incorporated into Charles County in 1658, but in 1694 the area was transferred to Prince George’s County. In June of 1748, the area then shifted to Frederick County. Not until 1837, when Carroll County was created, was it incorporated into Carroll.