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The Town of New Windsor was laid out and surveyed into 28 lots in 1797 by Isaac Atlee who hailed from Lancaster, Pa. He hoped to capitalize on traffic coming to and from Winchester, Va. and Philadelphia on a spur that fed the old Monocacy Road, a wagon trail situated some miles north of town. The area also enjoyed traffic on the Buffalo Road, connecting Annapolis to parts north. This colonial thoroughfare was named after a buffalo trail that predated the arrival of settlers and is today’s High Street. A novice real estate speculator, Atlee saw the crossroads that is now Main and High Streets as a natural location for a town.
Emanuel Brower purchased one of the first lots, #6, on June 24, 1797, just three months after Atlee’s survey. Brower opened an inn and tavern where the lower portion of the Dielman Inn now stands. The crossroads became the commercial center of the new town, as other businesses moved in to support the wagon traffic and the needs of recently arrived settlers.
When the area was surveyed, Main Street was called Bath Street because of the sulphur springs at the foot of the hill. This attests to Atlee’s promotional flair, since visitors soon began coming to imbibe the mineral water and use an on-site bath house, believing the sulphur-rich water contained medicinal properties. The bath house is now long gone and has since been replaced by a spring house. The town thrived during the 1820s and 30s as a tourist destination and a center for business, and additional hotels and inns were established.