Jonathan Hager House & Museum

2017 online flyer image
*Admission rates may vary for programs & events. For details, call: 301-739-8577 x 170.
  2017 Winter Programs & Events 
City Park Lighting
Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 from 6pm-9pm
German Christmas Tours
Dec. 2, 3, 8, 9, & 10
Friday & Saturdays, 10am-4pm
Sundays, Noon-5pm


Adults $5.00 
Seniors (age 62 years +) $3.00 
Students (age 13-17 years) $3.00
Youth (ages 6-12 years) $2.00
Children (ages 5 years & under) Free
Group Tour Rate (per person, minimum:5) $3.00

Hager House Keepsake Ornament

Hager House Ornament_

Available for purchase at the Hager House: This custom brass etched collectible ornament is available in a limited stock, individually packaged in a velvet-lined cardboard box with a clear plastic lid, and ready to hang on your tree from attached golden cord. This ornament has been custom-designed and cut from medium thickness metal to honor the German cultural roots of the town?s founder and the cultural traditions of the Hagerstown community by offering this special ornament. On the back of each box is a brief printed history about the Jonathan Hager House Museum, a lovely commemorative boxed memento and keepsake to remember a cultural heritage, year after year in the holiday tradition, $17. Click here to order!

Now Closed for the Season. Private Tours Available upon request.

April - October: Fridays & Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Tours start on the hour, no appointment necessary.
  • Private tours available by appointment, Sun. - Thurs.
  • Allow at least 48 hours for scheduling. 
  • To schedule a tour, contact: (301)739-8393
  • Ask us about school field trips! 
Hager House Photo Hager House Kitchen Hager House Cellar
Visit the refurbished home of Hagerstown's founder, Jonathan Hager, built circa 1739. This one of a kind house museum is staged with eighteenth-century furniture and artifacts. Take a guided tour of the restored three-story limestone homestead built over a never-failing spring for an authentic educational heritage experience unlike any other. 

Site History

On June 5, 1739, Hager purchased 200 acres of land from Daniel Dulany for 44 pounds. He dubbed his tract "Hager's Fancy." With the location carefully chosen over cool spring water, construction of the now 3 1/2 story home began. In 1740 Hager married German neighbor, Elizabeth Kershner and presented her with the new house. 

The new home must have evoked many pleasant memories for the Hagers. Styled in the German tradition, the large central chimney added warmth to the stone structure, while a fill of rye straw and mud between floors and partitions served as insulation against the cruel winters. During the summers, the family could retreat to the cellar where the spring water provided coolness as well as safety and convenience. The Hagers must have been comforted by their home's twenty-two inch walls which stood firmly
against man and nature. 

Structurally impregnable, with a protected water supply, Hager's home served as a frontier fort in case of Indian attack. 

The Hagers lived at "Hager's Fancy" for several years. During that time, Jonathan grew prosperous. He opened a trading post within his home as he continued to acquire land. On May 8, 1745, "Hager's Fancy" was sold to Jacob Rohrer for 200 pounds. The house remained within the Rohrer family until 1944. At that time, it was acquired by the Washington County Historical Society under the leadership of Hager historian Mary Vernon Mish, the house was restored to its former colonial beauty. It was presented to the City of Hagerstown in 1954. In September 1962 the home was opened to the public on the bicentennial anniversary of Hagerstown. 

Today the Hager House is now completely outfitted with authentic furnishings of the period. It depicts a life long since forgotten. Not many American cities older than the country itself can present the homes of their founders completely restored. Hagerstown Maryland, has been given such a gift-for stepping into the Hager House is like taking a walk through the past. 

Evincing leadership from the moment of his arrival in Western Maryland, Hager quickly became a leading citizen. He was involved in many activities: farmer, cattleman, even a gunsmith. Hager was a volunteer Captain of Scouts during the French and Indian War. In 1762 he founded Hagerstown and in 1771 and 1773 he was elected to the General Assembly at Annapolis, qualifying him as the first German to make his mark in politics. 

On November 6,1775, Captain Hager was accidentally killed while supervising the building of the German (now Zion) Reformed Church on land which he had donated. At the time, he was serving on various critical pre-Revolutionary War Committees. Hager has been called the "Father of Washington County" due to his having laid the groundwork for its separation from Frederick County in 1776 and the subsequent creation of Hagerstown as County. 
Situated in Hagerstown's City Park, the Hager House is built of uncut fieldstones carefully fitted by the young German immigrant who had traveled to the wilderness of Western Maryland in search of adventure and possible fortune. Jonathan Hager had arrived on the shores of the new colonies in 1736, debarking at the Port of Philadelphia. Eventually, he chose to make his home in Maryland, where Charles Calvert, proprietor of the colony, was offering cheap land to those willing to settle in the western frontier. Many immigrants turned back, but Hager refused to be discouraged.