Disappearing Acts of Rose Hill Manor

Nov 19, 2019

I know I haven’t done anything like this recently, as I have been sick. And for that, I sincerely apologize. I knew, that while being sick, it wouldn’t be conducive on my part to try and post something like this. As it takes time and energy, both of which I had very little of. Again, I apologize! But now, that I’m feeling better…the stories, lore and history will continue!

so, on we go…

Hope you enjoy!

Today’s Frederick County Legend and Folklore story comes from Spirits of Frederick by Alyce T Weinberg (1992).

map of Frederick County, Maryland

Rose Hill Manor, in Frederick MD, was built in the mid-18th century and was home to Thomas Jefferson, the first Maryland governor (not to be confused with Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. President). On the map above, Rose Hill Manor is located near the star, close to center.

Thomas Johnson (governor).jpeg
(November 4, 1732 – October 26, 1819) was an 18th-century American judge and politician. He participated in several ventures to support the Revolutionary War. Johnson was the first (non-colonial) governor of Maryland, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Johnson suffered from a myriad of health issues. He was the first person appointed to the court after its original organization and staffing with six justices. Johnson’s tenure on the Supreme Court lasted only 163 days, which makes him the shortest-serving justice in U.S. history.

Rose Hill Manor was Thomas Jefferson’s home for the last twenty years of life. It is now owned by Parks and Recreation Commission and is a children’s museum. Many volunteers, who are there day after day, in old fashioned clothes demonstrating life in early American life, will admit that they hear voices and sounds which they can not account for.

the people of the county considered it a hard luck house where crops failed, marriages fell apart and unhappiness prevailed

The old blue dog…

There is a story that there is an old blue dog that lurks in the shadows at night and roams the grounds of Rose Hill Manor. “If you can follow the dog until it barks it will lead you to buried gold”, rumor has it. But the dog always disappears.

A replica of the ghost dog, a blue ceramic Great Dane made by Mrs. William B. Lebherz for Rose Hill, disappears as well. When it is found – on the property, in an unlikely place, it disappears again.

The stories of the disappearing dog was so intriguing, that Rose Hill decided to make samplers patterned after the dog. Five copies of the designers print were let out (sent) to be worked on. When they came back, three of the dogs were blue…no one had told the workers what color to make the dog! And none of the workers, they say, had heard the stories.

There is a story told of a wealthy man who lived on the estate many years ago with only his dog for company. Not one to trust in banks, he buried all his money somewhere on the property. In his will, he left directions where to find it, presumably six feet from an old oak tree. After he died, many people searched the estate for the buried treasure, but no one has been successful.

The mystery woman…

One night, while doing a tour, a woman disappeared. The tour started with seven guests, but only six finished the tour. They turned on all the lights and searched the grounds. They revisited the attic, the cellar and barns, the old spring house with slits for shotguns and a secret trap door. But to no avail.

The woman who had disappeared had whispered to others about a young girl who had fallen in love with a young soldier boy who had gone missing and killed herself by jumping out a window. There is – supposedly – a patch of white on the lawn that looked like crumpled crinolines and nothing will grow there. Is the woman who was on the tour the woman who killed herself?

Another legend of Frederick County, or rather two. I searched for images of the blue ghost dog and the ceramic dog, but turned up nothing. During the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg, the Army of the Potomac’s large Artillery Reserve occupied Rose Hill Manors grounds.

Photograph of Rose Hill Manor from the Marker image. Click for full size.
Rose Hill Manor as it looked in the 19th Century

Hope you are having a great day!

Thanks for stopping by!!

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