The Jolly Jug

Dec 17, 2019

Frederick Maryland Folklore and Legends

This story comes from Spirits of Frederick by Alyce t. Weinberg. It’s about, well, you can read it. I’ve touched on this subject before. None of the images are mine…

image taken from the book, Spirits of Frederick

“Boisterous talk, and belly laughter, that no one can explain, is heard in the night by people living near the huge demi-john on Route 40 east of Frederick. The voices seem to emanate from the jug.”

The fifteen foot tall stone urn marks the site of the wooden bridge that crossed the Monocacy in 1808, on the first public highway in the United States. The priceless urn was moved at great expense by a committee spearheaded by Mrs. William M. Storm and the D.A.R. (Daughters of the Revolution) when the old bridge was torn down and replaced by a wide concrete one. It was placed on high ground above the west end of the bridge – a reminder of the old bridge and the way things were.

There is (or was) an original toll house nearby where the jug was placed, and a stone marker erected by S.A.R. that reads in part “General Lafayette, Friend of America and Liberty, arrived at the bridge nearby on his way to Frederick December 29, 1824.”

The story is that Civil war soldiers, guarding the National Pike during the Civil War, hid their whiskey around the jug. And that the wild hilarity heard is caused by “spirits” looking for spirits.

*This book was written in 1992, so…not really all that old all things considering. But old enough to make me want to find out more. I know I wrote about Jug Bridge not all that long ago, but I can’t find it.

When my son and I go to the library this week, I will be going down to the memorial park. See what I can find and take some photos. If I’m thinking correctly, the Monacacy River isn’t too far from the park. The park, just so you know, isn’t like any other park you might think of. It’s just a small patch of land with the jug on it, a tree and probably some info.

*not my photo*
off I-70 at the East Patrick Street exit
Image result for Jug Bridge
the old jug bridge
not the old wooden one
Image result for Jug Bridge

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