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Big Labor Day picnic held at Morgan’s Grove Park

By Staff | Sep 10, 2010

The Rohrersville Band of Washington County band begins to play at this years labor day festivities in Morgans Grove Park. The band has been playing for 173 years. (Photo by Jim Whipple/Chronicle)

SHEPHERDSTOWN – Morgan’s Grove Park was filled with the aroma of cooking hamburgers and hot dogs, the laughter of children and the music of America under perfectly blue skies.

The Men’s Club of Shepherdstown hosted its annual Morgan’s Grove Community Cookout Monday, attracting nearly 300 guests. The family-style picnic dates from the 1930s.

A former mayor of Shepherdstown, Peter Wilson, spoke about all the history that had taken place on that very spot.

“Where the pavilion sits was a house that was burned down during the Civil War,” he explained. “The spring house still stands just over there, but beneath us is the ruins of a grand old house.”

Wilson was speaking of Fountain Rock, which was owned by Confederate Col. Alexander Boteler. The house was burned in 1864 by Federal troops under Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

“In 1900 this place held 15,000 people,” Wilson said. “That Labor Day, presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan spoke.”

The Rohrersville Band from Washington County, Md., entertained the crowd with classic, contemporary and patriotic tunes.

The Rohrersville Band was organized in 1837 and has performed at nearly every Labor Day since its inception.