Clarksburg is one of the oldest towns in Montgomery County. According to the Clarksburg Historical Society, the town began as a crossroads of Native American trails in 1752. The first post office in Clarksburg opened some years later in the 1780s, and 264 years later the town of Clarksburg is thriving under its own flag, which proudly flies over the most historically significant land in town, the site of Dowden’s Ordinary, which is at the corner of Frederick Road and Stringtown Road.
The flag was designed by Shaneea Peek, and was selected from numerous entries after the Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce held a flag design contest in 2015, which was overseen by the Clarks
“Today we are adding to our town’s distinguished history by raising our own town flag for the first time,” said Jean Hulse-Hayman, the secretary of the Clarksburg Historical Society, who sponsored the event. “With the help of the many people who donate time or money, from now on we will be able to see our town flag flying as we leave and return home to Clarksburg.”
“The moment we moved to Clarksburg we were welcomed with the warmest embrace that I have ever felt in any neighborhood,” said Peek, at the flag raising ceremony. “We feel such a strong sense of community throughout the town.”
The ceremony was held last Thursday, Sept. 15 at the park which marks the location where Dowden’s Ordinary, which was what taverns or inns were known as back in the 1700s. The original “ordinary” was built on the site in 1753 as a stop for travelers on between Georgetown and Frederick. In colonial times Frederick Road was one of the few roads that ran west towards the mountains. The site was home to many significant events in the America’s early history – Michael Dowden, the inn’s owner, was the catalyst for the Repudiation Act of 1765. The tavern was a regular meeting place for the local Sons of Liberty who met during the revolutionary war, and Dowden’s Ordinary is the only known French and Indian War site in Montgomery County.
The ceremony, which was attended by the Clarksburg High School band and the fifth graders from nearby Clarksburg Elementary School, as well as Montgomery County Parks officials and members of the Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce, and the historical society.
The flag was raised on a pole donated by the Montgomery County Parks Department, and the flag will fly at over the site welcoming travelers to Clarksburg.
“I wanted the design to be clean and simplistic, yet capture the true essence of Clarksburg,” said Peek about her flag. “I found the Maryland State Flag to be an obvious and necessary inclusion in the design because what better city to represent Maryland than Clarksburg. Clarksburg was, and continues to be, a city that thrives on the idea of diverse community harmoniously living, working shopping and thriving together. The tree in my design represents the community, life and continued growth of Clarksburg. The silhouette of the building is Dowden’s Ordinary, one of the most historical sites in Clarksburg. With Dowden’s Ordinary being captured on the flag we will forever remember the historic moments which took place in our city. My design is a blend of traditional and contemporary, which I believe is the true embodiment of Clarksburg — past, present, and future.”
Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice spoke about Clarksburg’s need to continue to grow and thrive. He pointed out the decline the small town suffered when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad moved its line from Clarksburg to Boyds to connect with its new destination in Brunswick.
“Clarksburg declined when it didn’t have the connectivity it needed to thrive,” said Rice. “In other words, the infrastructure that needed to be there for Clarksburg to continue to be successful, grow, and prosper wasn’t there, and it led to some of its decline. I think about that now, and I think about the lack of connectivity when it comes to mass transit in Clarksburg. I think about the lack of connectivity when it comes to our road network infrastructure — the things that you are owed as a community that used to be there, but is not there now. They need to be at the forefront of what we are working for to make sure that you have so that Clarksburg can live up to the history that it once had, of being one of the best places in all of Montgomery County to live.”
Top: Members of the Clarksburg Elementary fifth grade class raise the official Clarksburg flag at Dowden’s Ordinary Park.
Next: The flag flies over the park.
Next: The flag’s designer Shaneea Peek addresses the dignitaries and talks about her design.
Next: The flag with fifth graders from Clarksburg Elementary School, along with Clarksburg Elementary School Principal Carl R. Bencal, Montgomery County Councilman Craig Rice, and flag designer Shaneea Peek.
Next: The Clarksburg Flag.
Photos by Germantown Pulse