Photo Credit: Jamie Brady
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During the Maryland Campaign of the American Civil War in 1862, Union forces occupying the summit, which was being used as an observation and signal station, first spotted the Army of Northern Virginia on September 5 as it crossed the Potomac River into Maryland. The following morning as the small Union force on the mountain began to retreat in the face of the oncoming Confederate Army, they ran into the unsuspecting 1st North Carolina Infantry and a small skirmish ensued. The Union force was able to escape, but it was later caught by Confederate cavalry at Urbana.
In the early 1900s Chicago businessman Gordon Strong bought substantial land holdings on and around the mountain. In 1925, the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, on commission from Strong, proposed an automobile objective development for the top of the mountain, but that was never carried out. The general circular concept of this unbuilt project was used to some degree in the design of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, briefly considered using Sugarloaf as his Presidential retreat, but he was persuaded by Gordon Strong to choose the nearby Shang-Ri-La site on the Catoctin Mountain, which today is known as Camp David.
Gordon Strong set up a trust fund in 1947 that maintains a trail system and other tourist facilities at Sugarloaf Mountain. The mountain and its immediate environs continue to be open to the public, but they are privately owned by Stronghold, Incorporated.
Sugarloaf Mountain is an area tourist attraction, free of an admission charge, and open to the public. Activities include hiking, rock climbing, picnicking, and sightseeing. The mountain is known to locals for its scenic views.
Sugarloaf Mountain is also a popular destination for Washington, DC area road cyclists.
Description from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
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