ECW Weekender: Summer Lectures at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn

At Emerging Civil War, we love historic preservation, military history, local history, and innovative ways to share about the past. So…when we heard about the FREE Summer Lecture Series offered at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn in Sharpsburg, Maryland, we knew this program had to get a “weekender feature” – even though the events happen on Wednesdays!

With structure dating back to 1804, the property and house known to the modern era as the Jacob Rohrbach Inn witnessed decades of history prior to the Civil War. (For a complete history of the property and families, check out this page.) In 1862, Samuel and Elizabeth Showe purchased the property which stands along the main street of street; the proud, new owners settled just weeks before the Confederate army arrived in Sharpsburg. During the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, a three-inch solid artillery shot hit the summer kitchen building, and the structures were used as field hospitals.

(official photograph from the inn’s website)

One hundred fifty-five years ago – in 1864 – Henry and Martha Rohrbach purchased the town house; this older couple had been devastated by the battle which wrecked their farm and had lost close family members.

Jacob Rohrbach, Henry’s twin brother, lived with them went they moved into their new residence in town. An excerpt from the historic site’s website explains what happened next: “On July 4th [1864] in the early morning some Confederate scouts slipped into Sharpsburg. They were men of Mosby’s Rangers and part of a cavalry screen for Jubal Early’s advancing army. There was a knock on the door and Mosby’s men were soon in the house demanding the keys to the stable where Jacob Rohrbach’s horse was quartered. Jacob was Henry’s twin brother who was living with them at the time. As Mosby’s men climbed the staircase and entered Jacob’s room, Jacob suddenly woke and one of the men shot him dead. The next day Jubal Early’s army forded the Potomac at Shepherdstown and marched past in what was to be the final Confederate raid on the Union capital.”

George Franks speaking earlier in 2019 (Facebook Photo)

It’s here at this this building with numerous historic stories and located near a turning point location of American History that the Summer Lecture Series is hosted. Chris and Amy Vincent, the current owners of the property, understand the value of history, teaching, and engaging the community. As gracious hosts of the Bed & Breakfast, they are always willing to talk history, and during the summer weeks, they open the beautiful gardens of the Inn, inviting town residents and visitors to hear presentations about Antietam’s history.

By July, about half of the lectures have already been given, but there are still some fabulous presentations ahead. The Wednesday evening programs are FREE and open to the public, held outdoors on the grounds of the Inn at 7:oo p.m. Chris and Amy suggest bringing a chair and invite you to gather at the event tent for an inspiring evening. If the weather proves uncooperative, the event event relocates to Sharpsburg Christ Reformed United Methodist Church of Christ on Main Street.

Here’s what is coming next:

  • July 24 – Jim Rosebrock – Confederate artillery commanders at Antietam
  • July 31 – Steve Stotelmyer – “John Pope at Antietam: His influence on the Maryland Campaign and the Final Attack at Antietam”
  • August 7 – Kevin Pawlak – “In the Wake of Antietam: The Loudoun Valley Campaign of 1862”
  • August 14 – Matt Borders – “A Last Roll of the Dice: The Third Confederate Invasion of the North – 1864”
  • August 21 – Alex Rossino – “The Tale Untwisted: George McClellan and the Discovery of Lee’s Lost Orders, September 13, 1862”
  • August 28 – John Schildt – “People and Places at Antietam”

Mark your calendars and take a drive to Antietam! There’s nothing like a beautiful (or stormy) late afternoon at the battlefield, and you’ll be able to finish the day in the shadow of a historic structure that offers a living opportunity to discuss the past.

Jacob Rohrbach Inn – 138 W. Main Street, Sharpsburg, Maryland 21782

2019 Lecture Series Page

Wednesdays through August 28, 2019

7p.m., outdoors; bring a comfortable chair!

Watch their Facebook page for weekly updates about the speakers and their topics and if the weather in inclement rendezvous at the church.

You might even get lucky and meet Chris and Amy’s adorable dogs at the Inn! (Facebook Photo)

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