Frederick County to Host “Crossroads: Change in Rural America”

Crossroads: Change in Rural America logoFrederick County will host Crossroads: Change in Rural America the traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition focusing on growth and development in America’s small towns, presented through Maryland Humanities’ Museum on Main Street program.

Crossroads: Change in Rural America is opening at Rose Hill Manor Park in Frederick on March 4. The exhibition will open to the public at 11 a.m. The museum serves as a venue on a five-stop tour of the state. Each Crossroads partner created its own exhibit to complement the Smithsonian’s exhibition.

Frederick County’s unique location has placed it at the Crossroads of local and national events throughout history. From its use as a place through which nomadic Indigenous peoples traveled to its role as a pre-Revolution gatekeeper to the west, to its prominence as a spot along the national road, to the establishment of inviting hotels and inns for tourists in motorcars, Frederick has seen many people come and go via its roadways. Railroads and canals brought innovations in industry to the region and continued over the years to lead the growth and changes to our small towns nestled among the rolling hills. This growth has often at times come with change, resistance, and suppression. The exhibit at Rose Hill looks at how our local communities have adapted and changed as a result of the literal crossroads of waterways, roads, and railroads and the figurative crossroads of local and national events. Stories from the inhabitants of Rose Hill, other Frederick County Parks, and our Main Streets will highlight these themes throughout the exhibit while companion exhibits through the county will highlight additional county stories.

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America helps our community connect our past to our current lives and to ask questions about our future,” said Amanda Venable, Museum Manager of Rose Hill Manor Park and Museums. “Frederick’s rural heritage is so important to our community and it’s important that we examine how our rural life has created our identity and what aspects of that identity we want to preserve and what aspects we want to evolve into our growing and diverse community.”

This project was made possible by a grant from Maryland Humanities, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Maryland Humanities.

Crossroads is the eighth Museum on Main Street project brought to small communities throughout the state by Maryland Humanities. Each site hosts the exhibition for five to six weeks and develops a complementary exhibit highlighting their community’s heritage and histories.

“We are looking forward to the next iteration of Museums on Main Street, an invaluable tool for Maryland organizations,” says Lindsey Baker, executive director of Maryland Humanities. “We are so thankful to bring another tour around the state because the program has a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact on the partner organizations and their communities.”

Crossroads programming is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Maryland, and Maryland Public Television is the tour’s Media Sponsor. Rose Hill Manor’s partners are Frederick County Public Libraries, Catoctin Furnace Historical Society, Heritage Frederick, The Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick Arts Council, Monocacy National Battlefield, Brunswick Heritage Museum, Hood College, and Friends of Rural Roads.

Crossroads runs at Rose Hill Manor March 4–April 14, 2023. Rose Hill Manor is located at 1611 North Market Street in Frederick. The exhibition will be on view daily, from 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Learn more at, or by calling (301) 600-1650 or for further information. Rose Hill Manor is accessible by Transit. Take the 65 Connector or the North Frederick Shuttle, or if you’re comfortable walking or rolling, the 60 Connector drops off on 14th Street. Transit is free to ride and you can plan your trip on Google Maps.