Mountaindale – A Log Cabin Community in Frederick

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If you decide to take a “country drive” in the Frederick, MD area, you’ve got to check out this treasure – Mountaindale.

Mountaindale is a log cabin community in Frederick, and it’s absolutely charming!

When Pam and I drove up there this week to take some pictures, we both had the feeling of going back in time.

It’s just so peaceful, and when you’re there it feels like you’re far away from the rest of civilization – which is kind of nice!

bridge

After we explored Mountaindale, I decided to google it to get some information on the history of this area.  I was so surprised how difficult it was for me to find any information about Mountaindale!

I did find, though, a Maryland Historical Trust document that I was able to get some history from!

According to the document, this area is officially called the Cold Deer Historic District.  It’s named after one of the early buildings, the Cold Deer Hunting and Fishing Club.

hunting club

The Cold Deer Hunting and Fishing Club was built in 1943 and it helped establish the character of the district.

This area is known as Mountaindale to the residents.

cabin with flag

There are 25 log houses in Mountaindale, constructed between 1935 and 1960.  The rustic construction of these homes makes the area similar to a mountain camp that parallels the architecture and conservation trends of the National Park Service during the 1930’s.

trish cabin

The cabins and the community itself is located on the slope of Catoctin Mountain, and it was influenced by resort and park pavilion architecture of the Catoctin Mountain Park, a project of the 1930’s Civilian Conservation Corps.

chickens

I love that a creek, Fishing Creek, runs alongside the log cabins in Mountaindale, and that the area is heavily wooded with evergreen and deciduous trees.  And, this time of year, with the leaves turning differenct colors, it makes it even more of a special visit!

pumpkins

Evidently, one of the log cabins was built between 1830 and 1840 and it’s associated with a demolished saw mill from the mid to late 19th century.  It’s called the Smith-Weddle House.  Pam and I surely drove by it, but I don’t remember which one it is – a great excuse to go back!

Also, one of the entrances to the Frederick City Watershed is located at one end of Mountaindale.  It’s really a nature-lover’s dream.  Close to this entrance, we found a home with a very Halloween-y decoration!

halloween mask

So, if you’re like my husband and I, you enjoy the occasional “Sunday drive”, and like to explore and discover different parts of Frederick County – then, take a little detour to Mountaindale on your way to an apple orchard!  You’ll feel like you’re a million miles from home, but yet, if you’re like me, you’ll feel like you could make it your home!

welcome to the cabin

For local Fredericktonians – do you know of any further history of Mountaindale?  Share with us in the comments below!

cabin in the distance

20 thoughts on “Mountaindale – A Log Cabin Community in Frederick”

  1. I drove through it today and am surprised at the lack of information! Thank you for the post and I especially enjoyed the info in the comments.

    Reply
  2. Hello Terri
    I really enjoyed your article, and the pictures are great. It has inspired me to take a drive out that way to show my daughter where her great grandfather was born and raised, as I am a granddaughter of Ira Weddle. Pap was one of 13 who lived in the Mountaindale area before getting married and moving into Frederick. Thank you so much!

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    • Thank you so much! I’m just so intrigued with that area and the history of it! Enjoy when you go visit it again ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. After WW II the famous German rocket scientist Werner Von Braun lived in one of the cabins. There is the story of a truck carrying a load of his secret papers getting stuck on the road into Mountaindale which caused quite a stir. Many locals are unaware that the OSS, forerunner of the CIA operated a secret training base for agents that were to be deployed to Europe.

    Reply
  4. Growing up my grand father owned the upper store in Mountaindale. Across from it was is house and the building beside it was the original mountaindale store which still stands to this day.
    Everyone knew everybody, if you were to take a ride back in the early 70s thru mountaindale you were likely to see our family gathered on the front porch on Sunday afternoon just after my grandmother had fixed lunch on most every sunday, you would see Pap Rice walking across the road heading to feed the Rabbit dogs and chickens. It’s possible you might pass someone driving down from the mountains with a bag hanging out the door, which had rattle snakes in it which they caught and sold. If you were to stop by the store you could find just about anything you needed, I would be outside getting a snow cone from Mr. Ellis who ran the store at the time. Once a year there would be the Mountaindale picnic and the Rice reunion and everyone in the area would attend. The Picnic grounds still remain today but it has been over taken by trees. The stage and swing sets still stand strong. My grandfather was a well known man around the area and would give anyone anything they needed.if you were to drive up by these cabins you would see a sawmill which he owned and operated before he donated it to Frederick city. And if you drive into the mountains you’ll have a choice either to take the right or left hand fork road. So many memories.
    Enjoy your drive, but you will encounter a rough road! Better take the SUV or the Truck

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    • Thank you for your memories Darren! We just love being able to visualize what life was like “back in the day”! That area is very cool.

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    • Marion Rice was my great-Uncle and I grew up attending those wonderful Rice Reunions. I thought my Uncle owned the store you talked about, and I was told as a child that my father, who was a bricklayer helped to build the store. We used to get free candy! Are we related?

      Reply
  5. I live in one of the houses pictured. You did a great job with your story and taught me a little about the history of my neighborhood. I was told that at one point this was a hunting getaway. Hunters would come up from the city to hunt and stay in these cabins.

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  6. So excited to read this! We moved to Frederick from the West Coast about 6 years ago and one of our first explorations was Catoctin Mountain area. These cabins were such a curiosity to us but we couldn’t find any information on them at the time. Of course anytime we drive or bike through we resume our wonder–is it a former resort or some sort of commune or something else? Great to know some historical facts now. I hope others chime in with even more!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your comment Rachel! I was so surprised that there wasn’t more information online about it! It really is a special place ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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