Staff photo by Bill Green

A keypad and deadbolt at the front entrance of the Barbara Fritchie House at 154 W. Patrick St., which is now an Airbnb, may need to be removed or altered because the hardware is not permitted under Frederick Town Historic District guidelines. Members of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission deferred action on a request to allow the lock to stay until their next meeting on March 28 to give staff members and the owner time to research other options.

Visitors to Frederick have a chance to stay in the home of one of America’s great patriots.

Well, sort of.

The Barbara Fritchie house at 154 West Patrick St. was built in 1927, based on the original home of Fritchie, a Frederick resident who became famous as a Unionist during the Civil War. The original structure was washed away in a flood.

But the landmark is of note, as it’s the scene of where Fritchie garnered fame in a John Greenleaf Whittier poem where Fritchie waved the U.S. flag out her window and pleaded with a Confederate general “shoot if you must this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag.”

In 2018, the home became an AirBnB and features a host of artifacts of Fritchies, including a teapot from which she served President George Washington in 1791 during one of his visits to Frederick, according to the Barbara Fritchie House website.

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter: @AllenWEtzler

Allen Etzler is a city editor at the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at

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