Hagerstown, Md., is known as the Hub City because of its location at the crossroads of two major interstates - I-70 and I-81. The city serves as the seat of Washington County and is approximately 75 miles from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Prospective owners of Hagerstown apartments for rent will join a population of nearly 40,000 people spread over an area of 11.79 square miles.
Hagerstown is the namesake of Jonathan Hager, a gunsmith, fur trader, farmer and politician who founded the settlement in 1762, although it was originally named Elizabethtowne after his wife. Because of its strategic location at the crossroads of the Eastern Native American North/South Trading Route (now Route 11) and the First National Road (now Route 40), the town developed rapidly - especially during the age of the railroad. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad built a branch rail line to Hagerstown, and the area was also a stop on the Penn Central, Norfolk & Western and Chesapeake & Ohio lines. The railroad industry still exists in Hagerstown in the form of freight transportation.
During World War II, the city housed the Fairchild-Hiller Corporation airplane factory, which manufactured three models of fighter planes used to train pilots, along with an Army staffers' passenger plane. Today, Hagerstown is a center of commerce, government and recreation in Washington County.
Hagerstown is part of the Washington County Public Schools district, which is comprised of 46 school facilities and serves more than 22,000 students. The school district is the county's largest employer and had nearly 3,000 workers in 2011. Other major employers in the area include Meritus Health, payment processing company First Data and the federal, state, county and city governments.
The city is home to the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, which is made up of five universities (Frostburg State, Salisbury, Towson, the University of Maryland - College Park and the University of Maryland - University College) and offers 13 undergraduate and eight graduate programs. Hagerstown Community College is another option for local residents, providing more than 100 programs of study in addition to non-credit continuing education courses, customized training programs and the county's adult education program.
The cost of living in Hagerstown is a little higher than the national average. The city registered at 106.1 on City-Data.com's March 2012 cost of living index, in comparison with the U.S. average of 100. The median gross rent of apartments in Hagerstown is $753, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
As well as being a transportation hub, Hagerstown is a center of culture. The town even has its own arts and entertainment district that houses the Maryland Theatre, home of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, the Mansion House Art Gallery and the Hagerstown Railroad Museum are all located in the City Park area.
Hagerstown is also part of the Quad State Corridor, which extends along Interstate 81 through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. The Corridor features numerous state and national parks, acres of farmland, more than 500 restaurants and a plethora of antique stores, malls and specialty shops. History buffs will be in their element, as there are plenty of Civil War sites and battlegrounds along the Corridor, including the Mountain State Battlefield, Antietam National Battlefield and the site of the July 1863 Battle of Hagerstown, which are all in Washington County.
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