The Maryland DNR will hold their annual Open House at Woodmont Lodge west of Hancock on Sunday, September 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Showcasing the picturesque and historic Woodmont Lodge, the annual open house allows the public to explore memories of the early days of conservation in Maryland.
The historic stone lodge was home to the earliest hunting clubs, with members that included former presidents, celebrities and other important figures.
Organized in 1870 as a premiere hunting club, Woodmont was in continuous operation for almost 125 years. Woodmont Rod and Gun Club was formed shortly after the purchase of the land.
In 1908, Henry Bridges, a lawyer and successful businessman from Hancock, organized a group of wealthy friends who were sportsmen, and purchased the land. The club became “The Woodmont Rod and Gun Club of Baltimore City,” and Henry Bridges became the secretary-treasurer. In its first year, a clubhouse was built under Bridge’s direction.
In 1930, this building was replaced by a massive three-story fieldstone structure still in use today. Massive beams, wood paneling and floors, and huge stone fire-places formed an appropriate background for more than six-hundred game trophies around the building. The upstairs held numerous bedrooms for members to use during their visits. Great leather chairs, bear skin rugs, and photographs of special guests did and still do fill the rooms today. Owners of the property have engaged in white-tail deer, turkey and pheasant management programs over the decades, along with forest management efforts.
In 1995, the Maryland DNR and Izzak Walton League of America bought Woodmont. It is not managed under the Fort Frederick State Park Complex and the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service.
Open house hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Directional signs will be placed on Woodmont Road.
The lodge is located at 11761 Woodmont Road in Hancock.