Save Birely Tannery Facebook page launched

Friends of Frederick County has launched a new FoFC Save Birely Tannery page. see This is in addition to the well established FoFC Downtown Marriott Watch page run by Jane Weir:

The Save Birely site has a nice turn of phrase for the tannery based on its splendid smokestack: “The chimney among the spires.”

There’s a Save Birely Tannery flyer downloadable here:

It explains its objectives thus: “We’ve created this group to promote a thoughtful and

Top of Birely’s grand smokestack — pic by Dennis Crews

respectful exchange of information, suggestions and opinions in support of Saving Birely Tannery. Please make every effort to stay on the topic of supporting saving the tannery and site.

“Those interested in discussion specific to the hotel project are invited to visit our FOFC Downtown Marriott Watch Facebook page. Page Admin welcome content submissions and comments and will work with all to ensure content and context are appropriate for the page.”

The site contains refreshing new pictures of the tannery by professional photographer Dennis Crews a couple of which are reproduced nearby — see

Here is what FoFC say:

“Birely Tannery must remain to demonstrate to citizens and visitors alike, that Carroll Creek is more than a new concrete aqueduct, that a living creek useful to industry is historically integral to downtown Frederick’s prosperity and development.

Birely Tannery represents our last remaining example of the early pre-industrial growth of the City of Frederick. Without the tanning industry, Frederick might never have grown from the small downtown nucleus of about 200 houses (most log structures) to become a thriving business center.

“Tanning made the surrounding farms more profitable by adding saleable hides to their dairy and meat production. The labor and finished goods increased output and was the greatest growth industry after years of small-scale tradesmen such as coopers, tinsmiths, tailors, and tavern keepers. Most raw goods originated from sources outside town, but the tanneries concentrated activity and increased and centralized commerce. Prior output and wealth generators did not use a town location, grain and iron and glassworks situated on land near timber and transported to larger markets directly. There would be no other concentrated town industry until vegetable canning was created.

“The City of Frederick’s historic character attracts visitors and enhances our quality of life. It comes from saving more than facades; it comes from authenticity and intact historical structures residing within the downtown district.

“Friends of Frederick County supports maintaining the structural integrity of this last standing tannery in the state of Maryland, protecting its rich archaeological site rendering rare artifacts of early industry, slave labor and life along the Carroll Creek and recommends restoring it a to near-operable condition, providing a greater draw and a more interesting and educational experience for downtown tourism.

September 14th HPC meeting critical

“Time is of the essence. Please join us in sharing this message and page with a friend, utilizing social media, reaching out to local representatives, and to the City of Frederick Historic Preservation Commission to vote to SAVE BIRELY TANNERY from demolition for development on September 14, 2017.”


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