The earliest inhabitants of the Monocacy River Valley lived here about 12,000 years ago. These Native Americans lived in territorial, semi-nomadic groups dependent upon hunting, fishing, and food gathering.
When European settlers first came to Maryland, they encountered Native Americans who depended upon farming and who had established villages, being less reliant on hunting and gathering. River valleys such as the Monocacy provided desirable settlement areas, and by the time of permanent European settlement, the Native Americans had been forced to move west.
The German and British settlers brought with them distinctive building styles. The German tradition of stone and timber construction can still be seen in the Monocacy Valley with fine examples such as Scheifferstadt (built ca. 1736) in Frederick. British settlers utilized more brick than stone in construction.
The Monocacy River Valley was opened for settlement in 1730, when Frederick Calvert, sixth Lord Baltimore, offered free land in the area to attract settlers. People of German descent came from Pennsylvania, following the Monocacy River Valley south. English and Scotch-Irish settlers came from Southern Maryland and present day Montgomery County.