Emmitsburg Things to Do

  • Front of the Stone House
    Front of the Stone House
    by mtncorg
  • House standing more sturdy than in past
    House standing more sturdy than in past
    by mtncorg
  • Squirrel gathering among the Sisters
    Squirrel gathering among the Sisters
    by mtncorg

Most Recent Things to Do in Emmitsburg

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    STONE HOUSE

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Front of the Stone House
    2 more images

    There are several buildings and monuments that stand just south of the Basilica that were important to St Elizabeth and the community she founded. The Stone House was the first home for St Elizabeth in the St Joseph's Valley. The house was originally built about 1750, but at the time Mother Seton and the 16 others that lived with her for the first winter lived here the house was nowhere near as tight and tucked up as it is today. Winter drafts found their ways through the stones. Plus, the house was originally located near Tom's Creek, a few miles away. The house was moved to its present location only in 1979. Its importance relates to the fact that in this house is where Mother Seton began the Sisters of Charity.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    WHITE HOUSE

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The White House of Mother Seton
    1 more image

    Named St Joseph House by Mother Seton, the White House was originally located east of the large brick chapel you can see over on the neighboring National Emergency Training Center grounds - then the chapel for St Joseph's College. The White House, originally built in 1809-10, became the new home for the Sisters of Charity with sleeping quarters on the second floor. The House became home to both Sisters and boarders who took advantage of the first parochial school in the US. The building was moved here from its original site in 1845.

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    MORTUARY CHAPEL

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mortuary Chapel is surrounded by the Sisters
    4 more images

    The cemetery site was chosen in August 1809 with Harriet Seton being the first to be interred at the young age of 22. Mother Seton was buried next to her relatives under a large oak tree on Jan 4, 1821 - the tree was removed after a lightning strike in 1984 and another has taken its place. A stone marker marks her original grave site. Her sons gave money to start a more fitting resting place and eventually the Mortuary Chapel was completed in 1846 to where Mother Seton's remains were thence removed. Mother Seton has moved on since then. After her sainthood, she was moved to the Seton Chapel in the Basilica. The original gravesite is just to the right of the Mortuary Chapel - next to her two daughters and sisters-in-law.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • newyorkerman's Profile Photo

    A Religious Haven

    by newyorkerman Updated Oct 2, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Portrait of St. Elizabeth Bayley Seton
    4 more images

    Located near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, Emmitsburg still maintains some of the quiet, rural life it knew at the time it experienced part of the Confederate invasion during the Civil War.
    Though small and remote, nevertheless, this town served an important role in the religious history of this nation. A number of French clergy found a new home here, after fleeing the terrors of their Revolution. After settling, they opened St. Mary Seminary, which still trains clergy for the various dioceses of the United States.
    New York City, in 1809, saw the conversion of the prominent young widow, Elizabeth Bayley Seton, to the Roman church. As a result of this decision, however, Mrs. Seton became a social outcast, and lost her sole means of providing for herself and her young children. Long known for her solicitude for the poor of the city, the Abbé's offered her a place of refuge, similar to what they themselves had found there.
    A year later, she was led to found a group of relgious Sisters dedicated to the service of the poor, especially in educating the children they served. Known as the Sisters of Charity, foundations of this congregation spread throughout the United States and Canada. Her work is considered the foundation of the parochial school system in this nation.
    In 1975, Mother Seton (as she came to be known) was declared a saint of the Roman Catholic church. She was the first U.S.-born citizen to be so honored. Today her remains are preserved and honored at a shrine locaged at the college still run by the community of Sisters she founded.
    It was a branch of these Sisters who taught me for most of my student career before college. Located not far from Gettysburg, I was able to stop and pay my own honor to the women who helped make this education possible through the commitment of their lives.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • davecallahan's Profile Photo

    Mother Seton Shrine

    by davecallahan Updated Mar 21, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    stock photo of basilica

    In honor of Mother Seton and her dedication to the Sisters of Saint Joseph, a shrine and basilica are here for public view.

    The grounds are open to all for free (donations are gladly accepted). There are paths to walk and contemplate nature; there is a museum with artificats and information from the history of Elizabeth Seton and the Sisters of Charity. The basilica is beautiful and masses are said there on a regular schedule (see website below). Of course they also have a gift shop where christian memorabilia and souveniers can be purchased.

    Spend at least an hour here; more than two hours if you attend one of the masses.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • davecallahan's Profile Photo

    National Fallen Firefighters memorial

    by davecallahan Updated Mar 21, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a walkway with the names of deceased firemen and firewomen who have died in the line of duty. The names are on plaques and inlayed in stepping stones. There is a stone pylon with a dedication to all the firefighters in the nation.

    This is about a half-hour tourist stop.
    Visit the Seton Chapel and walk the Seton grounds when you are done with the Firefighters Memorial.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    MOTHER SETON STATUE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Statue of Mother Seton
    1 more image

    Next to the Grotto you can find the small stone Corpus Christi Chapel that was built in 1905. Next to this is the first statue erected of St Elizabeth Ann Seton. Here, in the small natural amphitheater discovered by Rev John DuBois, Mother Seton used to come and pray and teach the catechism to her students in this rustic setting.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    PANGBORN MEMORIAL CAMPANILE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Campanile from the parking lot
    1 more image

    Standing 95 feet high, the campanile was erected on the site of the original St Mary's Church. Topped with a glorious gold-leafed 25 feet high statue of the Virgin Mary that can be seen for miles around, the tower was erected in 1965. The Virgin seems to be rising from the forest above Mount St Mary's University below.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    GROTTO OF LOURDES

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Grotto of Lourdes above Mount St Mary's
    4 more images

    I have no idea how many replicas of the French original there are in the World - probably easy enough to google though, I imagine. This is the second I have visited, the other being in ArgentinaL%*. The grotto is built near the site of the old original St Mary's church where St Elizabeth Ann Seton used to worship. Originally, the grotto was discovered by one of the fathers - Rev John DuBois - who found a small creek that flowed around a large oak tree caused a small depression. He erected a cross above and the site became a local place for refuge and prayer. The grotto was later made to look like the one in southern France where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubriuos on 18 different occasions. The Grotto is located above the Mount St Mary's University that impresses you from the road of US 15. It is marked by a large campanile topped with a gold-leafed statue of the Virgin Mary. As you walk back to the grotto from the large parking lot, you will pass the various Stations of the Cross - here represented upon bronze plaques which replaced earlier wooden representations - to get you into the proper mindset.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY AND GETTYSBURG

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tablet explaining the Sisters of Charity
    2 more images

    Mother Seton's Sisters of Charity had been renamed the Daughters of Charity after 1850. They were prominent in providing nursing and compassionate work to those affected by the horrible fighting at nearby Gettysburg. The sad story of Union Maj. Gen. John Reynolds and his fiance Catherine (Kate) Hewitt is told on one of the Civil War Traveler tablets in the Basilica parking lot. They had met three years earlier and had become secretly engaged, sailing out from San Francisco together and exchanging rings. Their betrothal was to be announced to his family on July 8, 1863, but Reynolds was killed on the first day of Gettysburg. Kate entered into religious life afterwards as a result of a promise if something were to happen to Reynolds. She joined the Daughters of Charity in the spring of 1864 and lived a religious life until she renounced her orders four years later when she left the stage of history as the tablet relates.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    CIVIL WAR PAYBACK

    by mtncorg Updated Oct 28, 2006

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tablet describing circumstances of statue
    1 more image

    As the Gettysburg Campaign was beginning to come to a crescendo, it looked like a big battle might take place in or around Emmittsburg with some 80000 Union troops making their way through the town. One Corps commander set up headquarters in the Stone House temporarily. As the Union troops concentrated the Sisters prayed that their community would not be directly involved in the fighting. They prayed and promised to erect a statue of Notre Dame des Victories if their prayers were answered. Shortly thereafter, the battle did take place, but a few miles up the road in Pennsylvania, at Gettysburg. The statue was then erected in keeping with their promise, much in similar fashion to other such promises around the Orval

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    BASILICA

    by mtncorg Written Oct 28, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mother Seton and the Basilica
    3 more images

    The Basilica here was built to honor St Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint - so proclaimed in 1974. The Basilica is the centerpiece of the National Shrine. Here is where the mortal remains of Mother Seton have been removed to after her canonization, lying beneath the altar in the Seton Shrine Chapel. A statue of St Elizabeth stands outside the basilica in a garden. There is also a museum nearby that is dedicated to Mother Seton and the causes she espoused.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • indpenguin's Profile Photo

    Visit the first American saint!

    by indpenguin Written Mar 18, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Emmitsburg, there's the Seton shrine. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint, is from Emmitsburg and founded the Daughters of Charity, her religious order here. Especially interesting for Catholics. There is a little museum there as well as gift shops, the graveyard, and the chapel.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • indpenguin's Profile Photo

    National Grotto of Lourdes

    by indpenguin Written Mar 18, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A replica of the Lourdes shrine in France. Very beautiful to walk around on a nice day. There's a legend that the water has miraculous powers.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Emmitsburg

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

94 travelers online now

Comments

Emmitsburg Travel Guide

Emmitsburg Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Emmitsburg things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Emmitsburg sightseeing.

View all Emmitsburg hotels