N 39° 41.723' W 077° 19.615'
Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
United States Near By Caches
IMPORTANT: This virtual cache is located at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Park in Emmitsburg, MD. The park is located on the campus of the National Fire Academy, which is a controlled access federal property. Access will be restricted if the Terror Alert Level is raised to Orange (Severe) or higher. Upon arrival, you will need to show ID and may be subject to a random vehicle search. Be sure to view the preceding link for further information prior to your visit. When you arrive, let them know you are there for the Memorial Park, which is available from dawn to dusk.
The Chapel and many other buildings on campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1997, the site was designated as the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Chapel to denote its special bond to America's fallen firefighters and their families.
During the early 1800s, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, the only canonized American-born saint, established the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg. In 1809, she opened a boarding school for girls on this site. The school later became St. Joseph's College, one of America's first Catholic women's colleges.
Mother Seton selected the site for the Chapel before her death in 1821. Construction of the Romanesque Revival-style chapel began in 1839. The exterior is brick set on a stone foundation. Tuscan pilasters with granite capitals and bases, semi-circular stained glass windows, brick dentils, and a wood niche grace the outside of the building. A low, turned rail separates the nave from the sanctuary with its marble altar and massive pedimented niche. The bell that hangs in the steeple came from Spain in 1841.
During the Civil War, the Daughters of Charity went to the nearby Gettysburg battlefield and set up headquarters in the McClellan Hotel. From this base, they went out to several sites to nurse the wounded. Both Union and Confederate troops were on the Emmitsburg campus prior to the end of June 1863. After the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate soldiers passing by the campus in escape were fed.
The Daughters of Charity closed the College in 1973, and sold the buildings and more than 100 acres to the Federal Government in 1979.
To confirm your visit please post a photo of yourself and / or your GPS at the chapel.
The trailhead coordinates below are for the gated entrance to the grounds.