Honoring the Railroad History of Brunswick

The B&O Railyard was a major part of the development of the City of Brunswick. The WB Tower, built around 1910, controlled the train traffic for the railroad and is currently still situated along the tracks. The City plans to move the iconic tower to the heart of Railroad square to site near the historic B&O caboose and historic Brunswick Train Station. The City plans to raise public awareness of the role of the building in the history of the community as they move the structure and undertake its restoration.

Partners: City of Brunswick, Smart Growth Maryland

The Problem

The WB Tower, built around 1910, controlled the train traffic for the railroad and is currently still situated along the tracks. It’s location nearby the active tracks makes safe access and interpretation a challenge.

The Fix

The City plans to move the iconic tower to the heart of Railroad Square, a gathering site near a historic B&O caboose and historic Brunswick Train Station. Preservation Maryland will work with the City to help coordinate the Tower’s relocation and to raise awareness of Brunswick’s railroad history.



How does a conservation district differ from a historic district – and it is right for your town? The City of Brunswick, Maryland, a town in rural Frederick County, is undertaking an initiative to create protections for their historic communities in the form of a conservation district. This recorded webinar conversation recorded by Preservation Maryland and Smart Growth Maryland on September 22, 2020 walks through what a conservation district is, how it works to protect historic communities, the process Brunswick went through, and the lessons learned.



A native of Brunswick, Maryland in Frederick County, James Castle is a model citizen, dedicated volunteers, skilled historian, and stalwart preservationist…sometimes known as Brakeman Jim, while giving free tours to heritage tourists or local senior citizens. In 2015, James Castle became President of the Brunswick Potomac Foundation almost 20 years from the day he first started to volunteer for the organization. He has held the position ever since. In his tenure, Castle has led a note-worthy fundraising effort, supported the creation of a protective conservation district and the relocation of the historic WB Railroad Tower, and reinvigorated the organization’s online presence during Covid-19. Preservation Maryland is pleased to recognize Jim Castle with this year’s Preservation Maryland Best of Maryland Harrison Volunteer Award.



Gov. Hogan recently announced $600,000 in grants for capital historic preservation projects across the state, including a grant to relocate the historic B&O WB Tower in Brunswick, Maryland – also a Preservation Maryland Six-to-Fix project and recipient of a Heritage Fund grant from Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust.



City of Brunswick Master Plan
City of Brunswick

Exploring Brunswick Through the Eyes of Lifetime Residents & Champions, Norm and Karen Cornelius
Preservation Maryland

Annual Brunswick Railroad Days
City of Brunswick

A Brief History of Brunswick
Greater Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce

Brunswick Historic District
Maryland Historical Trust
National Register Historic District

Brunswick Railway Station
Maryland Historical Trust Easement

Brunswick Turntable
Maryland Historical Trust
National Register Eligibility Form

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