est. 1797

Hagerstown Town & Country Almanack

he Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack was established in 1797, making it the second oldest almanac in the United States. It began in a modest print shop on South Potomac Street in Hagerstown, Maryland and was the creation of colonial printer John Gruber and his partner and son-in-law Daniel May. Gruber is considered by many to be one of Hagerstown's "favorite sons" right along with Jonathan Hager, the town's founder and namesake. Gruber's almanac has been published continuously for 226 years and is the ONLY almanac that is still published today by direct descendants of its founder.

The Almanack, as it soon became known, grew in popularity, quickly becoming an integral part of everyday Early American life. For many years hence, it was THE primary source for agricultural, meteorological and astronomical information vital to an agrarian community's survival. The highly accurate weather forecasts (made over 16 months in advance) were first derived using centuries-old methods but over the years, the method has been advanced, incorporating newer, more reliable techniques. And it still contains favorite folk remedies, useful hints and tips for everyday living, and other forms of traditional community wisdoms. Millions of copies have been sold and it has been said that the The Almanack has made Hagerstown widely-known throughout the U.S. and has given Maryland an ‘epicenter’ of farming and agricultural life.

Throughout its long history, The Almanack has been recognized countless times for its contributions to the steady development and success of colonial agrarian society (see Maryland Traditions' 2012 ALTA Award for Tradition  as well as for making a significant contribution to our national pride (see Hagerstown Celebrates Star Spangled Banner's 200th Anniversary!). 

Gruber's Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack Company has been recognized by Wikipedia as the 54th oldest company in the United  States (the full list) and 1509th oldest in the world (the full list).

June: Patterns Favor Plentiful Strawberries  

Now that the heat and humidity is returning with a vengeance, will June bring the onset of the first heatwave and will you need to water the garden frequently? In his  monthly article for the Cumberland Times-News, Almanack Weather Pronosticator/Meteorologist, Chad Merrill, lays out his forecast forecast appearing in the Saturday, May 28th edition but you can read it here  first.

The Almanack Makes History Again
with Gibbs-Smith Education!

In mid-May of 2021, the publishing house, Gibbs Smith Education, approached The Almanack, asking for support to provide historical backgrond on John Gruber, colonial printer, and more specifically, his Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack. to be included in a new text book for intermediate grade social studies curriculum. Aligned to meet new Maryland State Social Studies standards, the new text book entitled, Maryland: An American Adventure 1780–Present tells the complete story of the state and its nation’s growth over more than two centuries. Heavily illustrated with color maps, charts, photos, and illustrations, this is an indispensable tool for students to engage with both Maryland and American history, from its earliest days to the present day. Gibbs Smith used content from several vintage issues of The Almanack to depict rural life during this period, highlighting John Gruber's  contribution to the agricultural way of life.  Click here for more information on this and other text books and associated curricula from Gibbs-Smith and click here for the actual page in the new text book where The Almanack's content is used, along with associated questions for the students to discuss.

May: Spring Chill Doesn't Want To Fade 

With April producing one of the most volatile months in weather history for Cumberland, many wonder if Mother Nature’s big sneezes and ciool tempertures will continue into May and when it will be safe to plant flowers in the garden.  In his  monthly article for the Cumberland Times-News, Almanack Weather Pronosticator/Meteorologist, Chad Merrill, lays out his forecast forecast appearing in the Saturday, April 30th edition but you can read it here  first.

Cumberland Times-News References Almanack Prognosticator's Forecasts

 In the recent article, 'Spring storm makes travel treacherous', The Cumberland News-Times reviews the snow storms in Cumberland and surroundng counties, referencing Almanack Prognosticator and Meteorologist, Chad Merrill's forecasting for the storms.  Merrill also notes some record-breaking snowfall in various areas of the region.  Click here for the full article.

The Almanack and PennState Extension Educators 
Review Procedures for Dairy, Vegetable, and Fruit Farmers

Almanack Weather Prognosticator, Chad Merrill is joined by  Cassie Yost and Karly Regan, PennState Extension Educators, who review suggested late spring into summer procedures for dairy, vegetable and fruit farmers with an outlook for the late-spring-into-summer season in this latest podcast. Click here for the full broadcast and watch for their feature articles in the coming 2023 edition of The Hagerstown Town and Country Alamack!   

April: Don't Pack Away Warm Clothing!

Greetings Western Maryland and the Potomac Highlands! The best way to describe March was a random Powerball drawing where any number from 1 to 69 could be drawn and that was the day’s high temperature. Going forward into April, we see a chill on the horizon, but also a summer preview in the making. Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack Prognosticator/Meteorologist, Chad Merrill's monthy weather review that will appear in the The Cumberland Tmes-News on Sunday, March 27, 2022 but as alwys, followers of The Almanck get the chance to read it first right here!  

John Gruber Recognized by
The Washington County Historical Society 

The Washington County Historical Society recognizes John Gruber in its article entitled, 'Enjoy the Hagers-town Town and Country Almanack? Thank John Gruber — ‘the German Printer’', appearing in Hagerstown, Maryland's own Herald-Mail on Sunday, March 13, 2022.  The article, written by William Maharay, President of the Board of the Washington County Historical Society, focuses on the printing legacy of the colonial printer, including his famous publication, The  Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack!  Click here for the full article.  

                                             For more HAGERSTOWN ALMANACK NEWS, click here