Hagerstown (pron.: /ˈheɪɡərztaʊn/) is a city in Washington County, Maryland. It is the county seat of Washington County and, and, by many definitions, the largest city in a region known as Western Maryland (if you exclude Frederick County from Western Maryland). The population of Hagerstown city proper at the 2010 census was 39,662, and the population of the Hagerstown-Martinsburg Metropolitan Area (extending into West Virginia) was 269,140. Hagerstown ranks as Maryland's sixth largest city.
Hagerstown has a distinct topography, formed by stone ridges running from northeast to southwest through the center of town. Geography accordingly bounds its neighborhoods. These ridges consist of upper Stonehenge limestone. Many of the older buildings were built from this stone, which is easily quarried and dressed onsite. It whitens in weathering and the edgewise conglomerate and wavy laminae become distinctly visible, giving a handsome and uniquely “Cumberland Valley” appearance. Several of Hagerstown’s churches are constructed of Stonehenge limestone and its value and beauty as building rock many be seen particularly in St. John’s Episcopal Church on West Antietam Street and the Presbyterian Church at the corner of Washington and Prospect Streets. Brick and concrete eventually displaced this native stone in the construction process.
Hagerstown anchors the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which lies just northwest of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV Combined Statistical Area in the heart of the Great Appalachian Valley. The population of the metropolitan area in 2010 was 269,140. Greater Hagerstown is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the state of Maryland and among the fastest growing in the United States.
Despite its semi-rural Western Maryland setting, Hagerstown is a center of transit and commerce. Interstates 81 and 70, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Winchester and Western railroads, and Hagerstown Regional Airport form an extensive transportation network for the city. Hagerstown is also the chief commercial and industrial hub for a greater Tri-State Area that includes much of Western Maryland as well as significant portions of South Central Pennsylvania and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Hagerstown has often been referred to as, and is nicknamed, the Hub City.