BOONSBORO, Md. (DC News Now) — A historic property dating back to George Washington’s time will soon be a major tourist attraction.

Maryland’s Department of Parks is investing $2 million to purchase the Old South Mountain Inn, which was once a wagon stop on the Old National Road. It was an outpost for John Brown on his raid on Harpers Ferry – most recently it was a restaurant.

Don Horner of Thurmont is a frequent visitor to the adjacent parks and Appalachian Trail and said, “It’s important to preserve this. I believe it is. The stonework on these bridges and houses is unique.”

The new visitors center will serve as an access center to five adjacent state parks and scenic battlefields.

Tom and Donna Pellinger from the Eastern Shore of Maryland brought their two young sons to trails near the inn and were excited to start the week enjoying the region’s outdoors.

“Friends suggested hiking and slash trail running here and my boys love it here,” Tom Pellinger said. “It’s great to exercise in nature.”

“We look forward to going to Greenbrier State Park when we leave here,” said Donna Pellinger. “It’s just up the road.”

Forgive park visitor Don Horner for being sentimental about all the history around here.

“I think it’s important to keep in perspective that once you forget your past, your future doesn’t look too good,” he said

The Old South Mountain Inn is part of a $12 million project to protect 1,000 acres statewide.