Reisterstown is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Baltimore County, Maryland,United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 25,968.
John Reister purchased a 20-acre (81,000 m2) tract of land, which he called "Reister's Desire", along the Conewago Road on March 2, 1758. He built a tavernon the site, providing food, drink and lodging for travelers. Other businesses serving travelers soon followed, creating the settlement known as Reister's Town, and eventually Reisterstown. With the purchase of another 83 acres (340,000 m2) adjoining the original property in 1763, Reister began developing both sides of Conewago Road, later renamed Reisterstown Road. In 1764, John Reister purchased a three-quarter acre lot, which he named Church Hill, as a site for the community's first church, a small building constructed of logs. Funded and built by the Lutheran community, the church was free to all denominations. The building also served as a school house, a secondary function typical of churches at that time.The town raised money with a public subscription and replaced the log building with a brick school building in 1824, named Franklin Academy in honor ofBenjamin Franklin. A cupola was added to the school in 1826. Franklin Academy became the first public high school in the county in 1874 and one of the earliest schools to join the Baltimore County school system. The former Franklin Academy was converted into a public library in the early 1900s. It still stands beside the Reisterstown Community Cemetery, across the street from the present-day Franklin Middle School. Franklin Academy's cupola, known as the Franklin Bell, is in front of Franklin High School.