Top 50x2: Geneco and The Trail House

In this year’s special edition of Frederick Top 50x2, we are recognizing Frederick County’s most resilient businesses that have been serving our community for 20 years or more.  Each week we will be highlighting businesses and organizations that were selected for the publication.  These are the companies that prove that Frederick County is a great place to do business. 

The General Engineering Co. (Geneco)
55 S. Carroll St. | Frederick
Established: 1936

Founder: William A. Riddell

We started as a supplier of replacement parts for coal burning stokers.  We have since evolved into a manufacturer of products for underground utilities.  Our principle products are SEALTITE Sewer Pipe Saddles, GENECO Cleanouts, Valve Box Risers and Covers, Valve Stem Extensions, misc. related Hand Tools and Custom Fabrications, all of which we sell to municipalities and wholesalers nationwide.  Locally we are, ourselves, a waterworks wholesaler.

What is your advice to a young company?

Work at something you enjoy.  Don't be greedy.  Look for "opportunities to grow" - don't jump carelessly, but don't be afraid to jump.  The sign of a good company is not that they don't make mistakes, but that they own them and correct them to their customer's satisfaction!

The Trail House
17 S. Market St. | Frederick
Established: 1984

Founders: Clyde and Gerry Hicks

Specialty outdoor retail store for any outdoor activity. We can prepare you for anything, walking, hiking, camping, climbing, and many other activities with clothing, footwear, packs, tents, accessories and more.

Describe a significant event in your company’s history.

In March 2020 Clyde and Gerry Hicks started to transition the ownership of The Trail House to their oldest son Drennan and his wife Catie Hicks. While the transition was not what was originally envisioned with the COVID-19 pandemic, with the support of the Frederick community they are confident in serving the outdoor needs of customers for another 36 years.

What is your advice to a young company?

Use the resources you have.  Talk to other businesses. Get involved with organizations.

Frederick County is very fortunate to have an amazing business community, especially those that have been in business for over 20 years.  We understand that there are more than 100 legacy businesses in Frederick County, but unfortunately, we were not able to include all these businesses in the Top 50x2.  The businesses included were selected from responses submitted to a business survey.  OED staff verified the responses and then selected the businesses on a first come first serve basis.  If your business would like to be included in future opportunities, please email

Some photographs included in the publication were taken pre-COVID.  OED encourages everyone to follow precautionary guidelines set forth by the Frederick County Health Department.