Historical Society of
Mount Airy, Maryland, Inc.
In times gone by, Mount Airy was a center of commerce. People living in the area either worked their farms or lived and worked in town. Shops including grocery stores, a drug store, barber shops, hardware stores, banks and others were owned by local merchants and provided goods to the local residents. These shops provided employment for people who did not make a living by farming. Very few people commuted to work as they do today.
This exhibit presents a glimpse into some of the businesses that flourished in Mount Airy providing goods, services and employment to the citizens of this community. For more information, click here.
Mount Airy's education system has evolved over the years, from the one room schoolhouse at Pine Grove to Parr's Ridge Elementary. Our museum has a fine display on all of the schools that have made Mt. Airy home, including:
Parrsville, then Pine Grove One-Room Schoolhouse
St. James School (which housed Mt. Airy Elementary grades 1-4)
Old Mount Airy School
Mount Airy Elementary (in its various locations)
Mount Airy Middle School
Mount Airy High School (in various locations)
Parr's Ridge Elementary School (housing K-2)
Twin Ridge Elementary School
The most exciting part of our education display is an interactive computer board, where visitors can look up those residents who attended Mount Airy High School from its inception to its closing in 1967. For more information, click here.
The Robert Garrett Sanatorium was a hospital for poor children between the ages of 2 and 12. It was named for the husband of founder Mary Garrett. Children from Baltimore would be brought by train from a hospital in Baltimore in June and returned to Baltimore when they were cured or when cooler weather in September arrived. For more information click here.
The railroad signal, which is located outside of the Mount Airy Museum, was once located at the Mount Airy junction, the point at which the western end of the Mount Airy Branch of the B&O Railroad rejoined the Old Main Line. Read the story of the signal and how it is was used to control the movement of trains through the switches at this junction.
The train display located in the Mount Airy Museum is a 1:87 scale (also known as HO Scale) interactive diorama of the historic Baltimore & Ohio railyard which was located in the heart of Mount Airy. The display models the quarter-mile stretch of track emerging from a cut in Parr’s Ridge to the east, past the train station, across main street, and heading west toward the Mt. Airy Canning Company. The diorama accurately models the B&O railroad track plan from 1915. For more information, click here.
Mount Airy has had over 20 fires near or along Main Street in the 100 years of the 20th Century. Many of these fires destroyed large portions of the town and were the result of negligence, unknown cause, or outright arson. For more information on the history of the Mount Airy Fires, click here.
Mount Airy was at one time a hub for manufacturing, largely due to the railroad, housing industries such as the grain mills, canning factory, sewing factory, and others. People who did not make a living by farming often worked in these industries, which used the railroad to ship goods far and wide. These exhibits present a glimpse into the inner workings of these manufacturing plants. For more information, click here.