The Historical Society of Mount Airy, MD. Inc. was established in 1998 by Travis Norwood and Mayor Jerry Johnson. Its mission is to foster interest in the town history and its various historic landmarks. Our main goals are to establish and maintain a museum for the preservation and the display of artifacts, photographs and other historic memorabilia related to the Town’s history, and to educate the public about our history. The Historical Society manages the museum, caboose, and Rails to Trails. Check our links above to explore further.
Wanted! Any information you can provide on the people, places or events in these pictures!
The Historical Society of Mount Airy, Maryland is looking for referenced, researched, verifiable documentaries, presentations, reports, etc. on the history of Mount Airy. Please submit to us for consideration as exhibits, presentations at our meetings, or articles for the newsletter. You can submit to our email address. Thank you.
Announcements & Events
2022 Summer Adventure Program has Begun!
The Carroll County Celebrating America Summer Adventure Program has begun. Kids grades 1-9 are eligible to participate from May 15th to September 15th. Kids can win prizes by earning badges through the Carroll County Library portal. Badges are earned by completing eligible tasks like, reading books, watching videos, and visiting specific places. Once you earn all 8 Badges, you have completed the program and are automatically entered into a raffle to win all prizes including the GRAND Prize. For more information on how to register and participate, please see the attached flyer.
Strawbridge Shrine Colonial Market Day - June 18, 2022
The Strawbridge Shrine in New Windsor is holding their FREE Colonial Market Day on Saturday, June 18, 2022 from 10 am - 2pm. Come visit for tours, crafts, music, and viewing of historic buildings. The Strawbridge Shrine is the home of the beginnings of the Methodist Movement in America. For more information, visit their website.
Colonial Market Fair - June 11-12, 2022
Our friends at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Catonsville will be having a free Colonial Market Fair on June 11 and 12, 2022. Come experience the 18th Century come alive with Artisans, Reenactors, Music, and Children's Activities. For more information, visit their website at https://www.colonialmarketfair.com/.
Mount Airy Pants(Sewing) Factory
Preliminary research has been done on the history of the Mount Airy Pants Factory, which was in operation off and on from 1921 to 1985, in several different locations. Please see the attached report for further information. We are seeking anyone who may have information, newspaper articles, artifacts, or stories to share as we pull this exhibit together. Please contact Doris Bujanowski at email@example.com if you have information.
Help Save the Flat Iron Building
The Flat Iron Building, once known as the Smith Building and the Pryor Building, has existed in its current configuration since 1903, housing a number of different businesses, including a harness shop, barbershop, drug store, music shop, as well as town hall, the local Maryland State Police office, a branch of the County Library, a military museum, and the former home to the Historical Society of Mt. Airy museum.
Unfortunately, the town is now weighing several options to tear down the building to improve “walkability” along that section of Main Street. The building is viewed by some as an impediment to pedestrian safety and stands in the way of pedestrian access to businesses located along the east side of Main Street.
But the Historical Society of Mt. Airy stands behind another effort to preserve this building, rather than tear it down. Historic restoration with available grant funding, municipal bonds, and alternative sources other than town tax dollars is the most cost-efficient option compared to all others. Since 2005, every option proposed by the town has estimated $900K-$3 million in taxpayer dollars to remedy the property, but not a single option has considered restoration through preservation grants specifically designed and set aside for historic buildings such as ours, at minimum cost to the town.
There is intrinsic and commercial value in preserving this building. For 120 years the building has stood at the heart of downtown Mt. Airy, and contributes to our town listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It is recognized as one of only four remaining buildings built immediately after the great fire of 1903, and is recognized across the state of Maryland as a landmark in our town. People come to downtown Mt. Airy because it’s appealing in many ways, and our historic architecture serves as an attractive feature and commercial draw which brings people into downtown to explore and spend money. It is time to aggressively pursue other options now. You can help by signing the petition to save the building at Ben Gue Antiques & Gifts on S. Main Street, and by directly contacting the Mayor and each of your town Council Members through the town website, by phone or email, to let them know you support the restoration and preservation of this town icon. Once gone, this important piece of Mt. Airy history will be lost forever. For more information on this iconic building, check out the attached report.
The Mount Airy Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays 12 noon until 4 p.m., and from 3-7 pm on Wednesdays when the Farmer's Market is open
Please click on photos for more detailed information.
Main Street looking South after the fire of 1903
In this photo you are looking South from the B&O Railroad tracks. From Right to Left: Hoods Warehouse Dock; L.B. Norwood’s Residence; Walter Rudy’s Drug Store and Post Office; Byron Dorsey’s Farming Implement’s Store; Calvin Gilbert’s Hotel. In the far distance at the intersection of Park Avenue is W.E.T. Smith’s Harness Shop. Note: In this photograph, there were no buildings on the east side of Main Street between the tracks and Park Avenue.
Main Street at RR Tracks prior to 1903
South Main Street looking South circa 1900
You are looking at the George Clay's Creamery, later the location of the Mount AIr Dairy. Just behind and to the right of this residence is South Main Street. The old Calvary Methodist Church is in the upper left corner of the photograph.
South Main Street looking to the west
The Clay & Clary Grocery Store and Adam Ruland’s Bakery shared this building located just to the left of Simpson’s Hotel. The great fire of 1903 was caused by a defective stove flue in this building. Klee’s Harness Shop is the building on the left, just behind Ruland’s horse-drawn wagon.
Main St Rebuilt after the 1903 Fire
South Main St Looking North circa 1904
In the left center of this photograph is the Mount Airy Hotel. just to the south of it 9toward you0 is a large empty lot. The buidings here were destroyed by a fire on September 17, 1904.
Main Street South Looking North circa 1904
In this photograph taken later in 1904, two new buildings have been completed on the south side of the Mount Airy Hotel.
Main St North of RR Tracks 1910
Main Street North of RR Tracks - 1914
This photo taken around 1913. It shows N. Main Street looking north from the railroad tracks: On the east side of the street (right side) above the mule train is in front of the Mt. Airy Lumber and Grain company office, which was damaged, but survived the fire of 1914; the the north of it, are the Mt. Airy Piedmont Guano Company; and E.M. Molesworth & Sons Furniture Store (later Rudy & Burdette’s Furniture Store). All were destroyed in the great fire of 1925. On the west side of the street (left side) is the Frank B. Zepp & Company dry goods store, Robert L. Runkles Hardware Store, Walter Nikirk’s Mount Airy Meat & Grocery Co., the First National Bank of Mount Airy and several other businesses.
Main Street Mid looking South abt 1925
Main St North of RR Tracks Looking North circa 1930
Main Street North of RR Tracks looking South
Main St Looking South 1930-40
Main Street circa 1943
Main Street Stores at Christmas circa 1950
Main Street Mount Airy in Snow 1967
South Main Street west side - 1994
North Main Street at Prospect Road ca1967 - web.jpg
This is a view of North Main Street at the intersection of Main Street and Prospect Road. The Grimes Bros. Garage (now the Plumbery) was located here.
South Main Street at Center Street
This photograph shows the east side of South Main Street at Center Street. The Western Aotu Store is located on the south (right) corner and Peoples Lumber & Supplu is located on the north (left) corner.