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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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,
Pine Grove Chapel April 30, 1907
Henry Bussard, the founder of Mount Airy, conceived the idea for a church for the new community. Largely through his initiative, efforts, and funding, the original building was erected. Small and without convenience, this church met the needs of local pioneer residents for upwards of a century. Henry Bussard and Eliza Bussard, his wife, gave the land upon which Pine Grove Chapel was built in 1846 for the purpose of building a Presbyterian Church to be known as Ridge Presbyterian Church. Work was started on September 4, 1846. There is record showing that the cornerstone was laid on the 29th day of September 1846 although the deed was not recorded until January 8, 1849. One of Mr. Bussard’s old ledgers covering this period, still in good state of preservation, shows a detailed list of materials, costs, and labor together with the amounts donated. The total cost of the original building according to his figures was $1,765.96¾. The reason for the fraction of a cent seems to have been that nails at the time cost 6¼¢ per pound. The first pastor was Reverend Garland Hamner, D.D. He was followed by Dr. Dunning and Reverend Evans.
Pine Grove Chapel - 1980
During the Civil War troops from Company K of the Fourteenth New Jersey Volunteer Regiment were sent here to guard the railroad, the chief means of transporting men and supplies from the North to the Armies concentrated South of the Potomac River. The church was the only available building for barrack use. So, services were discontinued to afford the soldiers sleeping quarters. The cook tent was located to the right of the basement door about where the first burial lots are now. The rations were pork and beans cooked in a large kettle over an open fire. This delicacy, supplemented by hard-tack, was served to the soldiers three times a day by their Negro cook, Jeff, brought from New Jersey by the troops.
Pine Grove Chapel - 1980
Pine Gove Chapel 1994 Postcard
Pine Grove Chapel looking to front
Pine Grove Chapel altar
Pine Grove Chapel view from pulpit
Pine Grove Chapel 10 Jan 2021
Flat Iron Building ~1905
Byron Dorsey at Flat Iron Bldg - abt 1920
Flat Iron Building 1958
Flat Iron Bldg Park & Main - 1990s
Twin arch construction around 1900
Since 1837, trains passing over Parr's Ridge passed over the relatively steep grade through Mount Airy. In the late 1800s, the B&O Railroad set out to lower this grade. The new right-of-way included construction of the Twin Arch Viaduct and the Ridgeville Tunnel. When completed in 1902, the Parr's Ridge grade was cut down from 1.6 to 0.85 and the trip over Parr's Ridge was shortened by 1.6 miles. The new route passed and still passes under Ridgeville.