Every once in awhile, Eldersburg pops up in news and online outside of its unincorporated borders, garnering attention even nationwide. Here’s a few of Eldersburg’s claims to fame.
Named to Best Places to Live List
CNN/Money Magazine’s 2011 ranking of Best Places to Live in America included none other than Eldersburg, ranking the unincorporated area at number 67 out of 100.
CNN/Money’s listing said:
Those looking for an easy commute to Washington, D.C. often look no further than Eldersburg. The town, once mostly farmland, has seen a steady influx of families over the last 20 years. Don’t let the new Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Kohl’s department store fool you: Eldersburg is still a small, quiet town with lush hills and a large reservoir. While the homes aren’t cheap, the county’s public schools rank among the best in the state. –D.B.
See the listing
Groundhog Shooting Causes Outrage in May 2018
In May of 2018, a groundhog in Eldersburg happened to be crossing the main roadway of Route 26, causing a huge traffic disruption. A Carroll County Sheriff responding to the scene was unable to cajole the critter off of the roadway, and judged that the groundhog was not right, and in the name of public safety, shot the groundhog.
In most rural or suburban areas, this would not be a big deal. But in the age of social media and righteousness, the incident was caught on video, shared online, and blew up. Folks watched the shooting play out on YouTube, Facebook, and then local and national news. All the while, people were weighing in, many outraged that law enforcement overreacted by snuffing out the life of a presumed innocent groundhog.
Mention on NCIS Episode
On the October 5, 2018 episode of the popular network show NCIS, Mark Harmon’s character Agent Gibbs refers to Eldersburg, Maryland.
Eldersburg Schools are Honored
Carroll County, Maryland has had a reputation for having excellent schools, with it being one of the draws for families to move and stay in the county. Eldersburg itself has had several schools over the years which have garnered both local and national educational accolades. These honors include:
– Ranked #4 of 21 Best Public Elementary Schools in Caroll County
Century High School
– Rating of 10/10 on Greatschools.org: “This school is rated above average in school quality compared to other schools in the state. Students here have above average college readiness measures, and more information about this school can be found below.”
Liberty High School
– Liberty High School is ranked 59th in Maryland in administering Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) tests to students, as of June 2014.
– Liberty High is ranked 16th within Maryland on the U.S. News and World Report rankings of high schools. According to the site ranking:
“Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Liberty High is 68 percent. The student body makeup is 53 percent male and 47 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 12 percent. Liberty High is 1 of 8 high schools in the Carroll County Public Schools.”
Right outside the south side of Eldersburg is an area known as Marriottsville, which once housed a hospital complex, the Henryton State Hospital. The Henryton State Hospital Center, known as the Henryton Tuberculosis Sanatorium, was erected in 1922 by the Maryland Board of Mental Hygiene. It was established as a facility to treat African Americans suffering from tuberculosis. The hospital complex consisted of six buildings and a utility plant. Over the years, more buildings were added, but at the same time, the tuberculosis rate had dropped, decreasing the need for the facility, and resulting in partially unused facilities.
In 1963, the Henryton State Hospital Center was converted to a facility whose purpose was to train and rehabilitate mental health patients, for the purpose of reintegration in to society. Over the years, public and professional attitudes towards mental health treatment had changed, resulting in a declining need for Henryton’s facilities. In 1985, the Henryton facility was closed for good.
In the years after its closure, Henryton became a center for trouble-seekers, with the boarded up facility regularly hosting trespassers looking to explore, party, and vandalize. The neglect and abuse of the buildings brought the facility to a state of decay, compounded by the fact that the buildings were infested with asbestos which prohibited any practical redevelopment of the complex. Henryton was then subject to a number of fires in 2007 and 2011, culminating in its need to be destroyed; it was demolished in 2013.
— Nolan Kerbert (@KolNerb) June 25, 2013
Henryton became part of local folklore, with rampant stories of hauntings and unexplained occurrences. These were attributed to unsubstantiated tales of mistreated patients whose souls haunted the place.
Henryton’s lore has grown well beyond Eldersburg, including its own Wikipedia page, and was featured in the 2007 book Weird Maryland, which included pictures, a brief history of Henryton, and a chilling telling of one visitor’s experience. Though not in Eldersburg proper, Henryton is considered part of Eldersburg’s historical fabric, and was included in the video documentary Eldersburg: Boondock Suburbia.