Our neighboring town of Sykesville is a great place to live (though not as great as Eldersburg!), and it has a long and rich history. We wanted to take some time today to look at this history.
Springfield Estate and The Pattersons
In the early 1800s Baltimore shipbuilder William Patterson decided to make the site of Sykesville his home, building his 3,000-acre Springfield Estate. Then in 1803, Patterson’s daughter Elizabeth (Betsy) married Jerome Bonaparte, brother of the famous Napoleon. While William consented to the marriage, Napoleon declared the marriage illegal and ordered Jerome to return to France. Jerome did return to France but with his hew wife, whom Napoleon refused to allow to land. Betsy returned to her father to live in Springfield. In 1815 the state of Maryland granted her a divorce.
Beasman Mansion and Fairhaven Dairy Farm, built by Johnzie E. Beasman and Laura (Bennett) Beasman:. "October 1884,…
James Sykes and the Horse Train Stop
William passed away in 1824 and his son George became the owner of the Springfield Estate. The following year he sold 1,000 acres to a business associate of his, James Sykes, the future namesake of the town. Sykes removed an old saw/grist mill and replaced it with a five-story stone hotel, consisting of 47 rooms, with the intent to cater to railroad personnel and the Baltimore tourist trade. In 1831 the B&O Railroad extended their “Old Main Line” through “Horse Train Stop” (later to be renamed Sykesville).
The Town Starts to Grow
In 1835, Dr. Orrelana H. Owings built a large two-story stone store on Main Street. Today it is owned by Scott Beck, owner of E.W. Beck’s.
Here, everyone is family! From our friends and guests to our employees, E.W. Beck’s greets everyone with open arms and…
The Springfield Presbyterian Church predates Carroll County, and was built in 1836 when Sykesville was still a part of Baltimore County. The first floor of the church was used as a school for the Springfield Institute, the first organized school in the town.
The Civil War
During the Civil War, young men from Sykesville fought for both the Union and the Confederacy. On June 29th 1863, a detachment of Confederate Cavalry under the command of J.E.B. Stuart arrived in town. They proceeded to tear up the railroad tracks and destroy the telegraph lines, and burned the bridge over the Patapsco.
On This Day in History: Sykesville Plays Its Role in the Civil WarDuring the Civil War, the Town was divided. Young…
Following the War
In 1868 much of the town was washed away in a flood and recovery was slow, though traffic from the B&O helped to revitalize the town.
George Patterson died and ownership of the Springfield Estate passed on to Governor Frank Brown. During his governorship he established the Springfield Hospital Center, which at the time was one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in the country.
In 1883, the B&O Railroad Station was designed by E. Francis Baldwin and was built on Main Street along the Patapsco River.
B & O Train Station in Sykesville Maryland. C1970
In 1890, J.H. Fowble, an architect and builder, moved to Sykesville. He would be responsible for designing much of the downtown. He designed the following: the McDonals block, two brick bank buildings, the Wade H.D. Warfield building, the arcade, and Kate McDonald’s residence on Main Street (which is the present Sykesville Town House).
Into the 20th Century
Sykesville became an incorporated town in 1904, with the first mayor being Edwin M. Mellor Sr. The Sykesville Herald, the town’s first paper, was established in 1913.
The Sykesville Herald came out on Thursdays. On October 3, 1940, one on top of the other on the front page, it reported…
Much like the rest of the country, the town was split between “wet” and “dry”, the former being against prohibition, and the latter for. The Great Depression hit the town hard and many families lost their farms. Sykesville was one of the first places in the state to repeal prohibition in 1933. A fire destroyed much of the town’s business block in 1937.
Onward Into the Future
While it can be fun to look back into the past, Sykesville is still making history today. Just by living in and building upon our communities, we are providing prosperity for future generations. Sykesville, much like Eldersburg, truly is a great community!