Carroll County is a county with immense rural beauty and a rich history. Located within close proximity to Baltimore, Washington, DC and Gettysburg, Carroll County offers a peaceful trip away from the hustle and bustle. Just around the corner, a plethora of activities ranging from historic sightseeing and festivals to walking tours, bike tours and nature parks awaits year round . The Carroll County Visitor Center at 210 E. Main Street in Westminster is a must stop. The friendly and knowledgeable staff is available to assist in trip planning. The Center offers a variety of tour maps, brochures and informational pieces, depicting the many popular sites in Carroll County, named for Charles Carroll, the American Revolutionary leader and signer of the Declaration of Independence. History buffs can choose from a menu of well-known tourist attractions.
The Carroll County Farm Museum features an 1800s farmhouse and a variety of trade shops, in an early 19th century setting. Union Mills Homestead and Grist Mill (circa 1797) provides an authentic view of rural living 200 years ago. Railroad enthusiasts pay attention to the town of Union Bridge, home of the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum, organized in 1965 to reflect the history of the railroad and its arrival to Union Bridge in 1862.
Carroll County's rolling hills and lush greenways provide the perfect backdrop for a diversity of walking, biking and driving tours. Two of them highlight historic landmarks of downtown Westminster and its 19th century architecture. A third tour focuses on 18 sites in Uniontown, Carroll's only town on the National Historic Register. Approximately ten loop bike tours cover more than 150 miles and routes through each of Carroll's eight towns. Scenic backroads on the Civil War Tour trace the movement of some 60,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.
Boating, fishing, swimming, and picnicking are relished at all lakes and parks. Piney Run Park features a 300 acre lake surrounded by 500 acres of woods and open space. Cascade Lake, a privately owned six acre, spring-fed lake includes waterslides, a high dive platform and floating rafts, offering visitors a truly old-fashioned swimming experience.
Call the Tourism Council at 410-857-2983 for information.
Carroll County Farm Museum
Be sure to visit the Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster at 500 S. Center Street. Celebrating its 30th anniversary last year, the 140 acre Museum complex contains the original circa 1852 restored Alms house. Six rooms, representative of the home of a land-owning farm family in the early 19th century, display a variety of Victorian heirlooms as well as period antiques. Many were donated by citizens of Carroll County. To the left of the entry hall is a Victorian parlor which includes a working tall case clock, hand-crafted by Eli Bentley, a Taneytown clock maker. Other period furniture and a hand-painted fire screen are also found in the parlor. Beyond it is the farmer's study, which displays a Latrobe stove and an Edison "talking machine." Along the hallway behind the parlor are the master bedroom with Rococo Revival hand-carved furniture, and a children's bedroom, with canopy rope bed, trundle bed, clothes and toys. Across the hall, the dining room boasts a corner cupboard which was original to the Almshouse. The bowfront china closet is filled with interchangeable exhibits. The center of attention in the farmhouse kitchen is an open hearth.
Stroll the gardens where walkways wind through orderly rows of spicy herbs to a pathway of old-fashioned roses and other summer flowers. The gazebo is the ideal spot for a short respite on a summer's day or delightful setting for a wedding. Outbuildings include a springhouse, broom shop, smokehouse, blacksmith's shop, firehouse, a one-room log shoolhouse and more. The Living History Center features a veterinary surgeon's office, spinning room, weaving room, quilting room, tinsmith shop, ladies' shop, wood-carver's shop and summer kitchen. Volunteer artisans demonstrate period skills. Children who attend the award-winning Living History Camp each summer wear period attire and have the opportunity to learn "forgotten lifestyles" first hand. A variety of farm animals can be seen in the meadows and pastures of the museum grounds. A General Store offers souvenirs. Many special events are held each season. Call 410-848-7775 or 410-876-2667 or 1-800-272-1933.
Antrim 1844 Country Inn
Imagine an exquisite ante-bellum mansion in a secluded village, looking out on the beautiful Catoctin Mountains, just a half an hour's drive from Baltimore and with every luxury of a fairy tale palace. You can recapture the grandeur of a lost era ,when gracious elegance was the hallmark of the great American hostelery, at Antrim 1844. This beautifully restored country inn and restaurant, acclaimed regionally and nationally, has been saved and recreated by owners / innkeepers, Dorothy and Richard Mollett. They started in 1989 with four rooms and now have fourteen plus an elegant formal dining room, verandah for dining, cozy pub and smokehouse for intimate dinners. The enchanting grounds include a black lined swimming pool, an Omni tournament tennis court, croquet course, putting green and formal gardens.
Fourteen foot high ceilings evoke a castle-like aura to the common rooms and entrance hall, where a magnificent central staircase swirls gracefully to the third floor. Each of the guest rooms has a distinctive motif created by Ms. Mollet, an interior designer. In one room the serpentine posts on the Honduras mahogany canopy bed weigh 150 pounds each. The bed was owned by General John Boyd, a spy for George Washington. The tower and cupola were used by Union General George Meade during the Battle of Gettysburg for an overview of the entire area, according to legend.
Just twelve miles from Gettysburg, lies Antrim 1844, the magnificent country inn. Once part of a 450 acre plantation, this Greek Revival mansion of brick with four sets of white pillars on its porch was built in 1844 when Col. Andrew E. Ege named the estate after his birthplace, County Antrim, Ireland. He built it circa 1853 but went bankrupt. George Washington Clabaugh bought the plantation in 1860 and enlarged it to 2800 acres, worked by 40 slaves. It had its own post office, and the mailmen slept under the small business room now used as one of 5 suites, "The Ice House," "The Carriage House," "The Sleigh Room," "The Smith House," and the "Boucher Room."
The mansion exported tobacco, cattle and corn on a railroad that crossed the property. All the floors, wainscoting, mantels of the 20 working fireplaces and windows are original. A composite of Federal, Greek Revival and Italianate styling, Antrim was built by slaves from bricks fired on the property. The front door opens to a central hall embellished by a shimmering crystal chandelier and huge case clock from Scotland, circa 1830. The splendid rear drawing room displays a Knabe piano from Baltimore, circa l880. Above the circa 1780 English Queen Anne highboy is a mid 18th century portrait. An 1840 Chinese Chippendale settee flanks the entrance to the front drawing room. Both rooms contain original marble mantels carved by William Rhinehart, who sculpted the doors of the Maryland Capitol. Window panels between the rooms open to become doors for special parties and balls.
The house had been boarded up for 30 years when the owners restored it. Mrs. Mollett is an interior designer and also designed Cedar Hill in Calvert County. In the formal dining room, guests enjoy a full breakfast featuring Belgian waffles, scrapple and bacon, poached pears and fresh squeezed orange juice. Local chef Michael Sell caters special dinners. Custom designed Noritake china displays a rendering of Antrim. Mr. Mollett's collection of Rose Medallion china is breathtaking. Brick structures to the back of the house have been converted into an informal dining areas. In the smokehouse, an old fashioned cistern is a focus for large parties, which often include seven courses with European service. The summer kitchen with its bake oven and wine cellar, managed by Stewart Dearie, gives out on a small garden café and gift shop.
Innkeeper: Dorothy and Richard Mollett. 14 rooms with private baths, step up canopy feather beds, comforters, Batten burg linens, Oriental Rugs, Swagged Valances. Equipped meeting rooms with faxes, copiers, phones. 8:00, continental breakfast at door; 9:30, served full breakfast. Pub open daily, 5 course dinner nightly, afternoon tea. Major Credit Cards, cash. No children under 12 years, no pets. Tennis, swimming, croquet. 12 miles from Gettysburg. 1-800-858-1844 or 410-756-6812, 30 Trevian Rd., Taneytown, MD 21787
Yellow Turtle Inn
A culminaton of two women's angelically inspired vision, this inn affords creatively costumed rooms. Its cheerful yellow "sitting porch"greets guests with views of decks, gazebo and pool. One innkeeper / costumer fills it with imagery from the 1800s to the 1940s. The other, a former health executive, brings a love of cooking, books and chatting. Celeste's Dining Room entrances with a wedding ring patterned mirror reflecting rose etched globes of the gas light chandelier. Beyond is Olivia's Room in striking China red and Oriental black decor. This portion of the inn was built of logs, circa l840.
Each guest room has a story, which guests embellish in a book. Dorothy's room provides a theater curtain and antique typewriter to inspire playwrights. The Mary Cole Room features wisteria and a mural of an angel swinging. Greta, the psychic's room displays roaring 20s and 30s costumes, encouraging writing at table. The Bishop's suite has a whirlpool for two and his traveling bag and hat. The Queen's Charmbers with jacuzzi and grapevine bed hints of a secret garden amid an aura of romance. Relax in Ian's Parlour, Joseph's Social Room or Samuel's Library. In the restored carriage house try on period costumes for your stay in this charming inn, an amphitheater to the world of the spirit.
Innkeeper: Joan Bradford and Julie Flaherty. 5 suites, King with private shower, two with shared bath. Full country breakfast. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, personal checks. Swimming, sunset teas, drinks overlooking pool, starbeques, costume rentals dancing. Near Westminster, New Windsor, and Gettysburg. 111 Springdale Rd, New Windsor, MD 21776. (410)635-3000
The Shriver House
In Union Mills, seven miles north of Westminster, stands a brick mill with a quaint two storey "Z" shaped frame building next to it amid gardens of beauty. This was the home of a famous Maryland family for two hundred years, built in 1797 by Andrew Shriver and his brother, David, Jr., of logs, which still appear beneath the clapboards. It was pegged. It is rambling with porches surrounding it. One two storey verandah came directly from Charleston.
During the Civil War, the Homestead was loyal to the Union and the Mills, across the road was sympathetic to the South. Troops from both sides were fed at the Homestead. The Shriver family occupied the home for six generations. After the death of the first Andrew, his son, Andrew K. Shriver, inherited it, passing it to his sons, Henry Wert and Louis E. Shriver, who passed it to Henry Wert's daughters, Mrs. Thomas Kemp and Mrs. H.M J. Klein. Mrs. Kemp died in 1958 and left it to her three nephews, Dr. Frederick S. Klein, Dr. Philip S. Klein and Richard Klein. They opened it as a privately run museum until 1964 when the Union Mills Homestead Foundation was chartered. It is celebrating its 200th year anniversary. Call 410-848-2288. Open June-Sept: Tues-Fri 10am-4pm, Sun 12-4 pm.
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