The Historical Society of Carroll County, Inc., is a not-for-profit [501 (c) 3] educational institution dedicated to collecting and preserving materials and interpreting the history of Carroll County, Maryland. It endeavors to further public interest, knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Carroll County. It provides its membership and other constituent groups with a full array of products and services including ongoing activities, exhibitions, programs, research and publications. (Adopted – March 2000)
Founded in 1939, the Society was formed to save the home of noted community activist Mary B. Shellman from demolition. In 1966, Carroll County deeded the Kimmey House (circa 1800) to the Historical Society for care and preservation. Our third building, the newly renovated Willis-Boyle House (circa 1820), familiarly known as Cockey’s, completes our campus at 206, 210 and 216 East Main Street in Westminster.
The Shellman home, formally known as the Sherman-Fisher-Shellman House (1807), was the first home of the Historical Society’s offices and meeting space. It is now a house museum furnished to the period of the first owners, the Jacob Sherman family (1807-1842.) The house is the focal point for tours, particularly of County Public School children. The learning activities for County Public School third-graders are linked to the school curriculum and are taught by trained volunteer costumed docents.
Within the house museum are artifacts of the period from our Permanent Collection, used as examples in the teaching of how life was lived in town during that time. Additional objects from our Education Collection, reproductions and objects on loan, round out the furnishings of the home. Unlike items from the Permanent Collection, most gifted to the Society, items in the Education Collection may be handled and examined by visitors. The Society has preserved an estimated 40,000 artifacts and archival materials in its Permanent Collection.
Through a gift from Daniel and Eleanor Shipley in memory of Lillian Shipley, the Society’s first curator, the lawns and gardens have undergone much needed renovation. This allowed for the development of a kitchen garden as part of the educational program for county youth as well as adults. Trees, shrubs, flowers and plants are identified by plaques thus adding to the educational experience. The lawns and gardens are also available for community, business, individual and Historical Society events. The largest portion of the Shipley gift is held as an endowment with interest accessible for maintenance on the Sherman-Fisher-Shellman house.
The Kimmey House serves as the Society headquarters which we share with our long time tenant, the Carroll County Tourist Information Center. Also located in this building is an extensive Research Library with a large collection of research, books and primary materials devoted to the history of Carroll County and its residents. Our collection of primary materials goes back to the 1700s. The Shriver-Weybright Exhibition Gallery, an integral part of the education program and school tours, completes the public space in the building.
The Koontz-Yingling Learning Center in Cockey’s is the pre-tour gathering space for county students for orientation to their school tours. Cockey’s also has a parlor on the ground floor which serves as a gallery with changing exhibits. The remainder of the ground floor is dedicated to The Shop at Cockey’s, a museum shop and bookstore which attracts visitors and revenue to the east end of town. The Shop at Cockey’s features books and items created by County authors, artists and artisans and items of historical interest..
The Society serves a large membership and businesses county-wide. Box Lunch Talks, a monthly lecture series on topics of county historical interest, draw an average of 100 people each month and presents a bi-monthly column in the Carroll County Times.
The Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland, Inc.
210 East Main Street, Westminster MD 21157
Phone: (410) 848-6494 Email: Info@HSCCmd.org
HSCC Website: www.HSCCmd.org