Carroll’s Yesteryears

09 June 1991

Test your knowledge of Carroll

by Joe Getty

June marks the first anniversary of the “Carroll’s Yesteryears” weekly column written by the staff of the Historical Society of Carroll County.

In celebration of this occasion, we are republishing in today’s column a “Great Carroll County History Contest.” This is a true or false quiz with which you can test your own knowledge of local history.

We also will provide an award to a contest winner. The winner will have the opportunity to discuss over lunch with us, Joe Getty and Jay Graybeal, mutual interests in local history and suggest topics for future Carroll’s Yesteryears columns. The lunch is being provided courtesy of Munch’s Court Street Café.

We have selected a historical true-false quiz for the first “Great Carroll County History Contest.” This quiz is fifty years old. It was created by the members of the Carroll County Society of Baltimore and used as entertainment at their 1941 dinner meeting.

It also appeared in the October 10, 1941 edition of the Carroll County Times as part of editor H. Peyton Gorsuch’s weekly “First Page Editorial.” We present the quiz below along with Gorsuch’s commentary:

“Tonight hunting around in our scanty brain loft for something to fill this space, decided to fill in a few inches with some of the questions or rather statements pertaining to Carroll County used in the ‘True or False’ quiz contest, on the program of stunts, at the outing of the Carroll County Society of Baltimore City last Saturday night at the Charles Carroll Hotel.

They will give our readers an opportunity to check up on their knowledge of some of the early history and facts of Carroll County. Cannot use all of the large number of questions used Saturday night, but have selected some thought most interesting. We suggest and urge our readers to read each one and answer True or False, without consulting Scharf’s history, Lou Dielman, Dr. Tracey, or any other authority.

You may give what you think the correct answer to the ones you believe false, but it is not necessary, just mark true or false will do.

To make it easy for you to keep our score are numbering each question:

  1. After Carroll County was organized it was divided into 10 election districts.
  2. The first session of the Circuit Court of the county was held in the home of Dr. Willis
  3. The first sheriff of Carroll County was Nicholas Kelly.
  4. New Windsor was first known as the birth place of Roger Brook Taney.
  5. Springfield was the home of Betsy Patterson.
  6. Betsy Patterson married the son of Napoleon Bonaparte.
  7. Carroll County has 775 square miles.
  8. Carroll County is bordered by 5 Maryland counties.
  9. Washington Irving wrote his famous essay “A Rainy Day,” in a home at Union Mills.
  10. Miss Mary B. Shellman was the first manager and operator of the Westminster Telephone exchange.
  11. Taneytown was named for Chief Justice Roger Brook Taney.
  12. The first Methodist Church in America was at Pipe Creek.
  13. Western Maryland College was the first Co-educational college, south of the Mason and Dixon line.
  14. The semi-centennial celebration of Carroll County was celebrated in 1877.
  15. The Carroll County Military Company that later became Co. H. M.N.G. was organized in Frizzellburg in 1890.
  16. The first complete county rural mail service was started in Carroll County in 1890.
  17. Sykesville is on the Potomac River.
  18. The Carroll County Society of Baltimore City was organized in 1920.
  19. The Plank road ran from Westminster to Littlestown.
  20. The first Lutheran church in Carroll County was in Manchester.
  21. The bridge built over Pipe Creek gave the name to Union Bridge.
  22. Westminster was laid out by William Winchester.

Only intended to inflict you with about a dozen questions, but became interested in testing how many we could answer, true or false and have used two dozen. If the larger number gives you the brain fag, take a drink – of ice water.”

Entries for the Great Carroll County History contest must be received by the Historical Society of Carroll County (210 East Main Street, Westminster Maryland 21157) by June 30, 1991. Please send your answers on a piece of paper with your name and address. A winner will be randomly selected from the entries that have all of the questions answered correctly.

Photo credit:  Courtesy of the Historical Society of Carroll County

Photo caption:  The Carroll County Society of Baltimore shown here at a 1941 garden party at the Shellman House, prepared the Carroll County History quiz 50 years ago.