“History of Snydersburg”
Carroll County Times Article for 2 December 2001
by Jay A. Graybeal
The many unincorporated communities in Carroll County occupy a unique place in local history. Many places owe their origin to an individual or family that created town lots that attracted residents and businesses. A brief history of the community of Snydersburg, located in the Hampstead District, was written in 1936 by Snydersburg School Principal Harvey T. Rill and his assistant Margaret Murray:
“The founding of Snydersburg begins with Christian Snyder who was born in 1759 in Lancaster County. He enlisted in the Revolutionary War July 1, 1776. After his marriage to Magdalena Throft, November 14, 1785 at Hanover, Pennsylvania, he purchased 7 acres of land from Peter Zentz in 1800 at a place called Cranberry Meadows, near the present Snydersburg. He later bought about 175 acres in the vicinity of Snydersburg which was then called Michaelsville after one of Christian Snyders’ sons Michael, who bought 60 acres of land, most of which was purchased from his father.
The town originated in part by the children of Michael Snyder who lived on or near the same place where Edward Ruby’s home now stands. As Michael Snyder built several houses, the village went by the name of Michaelsville until a post office was established in the community. As there was a post office by the name of Michaelsville in another section of the state, the name was changed to Snydersburg, in keeping with the name of its founder.
The mail was delivered to Snydersburg post office from Hampstead. The post office was done away with when the Rural Free Delivery was adopted in Carroll County.
Various relics, as Tomahawks, etc., were found in this village, which indicates that Indians must have formerly occupied this region.
The land for the first school was deeded by Michael Snyder. This log school was later replaced by a building which was boarded up and down and stripped. The seats were slab benches. There was a projecting board around the wall which served as a writing desk for the children. Since that time, a third building has taken its place, which is of brick structure and composed of two rooms. There are now 60 pupils in enrollment.
The church of Snydersburg was built in 1878 which stands near the school. It is used by two denominations; namely, Lutheran and Reformed.
About 60 years ago, Snydersburg was a manufacturing village. Samuel Snyder had a cobbler’s shop at the place where John Brooks’ store now is, and employed several men. Elisha Snyder also had a cobbler’s shop and employed several men. There were shops for weaving of carpet, making of harness, making of wagons, tanning of leather. There was a brick yard nearby and also a sawmill which still exists. All of these manufacturing shops have gone out of existence and agriculture has become the principal occupation, as the soil is very rich for farming purposes. These people have become so interested in farming that they have formed one of the strongest Farm Unions in the county, of which Charles C. Walsh is president.
The first store in Snydersburg was owned by Mr. Samuel Snyder. Mr. Snyder started as a shoemaker in his home. Later, he started selling kerosene and other articles until he built up a trade. He then added a storeroom to his house. Mr. John Brooks is now the owner of this store and deals in the selling of general merchandise.
There was another store which was owned by Elisha Snyder. This store is now used as a dwelling house and occupied by William Steger. Within the past several years, Mr. Joseph Simmons has opened a confectionery and grocery store. Mr. Simmons makes ice cream, which he sells to both large consumers as well as individual customers.
The population of the village of Snydersburg has increased to 71 persons. The school district has a population of approximately 300 persons.
There is a public spring in Snydersburg which was formerly called the Annie Croft spring. The school continues to get its water from this spring.
There are two lodges of the Independent Order of Mechanics, the one of men, and the other of the women. The men own the I.O.M. Hall. Many plays and festivals are held in this Hall.
Snydersburg has become well known because of Cascade Lake which is a great swimming and boating resort. This Lake is right outside the village. Many people from the cities visit it during the summer months.”
Snydersburg was largely unchanged by the rapid development of the second half of the Twentieth Century that transformed many other local communities in the county. Businesses such as Cascade Lake and Simmons Store, renowned for its homemade ice cream, became even more popular in the booming economy of the post-World War Two era. Many families had access to automobiles and disposable income for leisure activities and businesses in rural communities like Snydersburg benefited. The one-room school era also came to an end and students were bussed to nearby elementary schools.
The Snydersburg School was photographed in 1938 shortly after Principal Harvey T. Rill and Assistant Margaret Murray wrote an interesting history of the community. Historical Society of Carroll County collection.