“159th County Birthday Celebration”

Carroll County Times Article for 7 January 1996

By Jay A. Graybeal

The public is invited to participate in Each year the Historical Society hosts an annual celebration of Carroll County’s anniversary on. The 159th County Birthday Celebration will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p. m. on Friday, January 19, 1996 in the Society’s Shriver-Weybright Auditorium, 210 E. Main St. in Westminster. Carroll County was created by the Maryland General Assembly on January 19, 1837; the new county included parts of Frederick and Baltimore Counties.

The highlight of this year’s celebration will be the rededication of the newly restored Kimmey House, 210 E. Main St. in Westminster. The Society’s administrative building has undergone an extensive and much-needed restoration. The work included replacing three flat roofs, painting the interior and exterior walls and trim, refinishing wooden floors, installing carpet, making the front entrances fully accessible and installing a central air conditioning system. Nearly all of the work was accomplished without any disruption of our traditional services to the public. And although some additional work remains to be completed over the winter, the project was substantially completed on schedule. The bulk of the funds for the restoration project came form a Maryland State Capital Project Grant sponsored by Del. Richard Dixon.

Members and guests will also be able to tour the research library, changing exhibit gallery, offices, conference room, and some of the collections storage rooms. The program will include remarks by Carroll Swam, President; Jacob M. Yingling, Past President; the Commissioners of Carroll County and Jay Graybeal, Director.

The Kimmey House has been owned the Historical Society since 1967. The property was purchased by the Commissioners of Carroll County in 1966 and donated to the Society. The acquisition of the property was challenged by a local couple who sought to have the act of the Legislature authorizing the purchase declared unconstitutional. This newspaper carried the following editorial in its July 14, 1966 edition:

History is For Everybody. Carroll County is rich in information and material relating to its own past. Its incorporated towns date back to events prior to the founding of our nation and during the Revolutionary War.Westminster and other parts of the county experienced events during the War Between the States and many witnessed some major skirmishes in the area.

The Carroll County Historical Society has done valuable work in collecting documents and in publishing historical material of general interest to everybody in the county.

To prove the value of our local Society all one need do is pay a visit to the Historical House at 206 East Main Street. Each year thousands of Carroll County school children and adults, as well as tourists from other states visit our Historical House.

The idea that it (the Society) is for only one organization and thus one segment of our population is false. All of the historical documents and material of our past has been collected and documented for all of the people, not just a few.

We feel that the Carroll County delegation and the General Assembly were within their legislative rights in appropriating $30,000 in tax funds for purchase of the Kimmey House for historical purposes.

History is for everybody and everybody can visit the historical house and benefit from the vast storehouse of knowledge of our past.

Although the Historical Society’s mission has broadened to include interpreting more than just the history of famous events and people, much of the editorial describes our organization today. The recent restoration will help the Society to fulfill its mission to preserve significant objects and interpret our rich and varied history to all local residents. History is for everybody.Please join us as we celebrate the 159th anniversary of the founding of Carroll County.
Photo Caption: Historical Society President James M. Shriver (right) and D. Myers Englar clasp hands as they break ground at the rear of the Kimmey House for the Society’s new library and auditorium on June 9, 1968. The Kimmey House, located at 210 E. Main St. in Westminster, will be rededicated as part of the Historical Society’s celebration of the 159th Anniversary of the founding of Carroll County. Historical Society of Carroll County Collection.