Welcome! Come explore Carroll County’s unique history. Discover all the diverse resources that the Historical Society of Carroll County has to offer!

Historical Society of Carroll County East Main Street Campus

The Historical Society of Carroll County (HSCC) was founded in 1939 to save the Sherman-Fisher-Shellman House (1807) from demolition. Eventually, HSCC acquired two additional buildings—Kimmey House (c.1800) and Cockey’s (c.1820). All three historic houses create the backdrop for HSCC’s public charge—to tell Carroll County’s stories and place them within the larger context of the American experience. The Society has collected and continues to collect the tangible remembrances of Carroll County history dating from the settlement period to the present.

Kimmey House

The Kimmey House was built around 1800 and is located on 210 East Main Street, Westminster, MD.

Over the years, it has been home to several families and used as an office for a local doctor.

Today the Kimmey House houses the Historical Society’s Research Library, administrative offices, the Museum Shop & Bookstore, the Welcome Center for Visitors as well as storage for the segments of the Society’s collections. For more information about our library the history of the house, please contact us!

For more information about the Kimmey House and it’s history, follow these links!

Sherman-Fisher-Shellman House

Step back into Carroll County’s history with a visit to the home of Jacob Sherman and his family. Sherman built a large brick home for his family in 1807. The house, at 206 East Main Street in Westminster, stood directly across the street from the tavern that provided Sherman’s livelihood.

The house combines the traditional Carroll County farmhouse with the ethnic traditions of Sherman’s Pennsylvania German heritage and architectural innovations such as counter-balanced windows and built-in cupboards. HSCC also maintains the Shipley Memorial Garden behind the structure with a kitchen garden and various native plants. A tour of the fully-restored house provides a unique opportunity to visit one of Westminster’s earliest homes.

Click here for a detailed look at the history and restoration of the Sherman-Fisher-Shellman House.

Tours are by appointment only. For more information or to schedule a group tour of the Shellman House, contact the Society at 410-848-6494.

Cockey’s Tavern

Cockey’s is located at 216 East Main Street in Westminster, MD. The building was built around 1820 and was home to a variety of families over the years and also served as a tavern and boarding house. At present, Cockey’s houses the Koontz-Yingling Learning Center.

If you are interested in a detailed description of Cockey’s, please click her to read “An Architectural and Historical Analysis.”

Other articles of interest:
Tales of Hoffman

Emerald Hill (formerly the Westminster City Hall)

In December 2015, Emerald Hill mansion was leased to the Historical Society by the City of Westminster to provide additional space for educational programs, exhibits, and social functions. The Carroll County Office of Tourism is housed in a room on the first floor of the mansion. The address is: 1838 Emerald Hill Lane, Westminster, MD.

Originally sited on seven acres in the center of the City, Emerald Hill was built in 1842 by Col. John K. Longwell, a prominent citizen of Westminster who established a newspaper in 1833 and played a part in the creation of Carroll County. He served as County Commissioner, charter trustee of Western Maryland College, and director of the Union National Bank. He was described as the man “most closely identified with the financial, political, and material history of Carroll County.” Longwell lived at Emerald Hill with his wife Sarah until his death in 1896 at age 86. His daughter Sallie continued to live there until her death in 1905.

Emerald Hill estate was then annexed into the City and the mansion sold in 1908 to George W. Albaugh; he and his family lived in there until his death in1933. Six years later the house was extensively remodeled to become City Hall; another historic renovation was conducted in 2014 in honor of the City’s 250th anniversary.

Shipley Memorial Garden

The gardens behind the Sherman-Fisher-Shellman House were made possible through the generosity of the Paul Shipley family in memory of Miss Lillian Shipley, our first resident curator.

Visit in the spring and into the summer and you can see the kitchen garden beside the back porch. We’ve put in some of the more interesting and unusual plants that may have been grown in the period 1800-1850 and used for food or medicinal and domestic-industrial purposes. The larger portion of the garden, “the Pleasure Garden,” is planted with a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees that would have been available during the same early 19th century period.

Many of your friends and neighbors have donated funds for dedicated plantings in memory of loved ones, both friends and family, and in honor of special events, homesteads long gone, cherished and respected individuals, or accomplishments. Join them in becoming part of this lasting legacy; there are a limited number of shrubs available to adopt as well as two memorial benches.

To learn more about donating to the Shipley Memorial Garden click here.

The Research Library

Since the Historical Society’s founding in 1939, generous donors have helped it gather and preserve many primary source records, documents, pamphlets, clippings, pictures and books relating to the history of Carroll County. This collection is key to promoting the research and study of county history. Articles written by HSCC for The Baltimore Sun and The Carroll County Times highlight events and people in county history. Unique collections such as the Dr. Arthur Tracey Papers (which includes drawings, surveyors’ books, maps and file cards for eighteenth century Western Maryland land tracts and families) and the Basil Crapster papers (which chronicle Taneytown’s history) can aid researchers interested in tracing their Carroll ancestors.


Experience local history by visiting one of Westminster’s earliest homes. Tours of the Sherman-Fisher-Shellman house and Cockey’s Tavern tell Carroll County’s story and reveal the lifestyles of the influential individuals that resided there. Our historic homes combine the traditional Carroll County farmhouse with ethnic traditions of the Pennsylvania-German heritage and architecture. In addition to the house tours, guests will see the Historical Society’s many artifacts and collections that reflect Carroll County displayed through changing and permanent exhibits. Individual and group tours are by appointment only. Prices for tours are $5.00 per person and free for HSCC members. For more information or to schedule a visit to see our historic homes, call 410.848.6494, ext. 200.

Group Tours

In addition to the standard docent-led tour of Shellman House for $5 per person, arrangements can be made for special educational programs tailored to your group’s interests. HSCC can also offer light refreshments or lunch to further enhance your experience. Fees depend upon the structure of the specialized tour. To schedule a group tour, contact us by calling 410-848-6494, ext. 200, or via email to Christina Yoder, Office Manager

Rentals – Plan Your Event

Cockey’s Tavern and Emerald Hill are both available to YOU for all your events! With their classic charm and style, they are the ideal places to hold your wedding receptions, birthday parties, class reunions, family reunions, graduation parties, or a holiday event! They are also ideal for business events and have ample space for your business meetings, presentations, retreats, and team building.

Cockey’s amenities include a kitchenette for preparing food and drinks, centrally located ADA restrooms, free off-street parking, elevator service to the second floor rooms, and WiFI access.

Emerald Hill has a second floor service kitchen, an elevator between the first and second floor, ADA accessible restrooms, ample free parking, WiFi access, and beautiful grounds for outside activities.

Contact us at 410-848-6494, ext 200 or email OfficeManager@HCCmd.org to discuss space availability and rental fees/information.

The rental agreement and rental fee schedule is available for viewing. Please note that the rental agreement and fees are subject to change without notice.

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