Our Mission

The Historical Society of Carroll County connects the past to the present and makes the County’s vibrant history tangible, relevant, and meaningful for today’s diverse communities and for generations to come.

Our Vision

The Historical Society of Carroll County is an important educational institution in Carroll County, which uses materials and knowledge of the past to explore topics of timeless relevance and current public interest and benefit. Inside and outside the walls of its buildings, HSCC encourages broad engagement in the diversity of experiences it offers. It develops and deploys its collections, knowledge, connections, and expertise to build relationships among individuals, organizations, educational programs, and communities to enhance understanding and to engender a pride of place. The Society offers a compelling reason to live in and to visit Carroll County.

About Us

AboutUsThe 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. The collections also document county businesses and institutions. Currently, its collection numbers more than 35,000 items, including 22,000 archival documents, 5,000 photographs, and 9,000 three-dimensional objects.

Here are the “top ten” things that HSCC, as the County’s premier storyteller, does regularly to chronicle Carroll County’s people, places and events and make its resources available to everyone! It:

  • Insures that three of the County’s earliest urban homes are maintained and open to the public
  • Creates exhibits that interpret and display the County’s collective memories, utilizing its collection of artifacts and documents
  • Integrates Carroll County history into the larger context of the American experience by offering programs like our monthly Box Lunch Talks, our Past Times for Children series (ages 4-8), as well as yearly events such as Winter Wine Warmer and County Birthday Celebration.
  • Maintains a website (www.hsccmd.org ) to insure that the public has daily access to HSCC’s resources, as well as various social media outlets—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube
  • Offers Carroll County third-graders an onsite curriculum-based tour of local history led by costumed guides
  • Operates a research library to encourage people to discover and explore their family’s heritage and their community’s culture and traditions
  • Provides access to historical resources for journalists and the media in general, including producing a bi-weekly “Carroll’s Yesteryears” column in the Carroll County Times
  • Brings the public new research on important facets of the County’s history via its Carroll History Journal, published three times per year and occasionally publishes Carroll County-related history books
  • Oversees secondary school and college internships and awards scholarships annually to County high-school students interested in history and/or museum work
  • Manages a shop that offers education materials that enhance its programming content

The Society also engages the public by participating in local events like the Memorial Day Parade, the County-sponsored Celebrating America initiative and weekend, Oyster Stroll, FallFest.

HSCC’s annual operating budget is approximately $350,000—of which 53% is allocated to staff salaries (3 fulltime/1 part-time) and outside consultants (1). Its Board of Trustees, Committees and volunteers ensure that the public has access to HSCC resources.

Founded in 1939, the Historical Society is a private 501 (C) 3 nonprofit educational institution.

Our Core Values

Authenticity: Authenticity means embracing and expressing one’s history and character, being genuine and true to one’s roots. Authenticity is unembellished, unfiltered, and demands impeccable scholarship. HSCC values artifacts and true stories of history

Collaboration: Collaboration is the way we work together to unlock our full potential. It is being inclusive, sharing our ideas and abilities, seeking the contributions and viewpoints of others, and reflecting that input in our work.

Creativity: Creativity drives us to generate new ideas, innovative products and experiences and to imagine different ways of meeting people’s needs and expectations. It is important because it allows us to make history more interesting and fun for visitors and offers ways to present history that differs from what is done via books.

Inclusion: HSCC reaffirms its goal to be inclusive and inviting to all members of the community, regardless of race, gender, orientation or creed, who share the common goal of preserving historical artifacts and telling the unembellished, unfiltered, and true stories of Carroll County in the spirit of HSCC’s core value of authenticity.

Integrity: Integrity means being honest, ethical and fair. It is the foundation of trust on which our relationships, reputation and authority are built. It is of paramount importance in meeting our public trust responsibilities.

Stewardship: Stewardship means protecting and caring for the tangible evidence of Carroll County history—its collections (artifacts, documents, historic houses, grounds).

Our History

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 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 docents.

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