Sykesville, I presume? Mayors of Md., Pa. same-name towns meet SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

October 29, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Sykesville met Sykesville yesterday as mayors of the same-name Pennsylvania and Maryland towns greeted each other on Main Street in the Carroll County town.

Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr., the Carroll Countian, who was returning from a morning in court, met Mayor Daniel E. Stamler, the Pennsylvanian, who was finishing a tour of Town House, the recycling center and Main Street.

It was not a chance encounter.

Mayor Helt found Sykesville, Pa. -- 100 miles north of Pittsburgh -- on a trip last spring. After a pleasant visit to the northwest Pennsylvania town of 1,500, Mayor Helt issued an invitation for Mayor Stamler to visit his Sykesville and six months later found himself returning mayoral hospitality.

"I hope I don't get a ticket for jaywalking," said Mayor Stamler as he crossed Main Street to meet Mayor Helt. "We gave Lloyd a souvenir parking ticket, so he might pay me back."

During Mayor Helt's morning absence, Town Manager Jim Schumacher acted as tour guide.

"We had no agenda," said Mayor Stamler. "We just pulled into town to look around."

The 62-year-old Mayor Stamler, who also is president of the Sykesville, Pa. fire company and is the local American Legion commander, said he saw several municipal similarities.

"We are in a valley surrounded by farmland," said Mayor Stamler, a retired teacher. "I am not a full-time mayor either, but I should be. I put in a lot of hours."

Both towns take their names from a Sykes family. The mayors plan to research any possible connections. Mayor Stamler said his Sykesville, a former coal-mining town, is in the heart of powdered metal country. Its main industry is Symmco Corp., a metals manufacturer.

As Jean Stamler snapped souvenir photos of her husband with local town officials, Mayor Stamler traded fish stories with Police Chief Wallace P. Mitchell. "My son once fished in this river here," he said, pointing to the nearby Patapsco.

He marveled at the size of Town House, where he received a gift bag of Sykesville, Md., memorabilia.

"I share my office with the police, and the town shares the hall with the public library and the Boy Scouts," he said, laughing.

In Sykesville, Pa., the police force includes four part-time officers with a back-up from state police. Response time can be as long as 30 minutes, he said. The mayor is the commanding officer.

After an hour of sightseeing, the Pennsylvania party, which included the mayor's wife, a niece and a nephew, said they were ready for lunch.

"Let me show you our train station," said Mayor Helt, leading the way to Baldwin's Restaurant in the renovated station.

"We had a train station once, too," said Mayor Stamler. "The railroad demolished it when it stopped hauling coal."

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