County's 156th birthday looks to past

January 20, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Carroll County is celebrating its 156th birthday with a look at its past.

About 50 people gathered at Shriver-Weybright Auditorium in Westminster yesterday to view "Lost Legacy: Architectural Artifacts in the Historical Society of Carroll County."

Jay Graybeal, curator, put together the exhibit of about 50 pieces "to underscore how historical resources slip away," he said.

Each piece has its own story, which Mr. Graybeal has carefully documented. Many of the pictures and fragments sent viewers back to their younger days or reminded them of family stories.

A few pieces from the Orendorff House "really touch my heart," said Margaret Price, the society's library chairman. The home, which was destroyed by fire in 1990, was formerly the Gilbert Inn, "a marvelous place" which attracted tourists from Baltimore, she said. Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart stayed there on his way to Gettysburg in 1863.

A terra cotta fragment from the St. John Catholic School, once a towering building on Westminster's Main Street, brought back memories of the nuns who taught her, said Helen Riley. It reminded Karen Dattilo of the Sunday school classes.

"They are only fragments of old buildings but these artifacts have much to tell us," said Lester Surber as he introduced the exhibit.

"The society is a fabulous community resource," said County Commissioner Donald I. Dell. "On this anniversary, it helps us look back and forward."

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge commended the society for "keeping the county history in front of the people."

Westminster Councilwoman Rebecca Orenstein asked society members to continue protecting the county's past.

"People should not have to lament for the past," she said. "Hold your politicians accountable. Encourage them to support the preservation of historic districts."

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