Hometown movies spur Hampstead memories NORTHWEST--Taneytown * Union Bridge * New Windsor

March 01, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

About 55 Hampstead-area residents came to reminisce and contribute their memories at a presentation on their town's history at the Historical Society of Carroll County yesterday.

Robert Sprinkle, who had managed the Rendezvous Theater in Hampstead, gave a talk on the history of movie theaters in the town and showed two home movies filmed in Hampstead.

One of the films, shot by Bill Hartman, showed a 1943 Hampstead Hunt Club fox hunt, a 1947 memorial parade, a 1956 high school track meet, and other local scenes from the 1940s and 1950s.

The other film was a documentary made by Mr. Sprinkle of the first Hampstead Day celebration on May 25, 1974.

Mr. Sprinkle invited the audience to speak up if they saw a person or place they recognized.

They did.

"Oh, look, there's Amy and Sue," said one woman.

"Harvey Harris, on the left," said a man, pointing.

"There's Sam!" said another.

Someone cried, "There's my father!"

Charles Bevard, a Hampstead auctioneer and appraiser who brought two cases of Hampstead memorabilia to display, said, "You're dealing with living history here, and that's very important."

He said historians now appreciate the value of talking to living people to record their memories of historic events.

"People are currently contributing whatever they can," he said.

Hampstead was laid out in 1786, on land that had been presented to Dutton Lane, a Quaker, in 1748.

The Historical Society displayed a selection of Hampstead relics for yesterday's occasion, including a family Bible belonging to Richard Richards, a prominent Hampstead citizen who also laid out the town of Manchester.

Memorabilia displayed by Mr. Bevard included many souvenirs of Hampstead's commercial heritage. The town had "an amazing number of department stores," he said, among them Seaks Department Store and Blizzard's Department Store.

In his display cases were bottles of Shue's brand flavoring, produced by a local company, and labels from "Happy Meal" brand tomatoes, canned at one of two local canneries.

The area was also home to a mill, a pajama factory, the Hampstead Farms Dairy, and a weekly paper, the Enterprise.

Following the films, former school board member Skip Amass spoke about the historical society's Legacy Campaign, a fund-raising drive to raise a $500,000 endowment.

Historical Society Director Joseph Getty said the society, which has more than 1,000 members, has raised about $100,000 so far toward that goal.

He said the center has two staff members and an operating budget of about $140,000 a year.

As a fund raiser, the society will republish the 1877 "An Illustrated Atlas of Carroll County, Maryland."

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