Opening of Springfield Museum to mark hospital's centennial


January 02, 1996|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A BIT OF state and county history will be made Thursday when the Springfield Museum officially opens to the public. A ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. will be the first event to mark Springfield Hospital Center's centennial.

The museum displays many photos from years gone by, along with doctors' instruments, cooking utensils and farm tools. At one time, Springfield was nearly a self-contained community, with a working farm and its own fire department.

The museum is the culmination of the work of several dedicated hospital employees. The idea for the museum was one that was "kicked around for a long time," said Betty Jean Maus, director of volunteer services at the hospital. "But two people, Barbara Kelly and Darla Walton, really took the bull by the horns and got the project rolling."

The museum is housed in the Hubner building.

Plans call for the museum to be open to the public several days each month, but specific days have not been determined.

County and state officials are scheduled to attend the opening. The public may visit the museum during extended hours from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday.

A holiday 'thank you'

Patients at Springfield Hospital Center are mindful of all that was done for them during the holidays and want to thank the community. A patient at the center phoned me recently to express his gratitude.

Mrs. Maus also lauded the many community groups and volunteers who donated gifts, money and time to the patients.

"We do not have a budget for holiday goodies. It's through the generosity of the community that the patients are remembered during the holidays," she said.

Each Springfield patient received a bag of small gifts, and most enjoyed several parties and outings in recent weeks.

"Trips to see the Festival of Lights in Columbia and pictures with Santa were very popular events," Mrs. Maus said.

Area churches played a big part in bringing Christmas to the patients. Numerous churches from Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties, along with several from Baltimore, brought homemade goodies and gifts and spent time with the patients.

Two churches with ministries devoted to the deaf brought delight to the patients at the Muncie Center, the only unit in Maryland for mentally ill deaf patients.

Bags of homemade treats donated by Scout troops from around the state were well received by all the patients.

"Most people just don't realize what the community does for the patients here at Springfield," Mrs. Maus said. "We're very grateful to the community, because we couldn't provide any of this on our own."

Holiday spirit continues

Although many people consider the holidays over as of today, the holiday spirit of giving has been extended a few more days at the Eldersburg home of Allan Farcosky.

For the second year, Mr. Farcosky has displayed a holiday train garden in his family's garage at 6077 Ryon Court in the Warfield's Way community and has invited the public to enjoy it.

The display features two large G-scale trains running through a mountain scene. One of the trains is pulled by "James," but a more famous engine, "Thomas the Tank Engine," is waiting for his turn. Children will recognize Thomas and other train characters from the Public Broadcasting Service children's show.

Santa on a handcart travels a track through the top level of the display. Early 20th century buildings dot the landscape below, while skaters on a pond add seasonal interest.

Mr. Farcosky spent about two weeks preparing the display.

"I'm planning on enlarging the layout next year, and eventually we'll have trains running through the front yard as we add landscaping," he said.

The train display is open to visitors from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Helping the environment

Remember to help the environment and Piney Run Park by taking your Christmas tree to the park for recycling. Trees will be ground into mulch for use throughout the park.

Trees free of ornaments, tinsel and hooks may be left in the grassy area outside the park gates through Jan. 31.

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