Woodbine offers a blend of the past and present A place where kids know about horses and hay rakes, too

Neighborhood Profile

April 14, 1996|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It seems fitting that the town of Woodbine straddles a slowly meandering portion of the Patapsco River.

It seems right that the community is part of both Carroll and Howard counties.

Tucked along the southwest corner of Carroll and a northwest section of Howard County, Woodbine is a mix of the past and the present. The railroad tracks that follow the Patapsco's flow once routinely brought freight trains to a thriving agricultural village.

In the first half of this century, area farmers brought their produce to the weigh station near the tracks. Several canneries were in operation, preserving the community's bounty.

Although no longer thought of as an agricultural hub, Woodbine has retained the look and feel of a simple, friendly locale.

A drive south along Woodbine Road (Route 94) from Liberty Road in Carroll County is almost like stepping back in time.

The approach to the railroad tracks and the river beyond is dotted with small bungalows and ranchers.

A long, slow hill leads down into what is usually thought of as the "center of town" -- a small strip shopping center, a few individual shops and a restaurant.

There is still plenty of wide-open space to be found in Woodbine, but development over the past 10 years has made that space more difficult to find.

Farmland on both sides of Interstate 70 has given way to the housing needs of Carroll and Howard counties.

As often happens, growth and development bring controversy.

The sale of a farm on Hoods Mill Road was recently halted when neighbors opposed the prospective buyer's plans to put up several radio towers on the property.

Appeals are currently in process to resolve the dispute.

Homebuyers seeking a convenient location with a small-town atmosphere have discovered a treasure in Woodbine.

"I love the fact that I can get anywhere I need to be in a reasonable amount of time," said Molly McEvoy -- a seven-year resident of the area.

"It's very convenient, yet is still rural."

Mrs. McEvoy and her husband, Dr. Michael McEvoy, realized that there was more land to be had for the money in Woodbine than in other areas they considered.

Quality public schools for the couple's three children and a healthy environment were other factors that drew the McEvoys to the area.

The family settled into a Colonial on more than 3 acres alive with interesting wildlife.

A 35-acre adjoining property has given the McEvoy children the chance to know a little about farm life.

"I'm very pleased that our kids know what combines and hay rakes are," said Mrs. McEvoy.

"They definitely know more about farm life living here than if we had moved somewhere else. We may even own a horse or two one day soon."

Having the land for a few farm animals also attracted Nancy Sydnor and her two sons to Woodbine.

The family shares its 5-acre farmette with several horses and a host of cats and dogs.

"When you live in Woodbine, you have it all," said Ms. Sydnor.

"You're in the country, but you still have neighbors and friends."

The friendliness of Ms. Sydnor's neighbors was brought home to her recently when she was food shopping and discovered that she had forgotten her purse.

"I was stunned when the store manager told me to take the groceries and come back with my checkbook in a day or two," she said.

"Now that's a small town for you."

Recreation in the Woodbine area reflects the small-town atmosphere.

Softball leagues sponsored by the Woodbine Recreation Council make frequent use of the fields at Saltbox Park on Gillis Falls Road.

Horseshoe tournaments are a popular summer event as well.

An annual Easter egg hunt draws a large number of families each year.

Senior citizens are not forgotten in Woodbine.

A growing group known as the "Top of the Hill Gang" keeps busy with monthly meetings and activities aimed at the over-50 crowd.

The group was formed six years ago by Elizabeth Hill and Nancy Stockdale and currently boasts nearly 80 members.

The gang meets at Calvary Lutheran Church on the second Tuesday of each month and is always eager to welcome new faces.

For more information, call the church at 410-489-5280.

Woodbine

Population: Approximately 2,300 (1990 census)

Commuting time to downtown Baltimore: 45 minutes

Commuting time to downtown Washington: 60 minutes

Public schools: Eldersburg Elementary, Mt. Airy Middle and South Carroll High in Carroll County; Lisbon Elementary, Glenwood Middle and Glenelg High in Howard County

Shopping: Lisbon Center, Woodbine Shopping Center

Nearest mall: Carrolltown Center 13 miles east, Cranberry Mall 21 miles north

Zip Code: 21797

Average price of single-family home: $201,791 (22 settled in 1995)

Pub Date: 4/14/96

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