Small town dwellers have that peaceful, easy feeling Silver Run hasn't changed much

Neighborhood Profile: Silver Run

July 19, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Like many of the older residents in the small Carroll County community of Silver Run, Alton Dutterer remembers the days when he picked vegetables for one or two cents a pound.

"A. W. Feeser and Irvin Crow had big canneries and we'd pick peas, string beans, sweet corn, lima beans and tomatoes," said the 81-year-old resident who has lived in the area all his life. "A good picker could earn 50 to 75 cents a day, depending on the quality of the beans and if there were no vines."

In those early days, the town was bustling with two canneries, three grocery stores, and two churches -- St. Mary's Lutheran Church and St. Mary's United Church of Christ.

The town's early history includes an active men's lodge (Ancient Order of the Mystic Chain) and its own colorful newspaper called The Chatterbox, which in one 1883 edition heralds the news that "Mr. Abner Forney cut down a white oak that made 130 fence posts and 3 cords of fire wood."

Today, a walk through the cemetery is like flipping the pages in a phone book, all the names are the same, said Doris Brewer, who has lived in Silver Run for more than 50 years and who, with her husband, Guy, runs the town's only grocery store, Brewer's Market. "Dutterers, Leppos, Myers, Bankert -- these are all ancestors of current residents."

Only a few miles from the Pennsylvania border and about 10 miles north of the county seat of Westminster, Silver Run has a successful mix of families who have been there for generations and families who have been there for relatively few years.

It is a town where the local service organizations, the churches and one elementary school hold the community together. Occasionally, someone will knock on the door to collect money for the maintenance of the streetlights that were originally purchased by A. W. Feeser.

"After Mr. Feeser died, we lost financing for the lights. So people give about $10 a year," Dutterer said.

Residents greet each other on a first-name basis at the grocery store. If someone happens to be a few dollars short at the cash register, they just let the Brewers know that they'll bring the rest by when they take their children to Little League.

It's that "safe, country atmosphere" that lured the Fleischer family and most of their neighbors from Baltimore's Morrell Park to Silver Run.

Looking for "that farm mentality," Craig Fleischer purchased a three-acre lot in Silver Run in 1982 for about $15,000.

Friends who helped Craig and his wife, Dwin, build their rancher enjoy the community so much that they eventually pulled out of Baltimore and moved to Silver Run, too.

The three acres in Silver Run that Fleischer purchased in 1982 would go for approximately $60,000 today, said Cliff Dull, a Realtor with Re/Max Ambassadors who grew up on a farm below Silver Run. "Zoning will only allow one house on that property, but it's good for horses."

Price range

In the last two years, homes in the Silver Run area have sold for anywhere between $60,000 and $450,000, but Realtors say the average price for a single-family home is $129,000.

"The rolling hills and the peaceful atmosphere are starting to give us a good influx [of buyers] from Baltimore," Dull said.

"As soon as we got here, we fit," said Dwin Fleischer. "I like going to a school where you know which mother goes with which child." The Fleischers have two children, Roxanne, 9, and Forest, 6, who attend Charles Carroll Elementary School in Silver Run.

Their daughter, Casey Mae, 11, attends Westminster West Middle School.

The Fleischers purchased a horse-boarding business in June and say life in Silver Run couldn't be better.

"We have the same goals as our friends and neighbors -- not to set the world on fire, just live comfortably in a good, safe atmosphere," Dwin said.

"I like the small town feel," said Barbara Doyle, who, with her

husband, Tom, joined the Fleischers in Silver Run in 1994. "I used to hear the sirens and the fire engines hourly. Up here I never hear sirens." Like many children in Silver Run, the Doyles' children, Casey and Emily are involved in Girl Scouts and the local 4-H Club. Barbara is a scout leader.

On Main Street

In addition to Brewer's Market, which is always bustling, small businesses dot the main street in Silver Run today: antique stores, a woodworking shop, a place that makes prefabricated stairs, a hair-cutting shop, and a gift store, to name a few.

The old scale that used to weigh vegetables is gone, and the old cannery buildings now house a tire shop, a body shop and other miscellaneous businesses.

Not far away there is a poultry operation.

The Colonial mansion built by A. W. Feeser stands like a monument for the days when the canning business was at its peak.

"Silver Run still offers simple, nice living," said Dutterer. "There's no mass development and people take care of each other. That is a gift these days."

SILVER RUN

Population: 2,000

ZIP code: 21158

Driving time to downtown Baltimore: 75 minutes.

Public schools: Charles Carroll Elementary School; Westminster East Middle School; Westminster High School.

Points of interest: Brewer's Market; St. Mary's Lutheran Church;

St. Mary's United Church of Christ.

Shopping: North Hanover Mall (Pa.); Cranberry Mall.

Average price of a single-family home: $128,850 *

Based on four sales in the last 12 months by the Metropolitan Regional Information System.

Pub Date: 7/19/98

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