Aberdeen Room Archives and Museum

BEHIND THE SCENES

September 19, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To tell the story of the people of Aberdeen, their history and development in an interpretive manner with exhibits and displays covering cultural, industrial and sociological development of the town. The museum was founded in 1987 by Charlotte Garretson Cronin, an eighth-generation Aberdeen native. The nucleus of the museum's first displays came from the office of the late Maryland Sen. J. W. Cronin, an Aberdeen lawyer, newspaper editor and publisher. Other families have donated historical memorabilia since. Today, displays include costumes of the early 20th century, old telephone books, canning devices, yearbooks and mementos from Aberdeen schools, local church history, Army pictures dating to 1918, sports equipment, scrapbooks of local sports stars -- including the Ripken family -- Indian relics, local newspapers dating from 1919 and other material related to the cultural and economic development of Aberdeen. The museum is run entirely by volunteers.

Latest accomplishment: Restoration and preservation of the original 1892 plat of the town of Aberdeen. This map, the focus of all exhibits in the Aberdeen Room, traces the original Aberdeen Village -- a square bounded by Plater Street, Edmund Street, Front Street and West Bel Air Avenue.

On the horizon: The museum will pack up thousands of pieces of memorabilia and archives by Oct. 1 and move them from existing quarters at North Parke Street to a more expanded space at 18 Howard St. Though the museum will be open to visitors as soon as exhibits are in place, the grand opening is scheduled for Dec. 4, coinciding with Aberdeen's annual Christmas Street activities. Plans also include the establishment of Aberdeen Village, an outdoor living history museum.

About the museum: Membership: 200. Attendance: 2,500 annually. Operating budget: $1,000.

Where and when: 18 Howard St., Aberdeen (beginning Oct. 1). Hours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 3 p.m. the first Saturday of the month. Call 410-273-6325.

Charlotte Garretson Cronin, curator and president of the board of directors: "It has been our mission to tell the story of the people of Aberdeen. We are very grateful to have been given the opportunity to move to a larger space so that more people can appreciate the history and culture of this community. We have been assessed as having a very on-target story line -- we are accomplishing what we set out to do."

Members of the board

Charles W. Baker

George H. Baker

William R. Cronin

Trudy DeForest

Anna Duguid

Ruth Duguid

Lilma Huntley

James Lindsey

Romaine Morris

Mary Lee Plummer

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