Restored photos offer glimpse into Sykesville's past


November 30, 1999|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MANY HISTORY buffs love spending time poring over old documents, letters and town records to learn of an area's history, but to the average person, nothing speaks more clearly than photographs.

Sykesville Gate House Museum recently began displaying a wonderful piece of town history -- photographs that have been carefully restored and chronicle glimpses of everyday life in Sykesville during the late 19th century.

A photo album once belonging to members of the Wade H. D. Warfield family made its way into the museum, courtesy of Sykesville resident Thelma Wimmer. Unfortunately, time had taken its toll on the pictures and they were badly faded and somewhat tattered.

Determined to rescue this important artifact, museum curator Jim Purman contacted a photographer specializing in preservation and restoration of old photos.

Robert Porterfield had suggestions on what could be done to restore many of the nearly 100 photos in the album, but the $1,300 cost was a concern.

"This is a very interesting window into the Sykesville of the 1890s," said Purman. "Wade H. D. Warfield was very instrumental in the building that took place along Main Street. Some of the buildings there today were built by Warfield."

Undaunted by the cost for the restorative work, Purman raised the funds through donations and turned the album over to Porterfield.

The album is now back at the museum and will be on display for the next three months. Museum docent Kari Greenwalt will soon begin trying to identify people and places in the photos.

The museum will welcome visitors to a holiday open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 2. Refreshments, holiday decorations, antique trains and open exhibits will be featured.

The museum will be closed Dec. 26.

Information: 410-549-5150.

Asia Day

Seventh-grade pupils on Team III at Oklahoma Road Middle School took a whirlwind tour across Asia last week as they concluded a social studies unit on the countries and cultures of that region.

With guidance from teacher Danelle Moser, pupils researched basic human activities, including religion, art, culture, economy and government as well as land features and climates of some two dozen Asian countries.

Asia Day was celebrated as the students spent most of the day "traveling" from one country to another, learning through display boards, traditional dress, food and crafts.

Chris Pesto, 12, studied the Maldives and was able to tell his classmates a great deal about this tiny nation, which consists of some 1,200 islands southeast of India. Chris offered a coconut cake as food from the Maldives, because coconut and seafood are nearly the only foods native to that country.

Stacey Sears, 12, introduced pupils to Japan. She demonstrated origami -- the art of intricate paper-folding -- and offered a dish of flavored rice and peas.

Amber Nelson, 12, was the tour guide for the country of Brunei, serving custard tarts. Visitors could construct an anklet or bracelet from strings of colorful beads.

Partners Jessica Chiaramonte and Heather Borgoyn whipped up some fried bananas for sampling and bedecked themselves with facial glitter and Asian hairstyles for their presentation on Singapore. The girls offered visitors a chance to create their own batik fabric as an example of Singapore art and style.

Most pupils agreed, however, that the food was the highlight of their Asian tour. They were particularly impressed with a sushi demonstration provided by an area restaurant.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 11/30/99

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