Flea market find by Fla. resident opens window to Sykesville's past


August 13, 2002|By Debra Taylor Young | Debra Taylor Young,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE SYKESVILLE Gate House Museum of History recently retrieved a piece of Sykesville's past with the arrival of a small package containing a Bible printed in 1843, which, according to written entries, belonged to a former resident of the town.

No one knows the journey the Bible might have taken through the years before it became the property of a Florida woman named Erica Barrett.

Barrett told assistant curator Jim Purman that she purchased the Bible five or six years ago at a yard sale or flea market. She found it again while preparing to throw away old items.

Barrett did not wish to keep the Bible.

She recalled the custom in her Jewish faith of disposing of old, torn, worn-out or outdated religious objects by burying them in a religious ceremony, and wondered if Christians also have a special way to dispose of their sacred objects.

Upon examining the Bible further, she noticed interesting additions.

The inside cover bore a beautifully scripted dedication to "Miss Ann E. Stima ... ," but the last two letters were illegible, faded by time. "Presented by the Sykesville Sunday school, February 8th 1852," the dedication continued.

Not wishing to simply throw away the Bible, Barrett decided to look up the town of Sykesville on the Internet.

On the town's Web site, she learned that Sykesville has a museum of history.

She thought the town might be interested in having the Bible.

She got in touch with Purman through Sykesville's town clerk, Laura Lindberg, who received Barrett's first e-mail inquiry.

Purman said he made arrangements to receive the Bible, and was surprised when he and Lindberg opened the box to find that it was very small, 3 inches by 4 1/2 inches.

"Usually, families used larger Bibles to store family history," said Purman.

Newspaper clippings had been pasted on the inside back cover.

One announced the marriage of Edward Allen McDaniel of Baltimore, and Oceola Angus Powers of Woodbine, Carroll County, on July 5, 1877, by the Rev. J.M. Holmes. Another was the obituary of Oceola McDaniel, saying she died Feb. 23, 1911, and a memorial clipping named her son and daughter-in-law as Hilton and Florence McDaniel.

Purman took the names of the former Carroll residents to genealogical research at the Westminster branch of the Carroll County library, where he located all the names except the one mentioned in the dedication. No record was found of a Sykesville Sunday school, he said.

"This Bible leaves some questions unanswered," said Purman, who noted that in 1852 Sykesville had two churches and neither had a Sunday school.

He is continuing to research the Sunday school to see what information he can discover about the Sykesville woman, "Miss Ann E.," who first owned the Bible 150 years ago. He believes Oceola Powers might have been her daughter.

The Bible is a King James version published in 1843 in Philadelphia.

It contains intricate illustrations created by steel engravings throughout the New Testament and another handwritten dedication inside the back cover that reads, "E. A. Powers at Woodbine, Carroll County. May it be a lamp under her feet and a light unto her path."

Anyone with information about the Bible or family members named inside may call the museum in Sykesville at 410-549-5150.

Ronald McDonald visits

Ronald McDonald visited the Eldersburg McDonald's on Friday. His visit was one of hundreds scheduled by Eldersburg resident Joyce Mickey, community relations representative for McDonald's.

"Ronald is very busy," Mickey said of the scheduled visits to stores, which include evenings and weekends.

His show, referred to by Mickey as a "lot show," is performed on a platform in the parking lot. He puts on a magic show and plays games with adults and children visiting the location.

"Fun for all," said Mickey as she and Ronald McDonald strolled through the store giving out hats and other novelties to children. Children were able to have their picture taken with Ronald McDonald after the show, and pick up the photo moments later.

Although the visit was announced, many patrons happened on the event.

Mickey said Ronald also does school shows throughout the fall and winter, at no charge, but none has been scheduled for Carroll County schools.

Mickey said Ronald visits the Eldersburg McDonald's every year.

Debra Taylor Young's neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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