Towson to officially mark its 150th anniversary

County seat to celebrate with weeklong festivities

April 26, 2004|By Stephanie Hanes | Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF

More than two months ago, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. postponed the celebration of Towson's 150th anniversary. He wanted to wait until spring, his spokeswoman said, and do the event right.

Now, the commemoration is here. And while there may not be a parade and a Miss Towson contest - highlights of the centennial festivities in 1954 - the county has scheduled a week of events honoring Towson's position as Baltimore County seat.

"I think this is a great opportunity to celebrate a milestone in Baltimore County history," Smith said.

The festivities will begin at 10 a.m. today, when Smith and other elected officials will bury a time capsule intended to be opened in 2154.

The county has been asking residents to submit ideas for what to put in the capsule. Smith spokeswoman Tori Leonard said the county plans to include a flag, a screen shot of the county's Web page, and editions of The Sun and The Towson Times.

Tomorrow evening, the Towson Library will unveil an exhibit of historic photos of Towson. The library will also distribute a postcard that lists key dates in Towson history, such as the beginning of rail service between Towson and Baltimore in 1882, said Kathy Coster, the library's manager of marketing and programs.

On Wednesday, the county bar association is sponsoring a rededication of Courtroom 5 in the Old Courthouse. For decades, that room has been the center of county government activity, Leonard said.

The commemoration "is to highlight the role this particular room has played in county history," she said.

The room may be best known as the courtroom in John Waters' movie Serial Mom.

Volunteers with Historic Towson Inc. will lead tours of Prospect Hill Cemetery on Thursday after an anniversary party at the Old Courthouse complete with a 32-square-foot cake donated by Martin's West.

On Friday, county officials are urging residents to party in Towson as part of a "Towson Business Appreciation Night."

"Area establishments have been asked to display flags, red, white and blue flowers or festive lights to indicate they are ready to celebrate!" a news release reads.

These anniversary events will lead to the annual Towson Spring Festival weekend.

"I think it's coming together in a very nice way," Leonard said. "We thought it was really worthy of more than just a day."

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