Title: Images of Westminster: Book features nearly 200 historical pictures
Author: Brandon Oland
Publisher: Carroll County Times
It needed to be from an area familiar to Westminster residents, it needed to be crisp and clear and it needed to show what life used to be like in Carroll County.
After poring through the 5,000 images in the Historical Society of Carroll County’s collection, Baty said she found the photo she needed. The black-and-white picture shows two unidentified women riding in a horse carriage along an unpaved East Main Street in Westminster in 1905. One woman held the reins; the other held a baby boy.
Baty said she thought the photo would be perfect for the cover of “Images of America: Westminster,” a new book from Arcadia Publishing that shows the history of Westminster through a series of 192 photos.
“It’s just a charming photo of Main Street,” Baty said. “They are enjoying their ride through town. A lot of those buildings are still there.”
Baty, the curator of collections at the Historical Society of Carroll County, selected all the photos to be used in the book. It will be released Sept. 21 and made available at most area book stores and the Historical Society of Carroll County.
The book is a joint effort of Arcadia Publishing and the Historical Society, which receives royalties for every text sold. This is Baty’s third collaboration with Arcadia. She also organized photos for Images of America books featuring Taneytown and Carroll County.
Baty said the Historical Society boasts more photos of Westminster than any other Carroll municipality, which made this project a bit easier than the other two.
“It was nice to have a chance to use all those photos,” she said.
However, she could not use many intriguing Westminster photos in the Carroll County book due to space constraints.
All of the pictures in “Images of America: Westminster” are black and white. Some of the historical photos feature structures that still exist, including a 1917 image of the National Guard Armory on Longwell Avenue and a mid-1930s photo of the Ward Memorial Arch at Western Maryland College.
Other buildings have been razed, including the old St. John Catholic Church building on Main Street and a grocery store that used to be at the intersection of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The grocery store featured a fountain out front. It’s no longer there, either. Baty said she’s not sure what happened to it.
“I’d love to know whose yard it’s in,” she joked.
Baty included many photos that offer a unique perspective of Westminster. An image from the late 1860s shows the view of Westminster from Western Maryland College. St. Paul’s United Church of Christ can be shown under construction in the background.
An image taken from the Goodyear blimp in 1937 captures Court Street and the areas surrounding it. The photo is, perhaps, most notable for what structures still had not been built in Westminster, including the courthouse annex, the new jail and the county office building.
Most of the images were taken 60 or more years ago, yet they are sharp and in focus.
“[Arcadia Publishing was] looking for really good, quality photographs,” Baty said. “They are very strict about the quality of the images that are sent in.”