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Location of Sykesville, Maryland
|Town of Sykesville||August 1904|
|• Mayor||Ian Shaw (2013- present)|
|• Total||1.58 sq mi (4.09 km2)|
|• Land||1.58 sq mi (4.09 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||545 ft (166 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||4,449|
|• Density||2,807.6/sq mi (1,084.0/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0591389|
The land on which Sykesville sits started out as part of the 3,000-acre (12 km2) Springfield Estate, owned by wealthy Baltimore shipbuilder William Patterson. In 1803, Patterson's daughter Elizabeth, married Napoléon Bonaparte's brother Jérôme, but when she arrived in Europe as Jérôme's bride, Napoléon refused to let Betsy Patterson Bonaparte set foot on land. Napoleon refused the marriage of the two, and would not let Elizabeth set foot on France's soil. He was determined that Jerome marry into royalty, and sent Betsy back home. Denied by Napoleon, she was never able to see her husband again, leaving her to raise their son alone in the United States. Upon the death of William in 1824, his son George Patterson inherited the estate. In 1825, George Patterson sold 1,000 acres (4.0 km2; 1.6 sq mi) of Springfield Estate to his friend and business associate, James Sykes.
A tract of land on the Howard County side of the Patapsco River contained an old saw and grist mill. In 1830 Sykes replaced it with a newer mill and constructed a five-story stone hotel, to take care of railroad personnel and the tourist trade. In 1831 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) extended its main line to "Horse Train Stop", since Sykesville had yet to be named. Other businesses moved into the area, including two general stores, new mills, churches and a post office. In 1832 the town managed to gain control of a barn across the Patapsco River, the dividing line between Carroll and Howard County, but the citizens were forced to return the barn under threat of federal troops.
Much of the town was destroyed by a flood in 1868, ending a water rights dispute between the Sykesville mill and the Elba Furnace when both were damaged. The town was rebuilt on the Carroll County side of the river.
The town was incorporated in 1904. A weekly newspaper, the Sykesville Herald, was founded in 1913 and published regularly until the 1980s.
Sykesville is located at (39.371020, -76.972630).
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,436 people, 1,409 households, and 995 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,807.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,084.0/km2). There were 1,474 housing units at an average density of 932.9 per square mile (360.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 83.3% White, 12.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 1,409 households of which 45.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.4% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.27.
The median age in the town was 37.3 years. 26.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.9% were from 25 to 44; 27.8% were from 45 to 64; and 7.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 54.6% male and 45.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,197 people, 1,390 households, and 1,025 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,621.1 people per square mile (1,012.8/km²). There were 1,420 housing units at an average density of 886.8 per square mile (342.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.14% White, 4.88% African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.02% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.33% of the population.
There were 1,390 households out of which 48.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.7% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.33.
In the town the population was spread out with 32.0% under the age of 18, 5.1% from 18 to 24, 37.8% from 25 to 44, 15.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $66,551, and the median income for a family was $75,758. Males had a median income of $50,146 versus $35,669 for females. The per capita income for the town was $24,395. About 2.4% of families and 3.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.6% of those under age 18 and 8.7% of those age 65 or over.
Sites of interest
The Springfield Hospital Center mental institution is located to the east of the town.
The ex-Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station was designed by E. Francis Baldwin in the Queen Anne style and built in 1883. The station was the second stop from Baltimore on the original B&O main line. The B&O ended passenger service to Sykesville in 1949. The station was later converted to a restaurant, Baldwin's Station & Pub, which bears the name of the architect. It was the prototype for a well-known model railroad kit.
The Sykesville Schoolhouse Museum, at 518 Schoolhouse Road, served as a one-room schoolhouse for black children from 1904 to 1938. The building is currently being restored.
The Gate House Museum of History, at 7283 Cooper Drive, served as residence for many employees at Maryland's second hospital for the insane. The hospital opened in 1896 and the gatehouse opened in 1904.
- Sykesville was the birthplace of Frank Brown, the 42nd Governor of Maryland, on August 8, 1846.
- Leo Kanner, child psychiatrist and autism researcher, died there on April 3, 1981.
- Scenes from the 1990 John Waters film Cry-Baby were filmed in Sykesville.
- Scenes from the 2003 Chris Rock film Head of State were filmed in Sykesville.
- Andy Stickel, the bass player for the modern rock band 7 Blue Skies, grew up in Sykesville but moved to Florida at the age of 13. He attended Freedom Elementary School, Sykesville Middle School and Oklahoma Road Middle School.
- Nan Agle, author of children's books, died at the age of 100 at her home in Sykesville, following a fall.
- Doug Turnbull, lacrosse player, died in Sykesville.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Sykesville town, Maryland". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Maryland Historical Trust, Annapolis, MD. "Sykesville Historic District." National Register of Historic Places Inventory--Nomination Form. Filed 1985-08-14; accessed 2011-03-20.
- "James Sykes, Frank Brown, and Sykesville". Gazette.net (Gaithersburg, MD: Post-Newsweek Media). 2004-04-29. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
- Seeking Freedom The History of the Underground Railroad in Howard County. p. 81.
- Town of Sykesville. "Sykesville History"; accessed 2011-03-20.
- Barbara Feaga. Howard's Roads to the Past. p. 57.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Town of Sykesville. "Sykesville Colored Schoolhouse." Accessed 2010-03-20.
- Town of Sykesville. "Gatehouse Museum of History." Accessed 2011-03-20.
- "The Historic town of Sykesville". Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- Howard County Historical Society. Images of America, Howard County. p. 20.
- Edward Gunts (19 November 2011). "1750s-era Howard Lodge nominated for U.S. historic register New owners wanted building to have recognition". The Baltimore Sun.