Sandy Spring Museum

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Sandy Spring Museum
EstablishedJanuary 5, 1981; 38 years ago (1981-01-05)[2][3]
LocationSandy Spring, Maryland, U.S.
Coordinates39°08′58″N 77°01′17″W / 39.149577°N 77.021271°W / 39.149577; -77.021271Coordinates: 39°08′58″N 77°01′17″W / 39.149577°N 77.021271°W / 39.149577; -77.021271
Type501(c)(3) nonprofit history museum[1]
DirectorAllison Weiss[4]
PresidentDavid Hickson[4]

Sandy Spring Museum is a museum that focuses on the history of Sandy Spring, Maryland and the surrounding area.


An insurance salesman and auctioneer named Delmas Wood started the Sandy Spring Museum in 1981 because he thought Sandy Spring's history was gradually being lost as older residents died.[2][3] Wood wanted a place to preserve antique furniture, farm equipment, photographs, paintings, and documents of the Sandy Spring area.[5] Florence Virginia Barrett Lehman also helped found the museum.[6]

The museum was originally located in the basement of a Sandy Spring National Bank branch in Olney.[7] In October 1986,[8] it moved to Tall Timbers, a brick four-story Colonial house that had been the home of Gladys Brooke Tumbleson, who had died earlier that year.[3] Tumbleson descended from the Brooke family, for which nearby Brookeville was named.[3] Tumbleson sold the building to the museum for less than market value.[3]

Mary Jane Forman Rice founded the Sandy Spring Museum Garden Club, a group of volunteers who tend to the museum's courtyard garden, in 1992.[9]

Helen Bentley, the widow of baseball star Jack Bentley, donated 7.5 acres (30,000 m2) of land on Bentley Road in Sandy Spring to the museum in 1994.[5] The Bentleys' ancestors had lived in Sandy Spring since the late 18th century.[10] Almost the entire cost of the new location was contributed by local donors.[11] The building was designed by local architects Miche Booz and Thomas Bucci.[11][12] They based the design local 18th century barns and houses in order to make sure it would blend in with the area.[11] The arched walkway was originally planned from the road to the entrance, but it was shortened to save costs.[11] The architects gave a distinctive feel to each room of the building, and Booz called the central courtyard the "best room in the museum".[11]

The museum's new building on Bentley Road opened in 1997, providing more room for the museum's exhibits.[7]

Maryland Historical Trust awarded the Educational Excellence Award to Sandy Spring Museum for its interactive exhibit and web site in 2001.[13]

In 2007, a 3,500-square-foot (330 m2) addition opened, providing a research library and a collections storage facility for the museum.[10][14]


Sandy Spring Museum's exhibits include a replica of a 19th-century classroom, a replica of a blacksmith's shop, a replica of a general store, and a tractor made from a Model T Ford.[7][5] The museum has archived more than 15,000 artifacts and photographs from the area around Sandy Spring.[5] Some of its collection dates back to 1650.[5]

There are rotating exhibits which often focus on art and history or art and current events. The artists featured are frequently but not exclusively local.

A windowed gallery displays art by the faculty of Montgomery College.[5]

Two new exhibits were designed by locals in 2014.[15] One of the exhibits is about veterans transitioning from life in a combat zone to life as a civilian.[15] Another exhibit recreated an existing exhibit about community gathering spaces.[15]


  1. ^ "Sandy Spring Museum Inc". Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Sandy Spring Museum". Maryland Business Express. Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Meyer, Eugene L. (October 10, 1985). "Museum and Residents Bear Witness To Quaker Tradition of Sandy Spring". The Washington Post. p. MD1.
  4. ^ a b "Staff & Board of Directors". Sandy Spring Museum. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Bernstein, Adam (August 24, 2000). "A Window Into Town's Past". The Washington Post. p. M21.
  6. ^ "Florence Lehman, a former Herald reporter, at 84" (obituary). Boston Herald. March 4, 1996.
  7. ^ a b c Ruben, Barbara (September 8, 2001). "Town's Quaker Roots A Calming Influence". The Washington Post. p. J1.
  8. ^ Kessler, Pamela (June 6, 1986). "Maryland Museum Guide". The Washington Post. p. M14.
  9. ^ Rice (July 19, 2006). "Mary Jane Forman" (obituary). The Washington Post. p. B7.
  10. ^ a b "Our Story". Sandy Spring Museum. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d e Forgey, Benjamin (January 10, 1998). "Sandy Spring Displays Its Past". The Washington Post. p. B1.
  12. ^ Rogers, Patricia Dane (October 31, 2002). "Still Standing After All These Years; An Old Stone House Dresses Up for a New Century". The Washington Post. p. H1.
  13. ^ Jones, Mark (May 3, 2001). "Honors and Awards". The Washington Post. p. T31.
  14. ^ "Note: County planning". The Washington Post. July 28, 2005. p. T9.
  15. ^ a b c Hogan, Terri (March 20, 2014). "Museum's makeover leaves history intact". The Washington Post. p. T20.