Sykesville, Maryland

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Sykesville, Maryland
Downtown Sykesville.JPG
Official seal of Sykesville, Maryland
Location of Sykesville, Maryland
Location of Sykesville, Maryland
Coordinates: 39°22′16″N 76°58′21″W / 39.37111°N 76.97250°W / 39.37111; -76.97250Coordinates: 39°22′16″N 76°58′21″W / 39.37111°N 76.97250°W / 39.37111; -76.97250
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedAugust 1904
 • MayorStacy Link (2021- present)
 • Total1.59 sq mi (4.11 km2)
 • Land1.58 sq mi (4.10 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
545 ft (166 m)
 • Total4,316
 • Density2,728.19/sq mi (1,053.03/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)410, 443, and 667
FIPS code24-76550
GNIS feature ID0591389

Sykesville is a small town in Carroll County, Maryland, United States. The town lies 20 miles (32 km) west of Baltimore and 40 miles (64 km) north of Washington D.C. The population was 4,436 at the 2010 census.[2] named Sykesville 'Coolest Small Town in America' in June 2016.[3]


Prior to European colonization, the area that is now Sykesville was used as a hunting ground by Native Americans from the Susquehannock and Lenape nations. By the late 1800s, many Europeans (predominantly from Germany and Scotland) had settled in Sykesville in pursuit of farming and mining.[4]

The land on which Sykesville sits started out as part of the 3,000-acre (12 km2) Springfield Estate, a slave plantation owned by wealthy Baltimore shipbuilder William Patterson.[5] In 1803, Patterson's daughter Elizabeth, married Napoléon Bonaparte's younger brother Jérôme, but when she arrived in Europe as Jérôme's bride, Napoléon refused to let Betsy Patterson Bonaparte set foot on land. Napoléon 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 Napoléon, 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.[6][7]

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.[8] 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.[citation needed]

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.[9] The town was rebuilt on the Carroll County side of the river.[5]

The town was incorporated in 1904. A weekly newspaper, the Sykesville Herald, was founded in 1913 and published regularly until the 1980s.[5]


Sykesville is located at 39°22′16″N 76°58′21″W / 39.37111°N 76.97250°W / 39.37111; -76.97250 (39.371020, -76.972630).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.58 square miles (4.09 km2), all land.[11]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[13] 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. 28% of Sykesville's residents were German, 19% Irish, 13% English, 7% Italian, 3% Polish, 2% Scotch-Irish, and 2% Russian. People of Dutch, Greek, Welsh, French, Scottish, Swiss, Lithuanian, Indian, Korean and Mexican descent each comprised 1% of the population.[14]

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.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[15] 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. Most Hispanics and Latinos in the town identify as White, with 2% of Sykesville's total population identifying as White Hispanics/Latinos. Non-Hispanics in Sykesville are predominantly White, with 81.3% of the town's total population being non-Hispanic whites. 11.9 of Sykesville is non-Hispanic African-American, less than 1% being Afro-Latino.

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.

Sites of interest[edit]

The ex-Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Sykesville 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.[5] 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. Although restoration isn't complete, the museum is open for small events.[16]

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.[17]

The Springfield Hospital Center mental institution is located to the east of the town.

Downtown Sykesville comprises the Sykesville Historic District. At two separate points in time, Union and Confederate Armies marched through the town center.[18]

On the Howard County side - The Howard Lodge (ca. 1750) was the centerpiece of a 2,500 acre slave plantation built for the Dorsey family. The building was once home to Francis Scott Key Jr.[19][20]


MD 32 in Sykesville

The primary method of travel to and from Sykesville is by road, and the main highway serving the town is Maryland Route 32. From Sykesville, MD 32 continues northward to Westminster. In the opposite direction, MD 32 heads south, then curves east, eventually approaching Annapolis. En route, MD 32 interchanges with Interstate 70, Interstate 95 and Interstate 97. The current route of MD 32 through Sykesville is a newer bypass, with the original road now designated Maryland Route 851 through central Sykesville.

The Carroll Transit System runs the South Carroll TrailBlazer (Red Route), which links Sykesville to Eldersburg.[21] The Owings Mills station of the Baltimore Metro SubwayLink in nearby Owings Mills in Baltimore County, is a 20-minute drive by car from Sykesville and provides subway access to downtown Baltimore.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  2. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Sykesville town, Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "Sykesville named 'Coolest Small Town in America' in Budget Travel contest". ABC 2 News. 7 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Small Town with a Big History" (PDF). Downtown Sykesville Connection. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  5. ^ a b c d Maryland Historical Trust, Annapolis, MD. "Sykesville Historic District." National Register of Historic Places Inventory--Nomination Form. Filed 1985-08-14; accessed 2011-03-20.
  6. ^ "James Sykes, Frank Brown, and Sykesville". Gaithersburg, MD: Post-Newsweek Media. 2004-04-29. Retrieved 2011-03-20.
  7. ^ Seeking Freedom The History of the Underground Railroad in Howard County. p. 81.
  8. ^ Town of Sykesville. "Sykesville History"; accessed 2011-03-20.
  9. ^ Barbara Feaga. Howard's Roads to the Past. p. 57.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  14. ^ "Sykesville, MD, Ancestry & Family History". Retrieved 2015-04-16.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  16. ^ Town of Sykesville. "Sykesville Colored Schoolhouse." Accessed 2021-03-17.
  17. ^ Town of Sykesville. The museum is open on Fridays and Sundays from 1-5 pm and by appointment and contains many physical artifacts donated from town residents as well as a written history of the town and research room of items not currently on display. "Gatehouse Museum of History." Archived 2008-08-08 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 2011-03-20.
  18. ^ "The Historic town of Sykesville". Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  19. ^ Howard County Historical Society. Images of America, Howard County. p. 20.
  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.
  21. ^ "South Carroll Shuttle Transportation (Red Route)". Carroll Transit System. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  22. ^ Sherrill, Martha (1994-03-23). "THE MAN HILLARY USHERED OUT". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
  23. ^ "Roy F. Emery, Howard farmer, lawyer, dies at 70". Baltimore Sun. 1991-12-03. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2009-03-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "7 Blue Skies - Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace. Retrieved 12 April 2018.

External links[edit]