Saturday, January 17, 2015

Impact of the Mason Dixon Line on the history of Carroll County Maryland

Impact of the Mason Dixon Line on the history of Carroll County Maryland

January 14, 2015

By Kevin E. Dayhoff

The Historical Society of Carroll County has a longstanding tradition of throwing an annual themed birthday party for the county every January.

For this year's event, which was scheduled for Jan. 17, the topic was the history of the county's northern border, the storied, celebrated and, at times, vilified Mason Dixon Line.

In 1763, the Treaty of Paris had signaled the end of the North American theater of the world-wide war between France and England, the French and Indian War that began in 1754-63.

The end of the conflict on this continent was one of the last pieces of the puzzle that enabled settlement in Carroll County with relative freedom from violence. The final piece was the American Revolution, 1775-83.

Another piece of the puzzle was the settlement of the longstanding, and often violent, dispute over the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Today, that rivalry is played out every football season between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But before the Mason-Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767, the dispute was often the source armed conflict and bloodshed.



Carroll County's connection to Cuba began with sugar in 1800s
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Also see:

Historical Society of Carroll County to host birthday party for Carroll County

On Saturday January 17, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Grace Hall Grace Lutheran Church 21 Carroll St. in Westminster, Maryland the Historical Society of Carroll County will host birthday party for Carroll County. The event is free.

This year’s speaker is Michael Dixon, who will make a presentation on “The Mason-Dixon Line: The Story Behind the Boundary.”

See my article on the Historical Society birthday party – and the impact of the Mason Dixon Line on Carroll County MD history here: “Underlining surveyors' contribution to Carroll County's history.”

According to information from the Historical Society, “Born as the result of a bitter territorial dispute over royal land grants, the Mason-Dixon Line was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 to settle the boundaries for Pennsylvania and Maryland.

“After 1820, when the Missouri Compromise created political conditions which made the line important to the history of slavery, it became associated with the division between the free and slave states. Today the line is still seen by many as a symbolic dividing line for regional attitudes and customs. This program explores the story of the line, which runs through our land and our history, along with the perceptions that have developed about the boundary.”

Recently, the Historical Society of Carroll Count announced a new executive director. According to a news release:

Westminster, MD - The Historical Society of Carroll County (HSCC) is pleased to announce Gainor B. Davis, Ph.D., as its new executive director. Davis will fill the vacancy created by Fred Teeter’s retirement in January.  Davis brings more than two decades of nonprofit experience to the HSCC, most recently serving as president of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, OH, where she moved the institution from a deficit position to four years in the position of profit. Davis will begin her new position at the HSCC on Jan. 20, 2015.

Davis’ background includes over 25 years of executive planning, administration, communications, and marketing experience in the nonprofit sector.  Special areas of expertise include strategic planning, finance, operations, fundraising, public affairs, earned income generation, and educational programming development. Davis has served as the president for the York County Heritage Trust, PA, director for the Vermont Historical Society, VE, and the Longue Vue House & Gardens, LA. She also worked as a director for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and as a membership coordinator for The Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

Davis’ community involvement has included serving on the board for The Vermont Civilian Conservation Corps, Chapter 11; Barre Partnership (National Trust Downtown Program); Executive Committee, University Circle Inc., Cleveland, OH; and 100 Year Club of the Western Reserve. 

2015 Board Chair James Lightner commented:  "We are delighted to welcome Dr. Davis as the new Executive Director of the Historical Society of Carroll County.  Dr. Davis brings a wealth of background in historical society leadership, fundraising, programming, and community development. I know that she will become an active member of our community as she advances and expands the Society's mission throughout the County."


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