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Carroll County is a county located in north-central Maryland. The county seat of Carroll County is Westminster, approximately 40 minutes, or 35 miles, from downtown Baltimore.
Carroll County was established in 1837 and named after Charles Carroll, one of the signatories on the American Declaration of Independence.
While the county is relatively rural, its economy is thriving. Carroll County is home to over 4,870 businesses, and the largest employer in the county is the Carroll County Public School system. Carroll County is conveniently located just a short drive from Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Pennsylvania.
Carroll County is mostly rural, meaning that properties there offer an abundance of space. Land is also available, with opportunities for development, or setting up your own agricultural operation.
Homes in Carroll County tend to be large, colonial-farmhouse inspired constructions. So, expect to see broad front porches, exterior shutters, and horizontal siding. Other features include bay or dormer windows, with double-hung frames.
Carroll County’s rural location offers its residents a quiet county lifestyle, with access to amenities in nearby small towns, as well as the major center of Baltimore.
Homes in the area come in a variety of architectural styles, but generally feature larger spaces than found in more urban and even suburban areas. Discover masterfully crafted, and impeccably appointed homes with bright interiors, gourmet kitchens and spacious living spaces, on large lots often backing onto even more green space. Older historical homes have been beautifully updated and tailored to modern lifestyles.
Rural areas feature colonial-style farm houses on acreages and farmland. These homes often feature front decks and expansive porches, with sprawling views of the idyllic countryside. Acreages and farms often feature extras like workshops, detached garages and work areas, tenant houses and more.
Townhomes and row homes are less prevalent in Carroll County, but can be found in towns like Westminster, Manchester and Hampstead, among others.
Carroll County also features numerous land opportunities, with land available for both industrial uses, as well as agricultural land. There are also many commercial business listings as well.
Carroll County offers family-friendly living, with small towns and quiet neighborhoods, and strong community spirit. The local economy is dynamic and diverse, with excellent job growth, a highly educated workforce, and high median household income. The Carroll County School System is one of the top public systems in Maryland, with many highly-rated schools across the county.
Carroll County was one of the later-formed counties in Maryland, founded in 1837. It was named after Charles Carroll, one of Maryland’s signers of the Declaration of Independence. The town of Westminster, first established in 1764, was chosen as the County seat.
Carroll County’s rich land attracted farming families from its earliest days. The northern part of the county was settled by Germans moving south from Pennsylvania, creating small family farms centered around small towns. The southern part of the county was settled by those of English background, moving inland from the coast in search of farmland. These areas featured larger tracts of land, and this influenced the architecture and towns in the southern area.
Mills sprang up along the creeks and streams to process produce, and the arrival of the railroad and construction of turnpikes boosted the county’s economy, with access to major markets like Baltimore, Frederick, Hanover and Washington. The establishment of more railroad lines, including the Baltimore & Ohio Line, led to an economic boom in the late 19th century.
Eight cities grew in Carroll County, including Westminster, Hampstead, Manchester, Mount Airy, New Windsor, Sykesville, Taneytown, and Union Bridge. Merchants, bankers and tradesmen set up shop to provide essential services for the farmers in the surrounding area. The county’s economy continued to diversify, with tanneries, paper mills, canneries and quarries appearing.
As in many places, the Civil War divided Carroll County’s citizens, with approximately 750 men joining the Union army, and 250 fighting for the Confederacy. Confederate troops entered the county three times during the war. The most notable encounter, Corbett’s Charge, was a brief but bloody skirmish that is thought to have changed the outcome of the Gettysburg battle.
In the 20th century, more major industries and employers developed in the county. In 1909, the Tidewater Portland Cement Company was established to take advantage of limestone deposits near Union Bridge. The plant has grown tremendously over the years, and is operated today by the Lehigh Cement Company. In the early 20th century, the county was also the world’s leading producer of wormseed oil, a key ingredient in a cure for hookworms and ringworms in humans and animals.
Today, major corporations such as Random House and General Dynamics Robotic Systems call Carroll County home.
Many Carroll County families have lived in the area for generations, and there is a strong interest in local history. It continues to celebrate its heritage to this day, with a strong County Historical Society, committees in communities across the county, and sites like the Union Mills Homestead, Carroll County Farm Museum, and Sykesville Gatehouse Museum.
Carroll County is a picturesque area, steeped in history and tradition. Residents and visitors enjoy a quieter pace of life, with quiet small towns full of historical character, beautiful rural landscapes and outdoor activities.
Venture to any of Carroll County’s charming small towns to experience historical main streets, filled with local cafes, bakeries and eateries, boutiques, antique stores and more. Westminster, the county’s oldest town, county seat and center of commerce, features beautiful antebellum architecture, an Antique Market, and an impressive Arts Center and Historical Society. Sykesville’s Main Street has been designated by both Maryland and the National Registry of Historic Places. Community events and festivals are held throughout the year, in many towns throughout the county.
History buffs can delight in a variety of activities to explore the area’s heritage. Most towns feature historic walking tours, learning about the area’s Civil War history and architecture. There are also several driving tours that will allow you to enjoy scenic back roads and follow troop movements. Visit spots like the Carroll County Farm Museum, or Union Mills Homestead and Grist Mill.
Carroll County features many family-friendly parks, and youth sports are prevalent on fields in most towns. Piney Run Park and Hashawha Environmental Center both provide interesting nature centers for visitors of all ages. Patapasco Valley State Park maintains hiking, biking and horse trails, fishing and canoe access.
Outdoor adventures abound in Carroll County. If biking is your passion, the county has 10 loop tours consisting of over 150 miles of cycling, highlighting scenic stops and historic attractions. There are10 public walking trails to explore the county’s rolling hills. Horseback riding can be enjoyed at many stables, and multi-use trails at parks throughout the county. There is excellent trout fishing amid the lakes, rivers, streams and ponds in the area. Golfers can take advantage of any of a half-dozen courses in the county.
Carroll County is home to thousands of acres of farmland, and brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “farm to table”. Farmer’s Markets throughout the county offer the best in locally grown produce, fresh eggs and meats, baked goods, flowers and more. The oldest market in the county is held every Saturday at the Carroll County Ag Center. U-Pick farms throughout the county are a great way to taste the area’s finest goods.
The annual Maryland Wine Festival has been held in Carroll County for more than 30 years, and the area is home to a variety of award-winning wineries, breweries and distilleries. Be sure to check out spots like the Old Westminster Winery, Serpent Ridge Vineyard, Pub Dog Brewing, Pipe the Side Brewing, Patapsco Distillery, and more.
Situated between Baltimore County and the Pennsylvania border, Carroll County is centrally located among major centers. Baltimore is approximately 28 miles southeast, Washington DC is approximately 45 miles southwest, and Philadelphia is approximately 102 miles northeast of the county’s borders.
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Listing information last updated on September 18th, 2021 at 3:03pm EDT.