Sykesville, Maryland was founded as a stop along the B&O Railroad's Old Main Line, the oldest railroad line in the country. Because of this, the town has a lot of history, including an Historic District filled with beautiful buildings, and also many attractions that railroad enthusiasts may find exciting. You can take a tour of an old Pullman sleeping cab and view the model railroad displays within. There's also an old train station, right along the tracks that is now a restaurant that offers plenty of front row seating for when a train rolls on by.
Sykesville is located in southeastern Carroll County. The town is about 30 miles west of downtown Baltimore and 50 miles north of Washington DC. Main Street is the Main Street for Sykesville and with only a few exceptions most of the businesses are located along this stretch. The historic district starts right at the county line with Howard County and proceeds north along Main Street. Another Main Street area found nearby is Ellicott City, which is also located along the original B&O Railroad.
We'll start our tour of the Sykesville Historic District on the north end of Main Street and work our way south. This is an interesting building. It looks to be about 100 years old and recently renovated. But in reality, it's new construction, an infill project made to fit in with the look and character of the rest of the town.
We continue to head south on Main Street but with another shot facing north, this time of a building that looks a lot like a log cabin. The building is home to a pet supply and grooming business.
We're still heading south and still facing the same side of the street along Main Street. This historic house looks like a private residence. We haven't made it to the heart of the Historic District yet. At this point, across the street are mostly woods and other private residences.
This is St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Main Street in Sykesville, Maryland.
Looking down on Main Street from a hill above is a beautiful home in the Queen Anne style of architecture.
Now we're finally getting into the heart of Sykesville's downtown business district. Today, this is an antique shop, but if you notice the signs in the windows, it looks like it used to be a department store, selling everything from appliances and radios to poultry and dairy supplies.
So far, all of the pictures we've taken have been on the west side of Main Street, but this is the first picture we've taken on the east side of Main Street. The bright purple building on the left once housed a lunch room, and the stone building on the right once housed the Sykesville Volunteer Fire Department, which is no longer located there.
Across the street, we find more businesses located in the historic buildings along Main Street. The one on the left provides printing services and the one on the right provides financial services.
If we look slightly south, we see some more boutiques. It was early in the morning when I was here taking pictues. If you look closely, you can see someone opening up her shop for the day.
And here's a view looking northbound along the storefronts we were just viewing in the previous two pictures. These shots were taken around Halloween, so you'll see a lot of Halloween and Fall decorations in these pictures.
Across the street is the Sykesville Town House where all town meetings are held. You can also stop by this historic house for a look around and to pick up a walking tour map or other local information.
Here's another view of the east side of Main Street just south of the Town House. As you can see, this side of Main Street is rather steep. Most of the businesses are on the west side of Main Street.
Still facing the east side of Main Street, we do find a few businesses, including one in this converted house.
And then slightly farther south on the east side of Main Street, we have this restaurant and pub complex. They do catering also, as you could guess by the truck out front.
On the northeast corner of Main Street and Sandosky Road, we have this small boutique.
Across the street, on the west side of Main Street is a more dense row of businesses, including several shops.
If you head west past these shops and go down Oklahoma Avenue, we come to the Old Main Line Visitors Center and Post Office. Named for the Old Main Line of the B&O Railroad, which once travelled through the area. The building is an interlocking tower that once stood just south of Baltimore's Penn Station.
Next door to the Old Main Line Visitors Center and Post Office is a former Pullman sleeping car. You can go inside and view the model railroads that the Sykesville and Patapsco Railway have on display inside.
Across the street, this house is now a cafe where you can even eat out on the front porch.
This is a view of the back of the shops that face along Main Street. As you can see, the area has been renovated into an attractive park.
And here's a closer view. The benches and fountains help make the area more inviting.
Now we're back on Main Street. Here's a row of businesses along the southwest corner of Main Street and Oklahoma Avenue, including several boutiques, and salons.
This is a zoomed in view looking directly north on Main Street back in the direction we came from.
And here's another view of the salons and boutiques along the west side of Main Street. To get an idea of where I was standing when I took the previous pictures, it was right by the pedestrian crossing sign.
Across the street is St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. The church is up on the hill and the Parish House is along Main Street.
Next door to that is a small complex of buildings, including one that sells pottery and art supplies and another that sells wine and gifts. The barrels around the outdoor cafe are pretty cool.
This Queen Anne style railroad station is now a restaurant. The original railroad station was built in 1883 as a stop along the B&O Railroad's Old Main Line, the oldest Railroad line in the nation. The town of Sykesville grew up along this stop.
We reach the end of our tour when we reach the southern end of town. Sykesville is in Carroll County, but the Howard County line is just on the other side of the tracks. The railroad tracks and the Southern Branch of the Patapsco River serve as the southern border of the town.
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