Carroll County Times

Free programs at museum in Sykesville

Members of the South Carroll Senior and Community Center's Fine Liners country line-dancing group show off their steps at the talent show on May 23.

The Sykesville Gate House Museum of History is starting off the summer by starting a whole new program.

The museum will kick off its free Summer Family Program from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. June 10.


This Sunday's program is titled "Reptile Wonders" and will bring at least 10 exotic species of reptiles to the museum. Baby turtles, giant tortoises, monitor lizards and large pythons will be on display.

In addition to providing hands-on experiences with the reptiles, the program will describe the habitat and environment for each species, as well as the predator/prey relationships of what they eat and what eats them.


The Summer Family Program is designed to provide entertainment and information for the whole family. Dr. Mark Fraser, curator of the museum, described the program as being focused for small children up to adults.

The Sykesville Gate House Museum focuses on the history of Sykesville and surrounding communities. The museum works to make that history accessible to all ages.

Fraser described one of the more popular areas: "In the museum itself, we have a 'touch me' cart. Kids have to identify what they touch."

The item on the cart which is most often identified is the box turtle shell.

After Sunday's session, there will be three more presentations in the Summer Family Program.

From 2 to 3 p.m. July 8, "A Confederate Soldier's Story" lets "Sergeant Smith," a soldier in the Confederate Army, explain what life was like in General Lee's army and display his weapons and uniform parts.

From 2 to 3 p.m. July 29, "Sir Knight" and his damsel companion will come to the museum to describe life as a Crusader in the Middle Ages.

From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 26, "Bugs" will be the topic with discussions on how bugs live and giving the audience a chance to meet and touch some live insects.


Admission to all of these presentations is free, and no registration is required. Pay special attention to the starting times, as those change based on the type of program offered.

Maybe the best part of this program is that it will be ongoing. Fraser said, "During the summer, we're doing the four programs. Then we'll do it monthly during the year."

If you need more information, you may call the museum at 410-549-5150 when it is open - from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays - or leave a message at other times. You may also call Fraser at 443-974-5017.

The Sykesville Gate House Museum of History is at 7283 Cooper Drive, Sykesville.

Talented seniors

When the folks at the South Carroll Senior and Community Center, in Eldersburg, titled their program "South Carroll Senior Center's Got Talent," they weren't kidding. On May 23, six different acts performed at the show.

Tony Matulonis, of Eldersburg; Dave Horn, of Marriottsville; Ellie Marano, of Eldersburg; Joe Burkhardt, of Eldersburg; and Betty Merenda, of Manchester, shared their individual talents, as well as the Fine Liners, the center's country line-dancing group.

Loren Lustig, of the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks, provided piano accompaniments, as needed.

For any talent show, of course, you have to have judges. Ruth Moreau, Ned Landis and Claire Null provided kudos, laughter, tears and some dancing prowess of their own.

The judges declared that all of the acts were winners, and the phrase "You're ready for Vegas!" was the theme of the day.

The South Carroll Senior and Community Center put on a great show.