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Carroll County Times

Local woman starts online history collaboration

If South Carroll residents sign into Facebook, they can find an alternative option for exploring the area's history.

Sykesville resident Colleen Gibbons started a virtual nostalgia group, "Sykesville and Eldersburg Back in the Day," July 13 on Facebook, in which locals can share anecdotes and images of South Carroll history.

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Gibbons, a volunteer at Sykesville Gate House Museum, said her group allows for a forum of "history by collaboration," which she said many enjoy. Anyone can contribute anything from their personal collection, or just discuss their memories.

Gibbons said she began her group after seeing similar sites in the Randallstown and Milford Mill areas. Randallstown's group has accrued more than 1,000 members.

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"Sykesville is frequently mentioned there, so I wanted to start one," she said.

The group's members, 54 as of Aug. 6, have sometimes posted multiple times a day, talking about old landmarks of shops that have since closed down.

"Anyone remember Michael's?," one member, Herb Starlings, asked the group. "The Burger King is there now. You could buy all your clothing there if you could find it. That's where you got your Sykesville varsity jacket and letter sweater. Run by two brothers and mom."

That post sparked a discussion of where the residents purchased clothes in the '70s, and other businesses nearby.

"It's fun for people to share memories," Gibbons said.

Starlings, 62, said that he grew up Eldersburg. He said he was among the first graduating class at South Carroll High School, and remembers when there were only four stop signs in the entire town.

The group allows people who are long-time residents to revisit long-lost memories, said Starlings, who is now a Finksburg resident.

"Eldersburg has changed so much," he said. "It used to be a sleepy little country intersection. Back in those days, you knew everybody, and if you didn't, they didn't live out here."

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Starlings said he enjoys sharing memories with his adult children, like his memories of Michael's, what he calls the original discount store, and said he will keep his eye on the group in the future.

To join or view the group, visit

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