Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Town Tidbits: Taneytown

In Taneytown, an opera house used to provide residents with a hub for entertainment, said George Naylor, a longtime resident who helped open the town museum, now at 109 E. Baltimore St.

Though it was referred to as the Opera House, it hosted all kinds of entertainment for local residents, Naylor said.


"It just happened to have a building that lent itself to large groups," he said, adding that, at the time, space for 75 people was plenty. "They called it an opera house, but basically they put on plays."

In the 1930s, Naylor said, the building hosted talent shows conducted by Frederick County radio personality Happy Johnny. Naylor said local competitors could win up to $5 at the time by participating in the shows.


The Opera House also served as The Carroll Record's offices and plant from 1898 until 1971, according to an account from the Historical Society of Carroll County.

While the building no longer houses performers, the structure's hipped roof, octagonal cupola and ornamental Dutch gable point to the Victorian influence popular in the town's architecture during the turn of the century, according to a National Register of Historic Places nomination form for Taneytown's historic district filed in 1986.