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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Education

Mount Airy’s History 101 series starts Tuesday night, with a session on the town’s movie theater

History 101, an annual event series highlighting the rich history of Mount Airy and surrounding areas, begins Tuesday night with an hourlong event looking at the history of a Mount Airy movie theater.

Historical Society of Mount Airy member Barbara Runkles will present the session at the Mount Airy Fire Station, 702 N. Main St., beginning at 7 p.m.

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Carroll County Public Libraries Director of Communications Lisa Picker said some attendees will remember going to movies at the theater.

Other sessions will be held Wednesday and Thursday and on Monday, Oct. 17. History 101 is suitable for all ages, but geared toward adult audiences.

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“History is something that’s not it’s not just a relic,” Picker said, “it is something that continues to evolve, and we’re happy to be presenting these opportunities for folks to learn more about the history of their community.”

History 101 is presented by the Historical Society of Mount Airy in partnership with the Carroll County Public Library system and the Mount Airy Main Street Association. Historical Society member Ellie Bonde, who has been coordinating the event for more than 15 years, said the free event tends to draw 30 to 40 people per night. Bonde is also co-owner of Blossom and Basket Boutique flower shop on Main Street in Mount Airy.

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“Since the kids have all gone back to school in the fall, it’s time for the adults to learn,” Bonde said. “Of course, it’s open to all kids and to anybody who cares to learn a bit more about the history of our area. Most years I’ve had various speakers, but this year happens to have a Civil War theme.”

A Civil War medicine lecture from former Hood College history professor Betsy Estilow is set for Wednesday at the Mount Airy library branch, 705 Ridge Ave., at 6:30 p.m.

Bonde said a park ranger from the Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick will discuss the regiment stationed at Pine Grove Chapel during the Civil War and the history of slavery near Frederick in the 1800s at 6:30 p.m., Thursday also at the library.

“It’s not just history, per se,” Picker said, “we tie history to our local community. It’s really unique that we offer a historical perspective on these things that you pass by every day but may not understand how old they are or their historical significance.”

Bonde said the Pine Grove Chapel and Cemetery, at 737 S. Main St., is one such well-known site with a rich history to uncover. The chapel, which is usually locked, will open its doors to the public when it hosts Anthony Cohen for a glimpse into the underground railroad in Maryland during History 101′s final event at 7 p.m., Oct. 17.

Cohen, a historian and author, is the founder of The Menare Foundation, Inc., dedicated to the exploration and promotion of the history of the Underground Railroad, and operates the Button Farm Living History Center in Germantown, a 40-acre farm depicting 1850s plantation life in Maryland.

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The final event was postponed from its originally scheduled date of Oct. 3.


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