Taneytown: City doesn't take its name from whom you think

Photo courtesy of Nancy Eyler. Taneytown is pictured in the 1940s.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Eyler. Taneytown is pictured in the 1940s.(Kenneth Koons Jr / Carroll County Times)

John Digges, a resident of St. Mary's County, purchased a parcel of land near present-day Taneytown in 1754. He then passed the tract, of nearly 7,900 acres, named "Re-survey of Brothers Agreement," to his son, Edward Digges, and his son-in-law, Raphael Taney, for whom the city was named.

Like all the towns in the northern half of Carroll County, it was not until after the Treaty of the Six Nations was signed on July 4, 1744, with the Haudenosaunee Nation, and the dispute over the Mason-Dixon Line was settled in 1767, that settlers started to come here in greater numbers.


Although Taney laid out the town in 1762, it is believed he never lived in Taneytown. It is a popular mistake that the town was named after U.S. Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. The chief justice shared an ancestor with Raphael Taney, but he was not born until 1777.

On June 30, 1791, President George Washington stayed overnight at the Adam Good Tavern. Lt. John E. Buffington of Company C, 6th Maryland Infantry, from Taneytown, received the Medal of Honor in April 1908 for gallantry in the assault on Confederate fortifications south of Petersburg, Va., on April 2, 1865.

In the 1830s, the city enacted an ordinance to regulate at least one fire company in Taneytown, but the present company was not formally organized until 1897. Taneytown incorporated in 1836. Taneytown and Westminster are the only two municipalities in Carroll County that are officially designated cities.

The second versionof a Carroll County fair began as a picnic in Taneytown at Otterdale Schoolhouse on August 14, 1897. It continued at that location until 1954, when the fair moved to the Carroll County Agriculture Center in Westminster.

Actor Fred Gwynne, who was in the popular mid-1960s television series "The Munsters," lived in Taneytown until his death on July 2, 1993.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Eyler. Taneytown is pictured on a postcard postmarked 1935.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Eyler. Taneytown is pictured on a postcard postmarked 1935.(Kenneth Koons Jr / Carroll County Times)

For over 30 years, Antrim, built in 1844, has been a popular hotel and restaurant destination in town. One longstanding tradition in town for over 25 years is the Taneytown Business Breakfast, which meets the second Friday of every month at the Thunderhead Bowling Center. Today the town is known as a "Small Town with a Big Heart."

— Kevin Dayhoff

Mayor and City Council

Elected by voters to four-year terms (May)


James L. McCarron, Jr., Mayor, 2019

Diane A. Foster, Mayor Pro Tem, 2021

Donald C. Frazier, 2019

Bradley J. Wantz, 2019

Judith Fuller, 2021

Joseph A. Vigliotti, 2021


The mayor and City Council meet at 7:30 p.m. the second Monday of every month.

City Hall

17 E. Baltimore St., Taneytown, MD 21787