Westminster: County seat formed by merger of numerous villages

Westminster: County seat formed by merger of numerous villages
Elijah Jones, center, plays video games with junior staffer Isaac Jones, left, and intern Breon Herbert on the opening day of the Club's new location on East Main Street in Westminster Monday, April 9, 2018. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Westminster began as a series of separate villages located along a Native American trail that traveled through a vast swamp between two hills. In 1754, William Winchester purchased 167 acresat Patapsco Falls and Little Pipe Creek for about $4.50 an acre. This parcel was first granted to John White in 1733 and was called White's Level. In spite of popular folklore, recent research does not support reports that Westminster was first named Winchester.

Located on a major east-west trade route, in the middle of a major agricultural region, Westminster quickly grew as a place to eat, spend the night and purchase supplies between 1754 and the Civil War.


A portion of Green Street, settled by free blacks, between Center Street and Washington Road, was absorbed into Westminster in 1788. The village of Bedford, which ran along King Street, now known as Main Street, from Longwell Avenue toward John Street, was added in 1812.

Westminster was first incorporated under the name of the "Burgess and Commissioners of Westminster," on Feb. 5, 1819. The incorporation was the formal merger of three adjoining towns: Westminster, 1764; New London, established 1775; and "Winter's Addition to Westminster."

"Logsdon's Tavern," on the west end of town, was absorbed into Westminster in 1825. "The Forks," at the intersection of West Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, was considered the center of town. Later, the village of "Irish Town," a self-contained manufacturing and highly commercial village at Union Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, was absorbed into the city.

Westminster was chosen as the county seat in 1837 as a compromise because of its central location; many of the inhabitants spoke German and English.

On June 29, 1863, Capt. Charles Corbit led the 1st Delaware Cavalry against Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate cavalry at Westminster, which delayed the latter's arrival in the Battle of Gettysburg.

The period between the end of the Civil War and World War II was witness to a great expansion of the banking, industrial, commercial and employment base in Westminster, partially fueled by the arrival of the railroad in 1861.

Today, Westminster has a population of 18,590, and continues to grow as an arts, education and cultural center, and a restaurant and shopping destination with many fairs, festivals, parades and special events to draw people to town.

— Kevin Dayhoff

Mayor and Common Council

Elected by voters to 4-year terms (May)

Joseph Dominick, Mayor, 2021

Robert P. Wack, President Pro Tem, 2019

Mona L. Becker, 2019

Gregory Pecoraro, 2019

Tony Chiavacci, 2021


Benjamin Yingling, 2021

The Mayor and Common Council meet at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of every month at City Hall, 1838 Emerald Hill Lane.

Administrative Offices

56 W. Main St., Westminster, MD 21157

410-848-9000, 410-876-1313