Starting this weekend the Gate House Museum will host a series of seven Sunday Afternoon Porch Talks to discuss local history.
The free talks will take place on the museum’s porch from 2 to 4 p.m. on various Sundays through October with an expert talking at 2 p.m. and answering questions at 3 p.m. There will be 25 seats available on the porch and room for chairs on the lawn surrounding it.
Gate House Museum Curator of History Jack White will host the first talk on July 22, discussing the great flood that washed over Sykesville in 1868. In the following weeks, speakers include former nurses from Springfield Hospital, former Mayor Jonathan Herman and local authors.
“The thing is the topics are all different,” White said this week, “so they touch on different aspects of Sykesville’s history and it gives people a chance to learn about things they probably never heard of before.”
Jack Egolf and Jeff Barnes will talk about working at Springfield Hospital from the 1970s to the 1990s on Aug. 12, and local author Amy Mathis will discuss the biography she wrote about her late father, “Like Saving Summer in a Jar: The Story of James ‘Jimmy’ Mathis, A Strawbridge Boy,” on Aug 19.
The following month historic restoration expert and former Sykesville Mayor Jonathan Herman will discuss the cottages built in the late 1800s to serve the Baltimore tourist trade on Sept. 2; Warren Dorsey, the 97-year-old grandson of a slave, will talk about life in Sykesville’s African-American community between 1920 and 1940 on Sept. 16; and on Sept. 30 Barbara Miles — a relative of the Jones sisters, for whom Sykesville’s Jones Park is named, and of a prominent Springfield Hospital employee — will display and discuss the Native American arrowheads collected in area fields by her family.
The series will close Oct. 14 with Al McEvoy, B&O Railroad Historical Society archivist, who will talk about the B&O and the society’s archives located in Eldersburg.
Refreshments will be offered at each event and the talks will take place rain or shine.