TANEYTOWN — Busily straightening displays and organizing photographs, volunteers with Taneytown Heritage & Museum Association Inc. have spent weeks preparing for their new site's grand opening on Saturday, April 30.
"We'll finally be open to the public," association President Nancy Eyler said. "We're hoping for good weather and a good turnout."
The organization will open its doors, at 340 E. Baltimore St. in Taneytown, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The museum's new location is the former home of the Taneytown Hudson car dealership, according to Eyler.
The now-deceased George B. Crouse and George Naylor developed the city's first history museum in 2004, leasing a building at 24 E. Baltimore St. from the city just in time for Taneytown's 250th anniversary. In 2012, the lease expired and the museum closed. In 2013, members of the Taneytown Heritage committee and the Taneytown History Museum acknowledged that they had many of the same goals and the groups merged in 2014, creating the nonprofit Taneytown Heritage & Museum Association Inc.
In October 2013, a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous gifted the new property to the organizations. The property has been landscaped and renovated to include an accessibility ramp and a parking lot.
"Everything we have is on loan from community members," Eyler said.
Eyler, of Taneytown, said visitors will enter the new museum through a gift shop stocked with books, pottery, jewelry and artwork by local residents. The adjacent room features artifacts from the early history of Taneytown. It includes Eastern Woodland Indian arrowheads and a Mason-Dixon mile marker on loan from the Mason and Dixon Line Preservation Partnership.
Another room features items from the city's significant buildings, such as the Taneytown Airport. The general aviation airport was established between 1935 and 1941, according to the Carroll County Times archives, but a fire in 2012 destroyed the former hangar, which had been occupied by Chaz's Used Auto Parts & Towing.
"They're sites we thought visitors would recognize," Eyler said. "Some of them have been repurposed, and some of them are no longer there."
The fourth room houses memorabilia from the shuttered Taneytown High School and a rotating Collector's Corner, which currently features tinware paintings. Eyler said the upstairs will be closed to the public. It will house an office, an extensive reference room, a small storage area and a meeting room.
Heritage & Museum Association publicity chairwoman Elaine Hoover, of Taneytown, said volunteers have been working day and night to prepare the museum for the grand opening.
"We're very interested in preserving Taneytown's history and heritage, and passing it on to future generations," Hoover said.
Peggy Keeney, of Mayberry, was recruited by the organization to line up guest speakers.
"I've learned a lot about the city's history," Keeney said. "We're always learning something new."
If you go
What: Taneytown History Museum Grand Opening
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 30
Where: 340 E. Baltimore St., Taneytown
Parking will be available at the Northwest Middle School, which adjoins the museum property. The address of the school is 99 Kings Drive, which can be accessed from East Baltimore Street to Trevanion Road at the traffic light. Kings Drive will be on the left. For those needing accessible parking, there is designated parking on the museum property. For more information, visit www.taneytownhh.org or call 443-918-8687.