Streets and history of Westminster intersect at odd angles [Eagle Archives]

Many residents today may not recall the crazy-quilt "dog leg" intersection of John, Bond and Main streets, or the equally mismatched collision of Main and Liberty streets, Railroad Avenue, and the train tracks in Westminster.

Years ago, these intersections did not look anything like they do now. Today, they form a perfect "cross."


But years ago, a motorist traveling south on John Street or Railroad Avenue had to make a 90-degree right turn onto Main Street, then hang a quick left to get on either Liberty or Bond Street and get through the intersection.

It may have worked well enough in the horse and buggy days. But by the 1970s, it was nuts.

Finally, sanity ruled and the two intersections and the bridge over the railroad tracks on East Green Street were rebuilt in the mid-1970s.

Many years ago, the area that we now know as John and Carroll streets in Westminster was known as the "space between."

Don Hickey wrote about the history of the John and Carroll Street section of Westminster in the fall 1983 publication of "Westminster Past Times."

Many historians will agree with Hickey's assessment, "Once known as the 'space between,' the street has perhaps one of the most intriguing histories of all the places in town."

Nancy Warner's "Carroll County Maryland — A History 1837-1976" reports that the original land grants that would be later included in Westminster were " 'White's Level,' 169 acres, to John White in 1733; 'Fanny's Meadow,' to James Wells in 1741; 'Bond's Meadow,' 1,915 acres, to John Ridgely; and 'Brown's Delight,' 350 acres to George Brown, both in 1753."

What is today known as Westminster is really the consolidation of a number of different villages that were put together in a series of incorporations between 1819 and 1856.

According to Hickey, "Westminster was incorporated by Act of the Assembly, passed April 6, 1839. This Act brought together several separate tracts of land known at the time by such fascinating names as New London, Winter's Addition, Pigman's Addition, Bedford Village, Bond's Meadow, Logsdon Tavern. In the Articles of Incorporation there is a reference to the 'space between' Logsdon tavern land and Bedford Village.

" 'Space between,' known today as John and Carroll Streets, was originally a farm in Bond's Meadow."

The history of the farm is the stuff of intrigue of Byzantine proportions. We will explore that history in a future column.