Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster
Location within the U.S. state of Maryland
Maryland's location within the U.S.
|Founded||January 19, 1837|
|Named for||Charles Carroll of Carrollton|
|o Total||453 sq mi (1,170 km2)|
|o Land||448 sq mi (1,160 km2)|
|o Water||5.1 sq mi (13 km2) 1.1%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||370/sq mi (140/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 8th|
Carroll County is included in the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area. While predominantly rural, the county has become increasingly suburban in recent years.
Prior to European colonization, the land that now makes up Carroll County was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years. Numerous Native American archaeological sites and archeological artifacts have been located across the county. Native Americans used the land for permanent settlements, seasonal visits and journeys, and as hunting grounds. At the time of European colonization, the Susquehannock and the Lenape were the predominant indigenous nations in the area. What is now the city of Manchester was inhabited by the Susquehannock nation until around 1750 and was the location of the intersection of two important Native American trails. An ancient trail that was used by Algonquian and Iroquois nations, named the "Patapsco-Conewago (Hanover) Road" by colonists, stretched from the Susquehanna River to the Potomac River. Main Street in Westminster was built over a portion of the trail between the two rivers. By the end of the 1700s, most roads in Carroll County were trails established by Native Americans.Maryland Route 26 (Liberty Road) was built over top what was originally a Native American trail. This trail passed through the Freedom area of southern Carroll County and was used by Native Americans to travel from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. The trail was transformed into a road and renamed "Liberty" by an act of the Maryland General Assembly in the early 1800s. The land of what is now Sykesville was used by the Susquehannock and the Lenape as hunting grounds.Taneytown was inhabited by the Tuscarora people during the early to mid-1700s. The Tuscarora hunted deer, wolves, wildcats, and otters in the woodlands of what is now Taneytown. Due to the Six Nations land cessions, the Tuscarora were expelled westward across the South Mountain of the Cumberland Valley.
Carroll County was created in 1837 from parts of Baltimore and Frederick Counties, see Hundred (division). It was named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), signer of the American Declaration of Independence.
The earliest European settlers in Carroll County were predominantly Pennsylvania Dutch from southeast Pennsylvania and English from the Tidewater region of Maryland.German was the predominant language of Carroll County until the Civil War. German was most heavily spoken in the northern and western parts of the county. The towns of Hampstead, Manchester, and Taneytown had German majorities. English-speakers were a minority and were concentrated in southern Carroll.
During the American Civil War, the population of Carroll County was sharply divided between supporters of the Union and the Confederacy. In 1863, there were significant troop movements through the county as part of the Gettysburg campaign. On June 29, 1863, the cavalry skirmish known as Corbit's Charge was fought in the streets of Westminster, when two companies of Delaware cavalry attacked a much larger Confederate force under General J.E.B. Stuart.
During the 1970s, Carroll County was a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan and the Klan regularly held rallies and cross-burnings. The KKK held rallies and handed out leaflets on Main Street in Westminster and in Manchester until the late 1980s. In 1977, Father William Aitcheson, a KKK terrorist turned Roman Catholic priest, was charged by Carroll County for illegal explosives after molotov cocktails and pipe bombs were found in his home. Father Aitcheson was a ringleader of the "Klan Beret", a domestic terrorist cell that stockpiled weapons, called for armed revolution, plotted to murder Coretta Scott King, and burned crosses at Jewish institutions. The KKK held a membership drive in Mount Airy in 1992. In 2012, two minors were charged for a cross-burning in Westminster. In 2018, the KKK distributed fliers in southern Carroll County.
In 2013 the Carroll County Board of Commissioners voted to make English the official language of the county. In 2018, the Carroll County Public Schools announced that Confederate flags and Nazi swastikas would be banned from Carroll County schools, along with Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nation symbolism and other messages that promote hatred or intolerance.
Topographically, Carroll County is located within the Piedmont Plateau region, with characteristic upland terrain of rolling hills and deciduous forest. The most prominent relief is Parr's Ridge, which bisects the county from southwest to northeast. The highest point is in the northeastern part of the county on Dug Hill along Deep Run Road.
Carroll County is bordered on the north by the Mason-Dixon line with Pennsylvania, and on the south by Howard County across the South Branch of the Patapsco River. About half of the eastern border, with Baltimore County, is formed by the North Branch of the Patapsco River and by Liberty Reservoir, though the northern half near Manchester and Hampstead is a land border. Carroll County is bordered on the west by Frederick County, across the Monocacy River and Sam's Creek. Other major streams in the county include Big Pipe Creek, Little Pipe Creek, and Double Pipe Creek, Bear Branch, and the headwaters of the Gunpowder Falls. The Piney Run Reservoir is in the southern part of the county.
Three railroad lines cross Carroll County. The old Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Old Main Line crosses the southern part of the county from east to west, with former stations in Sykesville and Mount Airy. The original Western Maryland Railway (WM) main line track runs southeast to northwest through Carrollton, Westminster, New Windsor, and Union Bridge. The old Baltimore and Hanover Railroad (later acquired by WM) runs further to the east through Hampstead, Millers, and Lineboro. Two of these railroad lines are now operated by CSX Transportation; the former WM main line is now operated by Maryland Midland Railway.
As of the census of 2000, there were 150,897 people, 52,503 households, and 41,109 families residing in the county. The population density was 336 people per square mile (130/km²). There were 54,260 housing units at an average density of 121 per square mile (47/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.69% White, 2.28% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.73% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 30.5% were of German, 14.0% Irish, 11.1% United States or American, 10.7% English and 7.3% Italian ancestry.
There were 52,503 households out of which 39.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.50% were married couples living together, 8.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.70% were non-families. 17.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the county, the population was spread out with 27.70% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 30.60% from 25 to 44, 23.90% from 45 to 64, and 10.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $60,021, and the median income for a family was $66,430 (these figures had risen to $78,912 and $90,376 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $44,191 versus $30,599 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,829. About 2.70% of families and 3.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.00% of those under age 18 and 4.90% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2007, Carroll County was the tenth wealthiest county in the country in its population range of 65,000 to 250,000
As of the 2010 census the population was 167,134. The racial makeup was 91.20% Non-Hispanic whites, 3.19% blacks, 0.20% Native Americans, 1.45% Asians, 0.03% Pacific Islanders, 0.09% Non-Hispanics of some other race, 1.33% Non-Hispanics reporting two or more races and 2.61% Hispanics.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 167,134 people, 59,786 households, and 45,163 families residing in the county. The population density was 373.4 inhabitants per square mile (144.2/km2). There were 62,406 housing units at an average density of 139.4 per square mile (53.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 92.9% white, 3.2% black or African American, 1.4% Asian, 0.2% American Indian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 2.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 33.8% were German, 19.1% were Irish, 14.0% were English, 8.4% were American, 8.2% were Italian, 5.3% were Polish, 2.8% were French and 2.3% were Scottish.
Of the 59,786 households, 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 24.5% were non-families, and 20.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.15. The median age was 41.1 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $81,621 and the median income for a family was $95,825. Males had a median income of $62,322 versus $46,170 for females. The per capita income for the county was $33,938. About 4.0% of families and 5.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.
Carroll County Public Schools is the largest employer in Carroll County.
The following is a list of principal employers in the county, as reported by the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development from November 2014 data. This list excludes U.S. post offices and state and local governments, but includes public institutions of higher education.
|Carroll Hospital Center||1,997|
|Jos. A. Bank Clothiers||778|
|Penguin Random House||753|
|Carroll Community College||686|
|Carroll Lutheran Village||425|
|English American Tailoring||425|
|Arc of Carroll County||325|
|PFG-Carroll County Foods||211|
|PNC Financial Services Group||171|
|Long View Nursing Home||166|
|Lorien Mt. Airy||161|
|Golden Living Center||160|
|BJ's Wholesale Club||150|
|Carroll County Family Center Y||140|
|Stanley Black & Decker||140|
Carroll County differs from most counties in the Baltimore-Washington area in that it is strongly Republican. No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Carroll County since Lyndon Johnson's 1964 landslide, and even LBJ won by a mere 119 votes out of 16,783 cast in that election. Since World War I ended, the only other Democrat to carry Carroll County has been Franklin D. Roosevelt, who managed to achieve this only during his initial 1932 campaign. Before World War I Carroll County had considerable Confederate sympathy and hence leaned Democratic, although it did vote twice for William McKinley.
In the 2012 presidential election, 65 percent of the county's vote went for Republican candidate Mitt Romney. In Maryland's 2014 gubernatorial race, Carroll County voted for Republican Larry Hogan over Democrat Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown by sixty-six percentage points (82 to 16 percent).
Carroll County is governed by five county commissioners, a "commission" being the traditional form of county government in Maryland.
Several times in the past, Carroll County voters have rejected charter amendments that would call for a government consisting of a County Executive and a County Council.
In 2004 Carroll County voters approved legislation that expanded the number of County Commissioners from three to five. The five Commissioners are elected from five Commissioner districts, as opposed to three Commissioners elected at-large. The change occurred with the 2010 elections, since the Maryland General Assembly did not agree on the districts in time for the 2006 elections.
Commissioners elected in 2018--all Republican--were:
Supporting the commissioners is a cabinet, composed of the following departments:
The current elected Sheriff is James T. Dewees.
McDaniel College, a small private liberal arts college, is located in Westminster.
The newspaper of record is the Carroll County Times.
Law enforcement services for the county are provided by the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, as well as several municipalities having their own police forces. In addition to providing police services, the Sheriff's Office also acts as an agent of the courts: serving warrants, enforcing child support laws, ensuring courthouse security, transporting prisoners, etc. On October 4, 2007, the County Commissioners voted to create a police department for the county. The police department would handle primary law enforcement duties while the Sheriff's office would continue to act under the arm of the courts. This move would give the Commissioners power to appoint or fire the chief of police instead of having a popularly elected Sheriff being in charge of all law enforcement. This move falls in line with Maryland's more populated counties who have such a dual system of law enforcement (Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Howard and Baltimore Counties), as Carroll County has begun to have a population increase. Municipal departments, such as Westminster Police, would be unaffected by the change.
This county contains the following incorporated municipalities: