The Carroll County Almshouse and Farm, also known as the Carroll County Farm Museum, is located at 500 S. Center St. in Westminster. The Carroll County Farm Museum is a historic farm complex that provides the public with the ability to learn about 19th-century rural life. The original Carroll County Almshouse was founded in 1852, but it wasn’t until August 1966 that the Museum opened its doors to the public.
The spacious farm complex consists of 15 buildings including a main house. The main structure was built with 30 rooms and was originally designed for use as the county’s almshouse, charitable housing that is used to support lower class citizens in the community without work and housing. A two-story building with 14 rooms is home to the original kitchen and bathroom, and also housed the farm help.
The farm also includes a spring house, smokehouse, ice house, blacksmith shop, and numerous other sheds that saw use in farm work. Some of these buildings, now filled with artifacts, house the museum’s exhibits. Visitors are allowed to explore the vast collections of horse-powered plows that were used on the farm during the 19th century.
Not only is the farm home to history exhibits, but it also hosts community and historical events open to the public. The museum features the annual Living History Reenactment every spring. This year’s annual reenactment will be held on May 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will depict the Seven Days Campaign, illustrating six major 1862 battles between the Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac.
The farm museum is also host to the annual Maryland Wine Festival, which takes place in the third week of September. The festival began in 1984 and has taken place at the Carroll County Farm Museum since 1985. The Maryland Wine Festival is one of the largest and oldest wine festivals on the East Coast, attracting over 25,000 people to sample more than 200 wines each year.
The museum also seeks to entertain and educate children about farming in the 1700s and artisan skills, such as blacksmithing, weaving, and hearth cooking, demonstrated in the 1800s. Guided tours, which are available for school or family trips, give children insight into agricultural technology, period clothing, and historic cooking techniques.
The museum offers an abundance of family-friendly events, such as music and arts festivals and holiday celebrations. With summer right around the corner, The Carroll County Farm Museum is a great place to visit if you want to learn about Maryland history through a guided tour, enjoy a family friendly community event, or just explore the farm and enjoy the beautiful weather.