A Walking Tour of Westminster, Maryland
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
Westminster originally consisted of more than 100 acres known as White’s Level. William Winchester, a literate indentured servant from England, purchased the land in 1764 for 150 pounds sterling (or $4.50 an acre) after working off his period of indenture. At that time, the town became known as Winchester, but was changed in 1768 to avoid confusion with Winchester, Va. According to local lore, Westminster was picked in honor of the name of Winchester’s supposed birthplace in England. Winchester, laid out the 45 lots to become Westminster, stretching from Old Washington Road to present day Court Street. It is the second oldest town in Carroll County. Germans migrated into this area from Pennsylvania bringing with them an architectural tradition of sturdy brick or stone farm houses, which they adapted to the closer quarters of town living.