About the Gate House


John Grimes--ower of the former hotel in Sykesville, built by James Sykes and destroyed in 1868


The B&O railroad tracks into town and (in the distance) the Sykesville Hotel which washed away in the flood of 1868.

Becoming a Museum

What We Have

The Gate House didn't start life as a museum. Nor did it serve long in its original purpose as a controlled entry point to Springfield Hospital.

Beginning in 1913, the family of William Shipley lived in the Gate House. Shipley served as the chief purchasing agent for the hospital, and lived here until his death in 1954.

After the Shipleys left, the house fell into disrepair, and when Route 32 cut the town off from the hospital, the Gate House became further neglected. Eventually, the town of Sykesville bought the house from the state for $100.

A group of volunteers put in countless hours, gathering artifacts, analyzing paint, battling termites, and turning the old house into a town museum.

Currently our exhibits are divided into the two lower rooms in the house.  The first is an exhibit originally created in 2016 with the Smithsonian Traveling exhibit "The Way We Worked"--featuring information and a multitude of artifacts centering on life in Sykesville around the time of World War I. The second room contains smaller exhibits on a multitude of subjects including farming equipment, B&O railroad artifacts, historical furniture, photos and pictures by and of Sykesville residents, and all kinds of other items.

This fall and winter (2021), the museum will be working on a plan to update "The Way We Worked" exhibit into "The Way We Lived," focusing more on home life and recreation, and will be integrating our many touchable and working items into a space that is more suitable for younger audiences to explore, interact, and make connections with local history.