As Goes the Herald, So Goes Sykesville

When we first started Sykesville Online, Bob Allen wrote a great article about the Sykesville Herald.

The article asked the following question.

Is there a connection between the state of a town and the state of its news coverage? Does the death of all those weeklies that once jammed our mail boxes and cluttered our driveways have larger implications?

And then Bob detailed the role of the Herald in the development of the town and the recording of its history.

The Voice of Sykesville
It’s just as doubtful that Sykesville will ever again have its own hyper-local, Sykesville-centric newspaper like the Sykesville Herald, an ultra-grass-roots publication that served as the yarn and glue that held together the town’s sense of itself and sense of place. It was the Sykesville Herald that faithfully recorded all the news, events, milestones and minutiae of the town’s progress over seven decades.

Births, deaths, weddings, graduations, business openings and closings, land sales, car wrecks, fire company calls, Lions Club awards, church events, 4-H competitions, piano recitals, beauty contests, Boy Scout jamborees, bowling league standings, Little League schedules, school lunch menus. You could find them all in the Herald.

“In truth, the Herald was the voice of Sykesville,” says Errol Smith, curator of the Sykesville Gatehouse Museum. “There were papers in Uniontown, Union Mills, Westminster and elsewhere that gave their towns tremendous coverage. But events that happened here got the short end of the stick until the Herald came along.”

The Herald’s first edition, printed on Sept. 18, 1913, was eight pages long and included a pledge to readers that Sykesville’s new hometown paper would be: “… independent in all the term implies. It means that the Herald will be a wholesome newspaper, worthy of a place at every fireside, and that its energies will be devoted to the advancement of Sykesville.”

The Herald was “down-home” in the best sense of the term. A church advertisement in the early 1950s decried world communism and urged readers to “read the Bible daily and go to church Sunday.”

Check it out to learn more about the Sykesville Herald.

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