Between 1736 and 1738, Robert Owings was assigned to "cut a new road as Christopher Gist had marked it" south from Connewago (now Hanover, Pennsylvania) to a point about halfway to Fort Garrison in Baltimore County. The village of Spring Garden became a stage-line stop on the new road and later became the town of Hampstead. The first settlers to the area were English immigrants who made their way west from the Port of Philadelphia. They were followed by Scots and Germans. Hampstead was used by farmers from surrounding areas as a center to obtain goods brought from Baltimore and to send produce to markets in Baltimore and Pennsylvania. The level and fertile land, coupled with the availability of lime, gave farmers important advantages for successful farming. In 1879, the Harrisburg Division of the Western Maryland Railroad reached Hampstead. The accessibility of the railroad attracted new residents, doubled the value of real estate, and made dairy farming profitable.
Hampstead has developed from a sleepy, farming community to a modern town of about 6,300 residents. Community activities center around the town’s numerous organizations and its schools - Hampstead Day, the Christmas Village, and school events in August, for examples.
Did you know Hampstead’s Town Office was once located in a side room of the old First National Bank building on Main Street? (This building is now the Police Department’s station.) During the Depression the bank closed and was later purchased by Mayor Les Wheeler, who in 1950 rented it to the Town. In the late 1960’s the Town Office moved to the basement of Hampstead Baptist Church on S. Carroll Street. In 1980 the church moved into a larger structure along Route 30 and Town Office, along with the Police Department, was able to utilize the entire building on S. Carroll Street. In 2000 the Police Department moved into the old First National Bank building, now fully restored - bringing the Town full circle! Although the Mayor and Council had the authority since 1888 to appoint constables, it wasn’t until the 1950’s that James Boone became the Town’s first official police officer.
Hampstead is committed to retaining its small-town atmosphere and cherished quality of life even as it implements its innovative Main Street Revitalization Plan. As major elements of the plan, the town has renovated an old bank building on Main Street as the new police station, supported the Hampstead Train Station Committee with the restoration of the 1912 train station, and supported the building of a bypass road to alleviate downtown traffic congestion.
Incorporated in 1888, the Town of Hampstead celebrated its 125th Anniversary in 2013.
For more information on Hampstead's history, see Bob Porterfield's book "Hampstead - The Way It Was" (also available at the Carroll County Historical Society).
Visit our Hampstead Train Station historical museum and visitors center -
Step back in time as you enter the Hampstead Train Station, an original depot built on the Western Maryland Railway Dutch Line in 1912. The Hampstead Train Station Committee renovated it into a museum and visitors center, conveniently located at 4035 Gill Avenue. Displays of historic train artifacts, memorabilia and a model train layout are sure to enthrall train aficionados and casual viewers alike. Historic photographs, artifacts and memorabilia from Hampstead’s yesteryears abound as well. Open Saturdays, late May to late October, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. as well as by appointment. Also available for private events. Call 410-374-9397 or visit www.hampsteadtrainstation.com for more information.