Tuesday, August 06, 2019
October 5, 2014: Westminster Community Pond
By Kevin E. Dayhoff,
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Sixty years ago on Sat., Sept. 18, 1954, the Route 140 “Roadside Picnic Area and Community Fish Pond” was dedicated with great fanfare by then-Md. Gov. Theodore R. McKeldin in a program that lasted all afternoon beginning at 2 p.m..
Today most folks know the ‘Community Fish Pond’ at the intersection of Routes 97-north and 140 as the ‘Westminster Community Pond’ but many know it as the ‘Westminster Duck Pond.’ In the late 1950s it simply known as Bloom Pond – named after the family, Russell and Mary Bloom that ‘sold’ the property for $10.00 to “the State of Maryland, to the use of the Department of Game and Inland Fish of Maryland” as described in a deed executed on June 10, 1954.
Recently the pond has been in the news. It is undergoing major reconstruction. Many folks have asked about the work being done on the pond – and curious about the history of the park.
Afrom Jeff R. Degitz, administer of Carroll County recreation and parks explained the “Pond will be closed for construction and major renovations beginning Wednesday, January 15, 2014. Planned renovations include the enlargement of the pond… and additional parking…”
Onreported in the Carroll Eagle that the “popular Westminster park could see its pond triple in size with the addition of walking trails and a fishing pier…”
It just so happens that I was getting a haircut at Cal Bloom’s Barber Shoppe, just after 2 in the afternoon a couple of weeks ago on Sept. 18. The barber, Cal Bloom, is the son of Russell and Mary Bloom.
And of course, our conversation drifted to the history of the pond and the barber shop that he opened on May 1, 1985. Bloom explained that his father started the pond in the middle of what was then, a large swamp; in part, in an attempt to drain the area to help protect the family farm’s livestock that were getting stuck in the wetlands.
The pond was dedicated just a few short months after Route 140 opened in July 1954. In his remarks McKeldin noted, “The increase in travel, the expansion of tourist business which we are encouraging, and the rapid growth of our highway system under our 12-year road construction program creates some problems…The Kiwanis Club of Westminster is due high praise for sponsoring this Community fish pond and roadside picnic area.”
After the pond and park area was turned-over to the state, the picnic area and other improvements to the pond were undertaken by the Kiwanis Club of Westminster and the Carroll County Chapter of the Isaac Walton League.
Although the practice of taking bread to the pond to feed the ducks has been discredited for many years; some of my fondest childhood memories are of feeding the ducks on a Saturday afternoon or after church on Sunday after having lunch at Baugher’s restaurant or the nearby “Snaks By Twin Kiss Drive-In.”
Kevin Dayhoff for Westminster Common Council
Westminster Municipal election May 14, 2019
Authority Caroline Babylon, Treasurer.
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