Speaking of Our Past: A Narrative History of Owings Mills, Maryland


In the mid-1970s, Owings Mills was selected as one of two new "town center" sites for Baltimore County. By that decision, a quiet, rural community was catapulted into the throes of major change. In 1980, the Owings Mills Historical Council was formed, its purpose being to collect, preserve, and disseminate information about the town's history. Part of that effort took the form of an oral history project in which fifty interviews with the town's older residents were recorded. Marie Forbes, an active participant in the Council's activities, and a well-published freelance writer, was inspired to take those recordings and transform them into a written history of the town which would combine and distill the collective memories of the community. This book is the result. Part I of this book deals with the early history of the community. Since no living representatives of those early times were available to interview, Ms. Forbes has reconstructed, based on her extensive historical research, lively and exciting narratives featuring a series of historical figures which form a series of "Voices Past." Part II, "Voices Present," contains verbatim extracts taken from the History Council's taped interviews conducted between 1980 and 1988. The extracts have been arranged in an interesting manner by topical headings, and have been supplemented with brief annotations by Ms. Forbes. Most of the narrators were long-time residents of Owings Mills, and all had a strong connection with the current or past life of the community. As Ms. Forbes has noted, "As the various voices contribute their remembrances of how we ran our homes and businesses, what we did for fun, how we cared for the sick, who among our citizens was unusual or unique, and a wealth of other topics, we obtain not just a narrowly focused view of life in the Owings Mills community, but a widely-angled perspective." The text has been attractively illustrated with many old-time photographs.

Marie Forbes

(1988, 2004), 2013, 5½x8½, paper, 404 pp.

ISBN: 9781556131424