Westminster, Maryland is a city in northern Maryland and is the seat of Carroll County.
Westminster is approximately 37 miles northwest of Baltimore and 38 miles southwest of York, Pennsylvania.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.64 square miles, of which, 6.63 square miles is land and 0.01 square miles is water.
William Winchester (1711-1790) purchased approximately 167 acres of land called White’s Level in 1754 which became known as the city of Winchester. The Maryland General Assembly later changed the name of his town from Winchester to Westminster because Winchester was also the name of the county seat of Frederick County, Virginia where it was at that time located.
On June 29, 1864, the cavalry skirmish known as Corbit’s Charge was fought in the streets of Westminster, when two companies of Delaware cavalry attacked a much larger Confederate force under General J.E.B. Stuart. The date is celebrated with a reenactment of the charge every year.
In April 1865, Joseph Shaw, newspaper editor, had his presses wrecked and his business destroyed, and was subsequently beaten and stabbed to death by four men in Westminster, allegedly because of an anti-Lincoln editorial that was published the week before the actual assassination. In a later trial at the Westminster Court House the four men were acquitted; the reason cited was “self-defense”.
Since 1868, Westminster has held an annual Memorial Day parade, which is the longest continuously running Memorial Day parade in the country. It is one of many parades including a Christmas Light Parade, Halloween Parade, 4th of July Parade and others.
A historic marker states that Westminster was the first place in the nation to offer Rural Free Delivery postal service.
Westminster is the birthplace of Sargent Shriver (1915–2011), the Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1972, and the first director of the Peace Corps.
On March 10, 2006, members of the Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funeral of Matthew A. Snyder who had been killed in the Iraq War. Church members stood on city property adjoining St. John Catholic Church where the funeral took place. Snyder’s father sued the Westboro Baptist Church for violating his privacy. The United States Supreme Court in March 2011 ruled in Snyder v. Phelps that church members had a free speech right to picket.
On Friday, June 26, 2015 the City of Westminster lit the Westminster Fiber Network, the first community wide gigabit fiber to the premise network in the mid-Atlantic region. The City partnered with Ting Inc., a subsidiary of Tucows, to light the network and provide gigabit services. Offered in limited areas, the plan is to expand service through wired and wireless connections.
The film For Richer or Poorer was filmed in Westminster.
In 1997, Linda Fisher, aka The Muffin Lady, who made and sold muffins to people and stores in downtown Westminster in an effort to stay off welfare, was shut down by the Carroll County Health Department because she was not using a commercial kitchen. The Westminster Fire Department helped her by offering the use of their catering kitchen. This experience led to a story on Good Morning America and the publication of Fisher’s cookbook, MUFFIN MAKEOVERS; Recipes and Reflections From Linda Fisher, Rebuilding Her Life One Batch at a Time.