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Westminster, Maryland

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Westminster, Maryland

Westminster, Maryland
Official seal of Westminster, Maryland
Motto: "Where history meets tomorrow"[1]
Location in Maryland
Location in Maryland
Country United States
State Maryland
County Carroll
Founded 1764
Incorporated 1818
 • Mayor Kevin T. Utz
 • Total 6.64 sq mi (17.20 km2)
 • Land 6.63 sq mi (17.17 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 764 ft (233 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 18,590
 • Estimate (2012[4]) 18,628
 • Density 2,803.9/sq mi (1,082.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 21157-21158
Area code(s) 410, 443, 667
FIPS code 24-83100
GNIS feature ID 0595080
Website .com.westgovwww

Westminster is a city in northern Maryland, United States. It is the seat of Carroll County.[5] The city's population was 18,590 at the 2010 census.[6] Westminster is an outlying community within the Baltimore-Towson, MD MSA, which is part of a greater Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia, DC-MD-VA-WV CSA.


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.

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".

Just north of Westminster is the farm at which Whittaker Chambers hid the so-called "pumpkin papers."

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), former candidate for Vice President of the United States and brother-in-law of John F. Kennedy.

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 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.[7]


Westminster is located at (39.576551, −77.000120).[8]

Westminster is approximately 36.5 miles (58.7 km) driving distance northwest of Baltimore and 37.5 miles (60.4 km) driving distance southwest of York, Pennsylvania.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.64 square miles (17.20 km2), of which, 6.63 square miles (17.17 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[2]


Westminster lies in the humid subtropical climate zone, with hot and humid summers and cool winters with highly variable seasonal snowfall. Due to its elevation, distance from the Chesapeake Bay and urban heat island, temperatures in Westminster are often considerably lower than in Baltimore, especially at night.

Climate data for Westminster, Maryland (1981−2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 41.3
Average low °F (°C) 21.9
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.88
Snowfall inches (cm) 7.3
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.4 8.1 9.9 10.6 11.9 9.8 8.8 8.4 7.8 7.2 8.9 8.9 108.7
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 3.0 1.9 1.2 .1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .3 1.1 7.6
Source: NOAA[9]

Tornado activity

Westminster's historical tornado activity is slightly above the Maryland state average and 38% greater than the overall U.S. average. On April 16, 2011, a tornado was confirmed to have touched down around 8:00 pm EST.[10] On July 19, 1996, an F3 (which has wind speeds of 158–206 mph) tornado struck 5.5 miles away from the Westminster city center, injuring three people and causing $5 million in damages. On April 15, 1952, an F3 tornado hit 15.5 miles away from the city center, injuring four people and causing between $500,000 and $5,000,000 in damages.[11]


2010 census

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 18,590 people, 7,161 households, and 4,117 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,803.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,082.6/km2). There were 7,684 housing units at an average density of 1,159.0 per square mile (447.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.0% White, 7.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.2% Asian, 1.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.0% of the population.

There were 7,161 households of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.5% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.5% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.12.

The median age in the city was 33.3 years. 22.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 15% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.6% were from 25 to 44; 21.9% were from 45 to 64; and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.

2000 census

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 16,731 people, 6,420 households, and 3,762 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,929.4 people per square mile (1,131.3/km²). There were 6,755 housing units at an average density of 1,182.7 per square mile (456.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.28% White, 5.49% African American, 0.23% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.78% of the population.

There were 6,420 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 12.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 14.5% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 87.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,477, and the median income for a family was $50,879. Males had a median income of $37,186 versus $28,419 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,320. About 7.9% of families and 9.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 9.5% of those age 65 or over.


Top employers

According to the City of Westminster,[13] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Carroll County Public Schools 3,757
2 McDaniel College 641
3 Carroll County 593
4 Carroll Lutheran Village 437
5 General Dynamics Robotics Systems 350
6 C.J. Miller 245
7 S.H. Tevis & Son 238
8 BB&T 174
9 PNC Bank 171
10 Landmark Community Newspapers 164
The five largest employers just outside of Westminster in Carroll County are:
# Employer # of Employees
1 Carroll Hospital Center 1,696
2 Random House 800
3 Carroll Community College 509
4 English American Tailoring 385
5 Knorr Brake 260

Arts and culture

Hashawha Tower

The Hashawha Tower is a windmill in Westminster. It stands at the Hashawha Environmental Center.[14]

Annual events


The Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) system enrolls over 28,000 students, which makes it the ninth largest school system in the state of Maryland. In Carroll County there are eight comprehensive high schools as well as two career and technology centers and an alternative school, The Gateway School. Students in grades 9 through 12 attend one of seven Carroll County high schools. Carroll County has 23 elementary schools and 9 middle schools. In the city of Westminster, there are two high schools, two middle schools and three elementary schools.

Westminster is home to McDaniel College, a small liberal-arts college, to the Civil Air Patrol's National Honor Guard Academy, and to Dream Flight School, an institution providing flight lessons at the local airport.

Notable people

Popular culture

  • 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.

Sister city


  1. ^ "City of Westminster, Maryland". City of Westminster, Maryland. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  4. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  6. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Westminster city, Maryland". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  9. ^ "Station Name: MD WESTMINSTER".  
  10. ^ Tornado watch issued, runs until 9 p.m.
  11. ^ Westminster, Maryland (MD) Detailed Profile – relocation, real estate, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, news, sex offenders
  12. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  13. ^ 10 Largest Employers
  14. ^
  15. ^ "About". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  16. ^ R Sergent Shriver, New York Times, January 19, 2011, Obituary Section
  17. ^ "Westminster Maryland-Paide, Estonia Partner City Program". City of Westminster, Maryland. January 15, 2004. Archived from the original on July 2, 2007. Retrieved July 7, 2007. 

External links

  • City of Westminster official website
  • Westminster High School
  • Winters Mill High School
  • Historic Belle Grove Square Neighborhood
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