Sandy Spring has a unique and celebrated history that we want to share with you. From its start as a Quaker community in the early 18th century, to stories of agricultural innovation, women’s suffrage, and progressive education, to establishing one of the largest land-owning African American communities in Maryland, to current residents who can trace their lineage back almost 300 years, the museum has many stories of local, state, and national interest. The nearly 300-year history of Sandy Spring is captured and preserved in a vast array of photographs, documents, and artifacts.
What is “Sandy Spring?”
Historically, Sandy Spring is both a village and a 100-square mile neighborhood encompassing many villages. The Sandy Spring neighborhood is thought of as a six-mile radius stemming from the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting House as a family traveling in a horse-powered buggy could travel about six miles to attend meetings and get home safely before dark.
The villages of Sandy Spring include Sandy Spring itself, as well as Ashton, Brighton, Brookeville, Cloverly, Brinklow/Cincinnati, Ednor/Norwood, Laytonsville/Mt. Zion,Norbeck/Oakdale, Olney/Davis, Triadelphia, Spencerville/Brown’s Corner, and Unity/Sunshine. See below for a brief description of each of these villages.
The permanent exhibit illustrates local history through photographs, documents, and artifacts collected from the families of the neighborhood’s earliest residents. Click here to see a list of current exhibits on display, here to see a list of upcoming exhibits, and here to see a list of previous exhibits.
From the handmade doll of a child to the tools of a farmer, the museum’s collection represents the daily lives of generations of Sandy Springers. The museum collects records of individual, families, corporations, and groups, documenting the life of the community, including its politics, economies, work, play, and family life.
All objects in the collection were donated to the museum, primarily by the descendants of some of the area’s earliest settlers. We still actively collect new artifacts to this day so please contact us if you have items that you wish to donate. Please do not bring items directly to the museum without first speaking with a member of the staff.
To browse through collection highlights, please visit the American Heritage Society’s website.
The Sandy Spring Villages
These villages make up the 100-square miles that are considered the overall Sandy Spring neighborhood: