Original gatepost to the orphanage moved and dedicated as Sykesville historic landmark
On Sunday, October 9, 2016, the Strawbridge Home for Boys held a reunion at St. Paul’s UMC in Sykesville, MD. The reunion had a special component to it this year, because an important piece of history of the orphanage was moved and dedicated as a historical landmark.
The Strawbridge Home for Boys was a Methodist orphanage from 1924 – 1959. It would merge with two other Methodist orphanages and become the Board of Child Care Inc. in the 1960’s. (More of BCC’s history is available here).
The plaque reads:
This stone gate was part of the original entrance to
The Strawbridge Home for Boys
Old Sykesville Road, MD Route 32
1924 – 1959
The Strawbridge Home was dedicated to the protection, training and development of young boys in need in the Baltimore and Wilmington Conferences of the Methodist Church. St. Paul’s was the Church home for the boys. This monument honors all those who called themselves “Strawbridge Boys.”
Relocation of the gate inspired by the James Mathis Family. Jimmy was a Strawbridge Boy from 1950 – 1955.
The original gate to the Strawbridge Home for Boys property.
From left to right: Amy Mathis, Debbie Bogas, and Lois Mathis.
Jimmy Mathis was a longtime board member of the Board of Child Care. One of his two daughters, Amy Mathis, is currently serving on BCC’s Board of Directors. Many thanks to the entire Mathis family for their tireless dedication to preserving this piece of BCC’s history.
A heartwarming example of the connected world in which we live came out of this project. When social media posts about the reunion and the gate dedication began circulating, a Strawbridge boy alumni wrote in to say they had the capstone to the pillar in their garage (see photo above)! While it was not delivered in time for the dedication plans are in place to add the capstone to the pillar.
More photos are available on BCC’s Facebook page (no sign-in required): www.facebook.com/boardofchildcare