Coming off Women’s History Month in March and looking towards Mother’s Day in May, this issue seems like a good time to highlight women who are doing important work in Carroll County. Carroll has been home to some pretty remarkable women, and as you’ll see in these pages, that trend continues.

In the late 1800s, one of Carroll County’s most prominent newspapers, The American Sentinel, was run by Emily J. Rippard, who was known as a prominent political voice. Controlling a local newspaper gave Rippard influence that was uncommon for women at the time. Another prominent female in Carroll’s history, Mary Shellman, was the daughter of Westminster’s first mayor and an active social crusader and advocate for political reform. She is known for supporting Union soldiers and the Red Cross, for aiding the poor, and for organizing what would become Westminster’s annual Memorial Day celebration. (See page 94.)

More recently — during the Cold War in the late 1960s until the 1990s — a group of women at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) known as “the Ladies of Lewis” secretly played a role in the nation’s security. These women quietly took on top-secret roles to help maintain the operational readiness of a hidden on-campus facility that would be used in case of nuclear war.

In this issue we shine a light on several local women who are now taking on leadership roles, challenging the norm, running businesses, and helping those in need.

We hear from Caroline Babylon, executive director of Carroll County Food Sunday, who has spent much of her adult life giving back to the community in one way or another. We also profile the first female mayors of Westminster and Sykesville, and we tap experts who look at the growing trend of female involvement in the financial arena.

Carroll County has been home to many female trailblazers, and while we’re not able to tell all their stories here, their stories are important. The Carroll County Historical Society, and other historical societies throughout the county, do an amazing job of documenting and sharing those stories. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of their brown-bag lunches, tours and other events.

And because so many amazing women are also moms, be sure to check out our delicious Mother’s Day recipes (hint: for Mom to eat, not for Mom to make) and laugh along with local moms as they detail some of their most memorable Mother’s Day gifts.

I know, it’s a whole lot of estrogen in this issue — hear me roar and all that. But we all love a good story, and I think it’s a good idea to reflect on our past and to celebrate diversity and progress today. I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. And our ears are wide open — share with us what other stories you’d like us to tell at


Kym Byrnes

In the last issue we listed the Mount Airy mayor’s name as Larry Rushour, when in fact it is Larry Hushour. We sincerely regret the error. Read the updated article at