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Garrett Park: Small Town America in the Big City

From: Andrew Hiller
Series: Andrew Hiller's News Features
Length: 06:25

In 1898, a small group of citizens in Maryland faced a devil of crisis. Indoor plumbing! They quickly banded together and sped to Annapolis and in record time managed to incorporate a small stretch of land as a town which they called Garrett Park. The first law on the books was one that banned all residents from having indoor plumbing. Garrett Park still retains its small town identity, charm and eccentricity even though it sits in the shadow of our nation's capital... less than ten miles away. Read the full description.

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In 1898, a small group of citizens in Maryland faced a devil of crisis. Indoor plumbing! They quickly banded together and sped to Annapolis and in record time managed to incorporate a small stretch of land as a town which they called Garrett Park. The first law on the books was one that banned all residents from having indoor plumbing.

Today, some has changed, but the little town of under a thousand residents still has no postal delivery, one restaurant, one church with one chapel bell, and not a single store. Now, if you think that Garrett Park is in some remote corner of MD you'd be wrong. It's less than a 10 miles from Washington DC.

It's a bit of an oasis in the shadow of the big city and almost a Mayberry except Mayberry did have its own gas station and barber shop. It does have its share of celebrities.  Herman Holerith, the inventor of the punch card, the author of the children's classic, Ferdinand, the Bull, and the designer of the emblem for the United Nations all claimed Garrett Park as a home. 

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Piece Description

In 1898, a small group of citizens in Maryland faced a devil of crisis. Indoor plumbing! They quickly banded together and sped to Annapolis and in record time managed to incorporate a small stretch of land as a town which they called Garrett Park. The first law on the books was one that banned all residents from having indoor plumbing.

Today, some has changed, but the little town of under a thousand residents still has no postal delivery, one restaurant, one church with one chapel bell, and not a single store. Now, if you think that Garrett Park is in some remote corner of MD you'd be wrong. It's less than a 10 miles from Washington DC.

It's a bit of an oasis in the shadow of the big city and almost a Mayberry except Mayberry did have its own gas station and barber shop. It does have its share of celebrities.  Herman Holerith, the inventor of the punch card, the author of the children's classic, Ferdinand, the Bull, and the designer of the emblem for the United Nations all claimed Garrett Park as a home. 

Broadcast History

Metro Connection, WAMU.org

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

In the shadow of the Nation's Capital lies Garrett Park. This little Maryland town next to the big city sits on 400 acres and according to the Census fewer than a thousand residents.

It's a place filled with the ringing of chapel bells - except when the bell gets stuck - and the rumble along nearby train tracks. Garrett Park has played home to inventors and authors, including Donal McLaughlin, the 102 year old who designed the emblem of the United Nations, and author of the children's classic Ferdinand the Bull. This quiet preserve, filled with trees and children at play, is historically registered and for the most part completely unknown. Andrew Hiller goes to town.

OUTRO: