Carrie Dorsey Park

The bench near the falls in Piney Run creek at Carrie Dorsey Park
Barkley, a beautiful dog with his tongue hanging out at Carrie Dorsey park

Stories about Sykesville, Maryland, and South Carroll County

Greetings from the Publisher

A few years ago, I wrote about this bench and this dog in Sykesville Online. The little stream is called Piney Run. Patients from Springfield Hospital used to wander along that creek back in the thirties and forties and fifties. One guy actually ate snakes. He wore a tattered coat and kept mice and other small animals in the pockets. They ran up and down his sleeves and through his hair. I've heard this from three different people.

 

I used to walk my dog there, but the snake man was long gone by then. The water was loud. Barkley would wade out into it, shoot out his big fat tongue, and slurp it up for a long time. I can still hear the sound of slurping.

 

One day, that bench just showed up. It's heavy. I've always wondered how it got there.

Recently, I saw it in a whole different way. I was driving a golf cart.

 

The Golf Cart

I'm not sure exactly who was in the cart with me. I know I had at least 195 years' worth of Dorseys, though, probably a lot more than that. Sitting beside me, and looking a little nervous, was Warren, who would soon turn 101, and behind him was his sister, Rosie, who was 95. There were others back there, Warren's daughter for one, but only Warren and Rosie remained of Carrie and Ed Dorsey's 12 children.

Warren and I had just given a talk in Sykesville. And now we were riding by that bench in the stream in a park named after Warren and Rosie's mother.

It's called "Carrie Dorsey Park."

 

About seven years ago when Warren was 93, and I thought he was old and not long for this world, I wrote a book called "In Carrie's Footprints, the Long Walk of Warren Dorsey."

 

Chris True, a member of the town council back when Ian Shaw was mayor, read the book and suggested the town name this bit of land "Carrie Dorsey Park." And they voted six to one to do that. It took a few years and some persuading, but eventually the town opened the park and put up a nice stone monument, and here we were, a white dude at the wheel, and all those many years of Dorseys, laughing and pointing and happy that the town had honored Carrie, the daughter of a slave.

 

It was one great day.

 

And on another great day just a few weeks later, for their annual Labor Day family picnic, 70 Dorseys gathered in that park to celebrate. And they'll be back.

  Jack White  

P.S. I hope you enjoy little stories like this one. We'll try to have a bunch of them.