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Photo by Kathryn Ross

Dave Haggstrom of the Angelica Heritage Days committee shows the disc in Park Circle, which marks the geographical center of the town.


By KATHRYN ROSS

ANGELICA — Heritage Days this coming Saturday and Sunday is heading in a new direction — or perhaps an old direction?

Angelica’s motto is “The Town Where History Lives,” and as the first large settlement in Allegany County, its residents take their history seriously. It was the site of many firsts in the county and was the first county seat — and residents like to point out — it was a planned community.

Phillip Church the founder of Angelica (which he named after his mother) designed the community, basing its layout on a hub and spoke design. There is a central circle, or hub, with streets, like spokes, leading away from the center. The Heritage Days committee based the 2022 event shirt on that model.

Committee member Dave Haggstrom explained that there is a disc in Park Circle marking the center of the village and that the committee used that to design their new t-shirt. Another committee member, artist/photographer Marika Burke, came up with the idea. The new shirt looks a bit like a compass and designates the buildings surrounding the park — First Baptist Church; St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; the Grange Hall, which was originally the Presbyterian Church; the courthouse, which is now the town hall; the United Methodist Church; and the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

The shirts come in red and grayish/blue and are $17 for sizes small through extra large, and an additional $2 for larger sizes. They are available now.

This is the 53rd celebration of Heritage Days in Angelica. The event was first organized by the Booster Citizens. While many features and activities will be the same, with vendors on the streets and market in the park, music and exhibits and the traditional croquet championship matches, there are a couple of new events.

There will be historic memorabilia on display in the Grange Hall along with a quilt display.

Angelica is making a big leap into the 21st century with its new digital guided tour. Participants can scan a QR code and embark on a self-guided trip around the village. There are audio descriptions of historic buildings and events and signs in front of the various buildings on the tour. Visitors can start wherever they want.

Haggstrom noted that the digital tour will only be available during the weekend and until midweek following the event, explaining that the Boosters have to pay a continuing fee to purchase the code.

This year’s croquet tournament is an all-town affair with teams randomly selected from local families to play. But the players will be banking their shots off new sideboards over new dirt installed this past spring on the court.

Why should people be interested in attending an event based on the heritage of one community? Haggstrom explained, “There will be a lot of good food, good music and great arts and crafts and other vendors and you get a lot of history. This is a good place to learn how Allegany County got its start.”