Heritage Society of Essex & Middle River

2021 Essex Community Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 4, 2021
5 to 7 pm
Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River
516 Eastern Blvd.
Essex, MD 21221

Join us for some holiday cheer as we light our 25-foot Norway Spruce! We’ll have Santa, fire trucks, a DJ, gifts for the kids, Museum tours and more! FREE
(443) 579-5266

Essex Museum Paranormal Preview Night

Friday, October 22, 2021, 6 PM – 9 PM

Join us at the Essex Museum for our Paranormal Preview Night! The Baltimore Paranormal Society will be on hand to discuss how they conduct paranormal investigations, demonstrate their equipment, and tell stories about recent ghostly activity in the building. You’ll also get a paranormal tour of the Museum, showing all of the spirits’ favorite hotspots! This event is FREE and open to the public. The Museum will be decorated for Halloween and the gift shop will be open! For questions or to RSVP, email us at essexmuseum@gmail.com.

Paranormal magnets now available at the museum!

Ghosts N’at Paranormal Adventure at the Museum

Saturday, October 30, 2021, 7 PM – 11 PM

Go on a REAL ghost hunt in ESSEX, MD Halloween Weekend with Ghosts N’at Paranormal Adventures! Tickets are on sale now for this special event at the haunted Heritage Museum of Essex & Middle River / Former Fire & Police Station!
Purchase Tickets

Essex Day Festival 2021

Saturday, September 18, 2021
10 am to 6 pm
400 & 500 blocks Eastern Blvd.

Visit the Museum on Essex Day!

The Heritage Society Museum will be open from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday, September 18 for Essex Day.

Our gift shop will be open and we will be selling books, magnets and other memorabilia in addition to the new ESSEX-opoly games!

Baltimore Ravens Super Fan CAPTAIN DEE-FENSE will also be at the museum for Essex Day!

Christmas in July at the Essex Museum

Our Christmas in July event took place on Sunday, July 18th, 2021. We had our special guest Santa ready for photo opps, along with craft vendors, special activities for the kids and Museum tours!

Museum Newsletter

Click to download Museum Newsletter PDF, or click any page below to enlarge.

It’s Baseball Season!

Batter Up! It’s springtime again in Essex, Maryland and that means baseball and opening day – time to throw out the first pitch! Take a look at Essex baseball players from seasons past as we explore the museum’s Baumgartner Collection Book #74: Baseball.

Download Baumgartner Collection Book #74: Baseball PDF
Read Baumgartner Collection Book #74: Baseball PDF online at archive.org

Read these articles from the Baumgartner Collection Book #74: Baseball and more online at archive.org

Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River swears in new leadership

By Jacob Took (Avenue News, 2-11-2021)

The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River’s new officers are (left to right): Trustee Brian K. Marchetti, Vice President George Weiss, Treasurer Paul Rufe, Building & Maintenance Director Cynthia (Sandy) Gruzs, Historian Paul Blitz, Trustee Del. Ric Metzgar, Trustee Karie May, President Lisa Harlow, Secretary William Feuer and Membership Committee Chair Kelly Bowman.

ESSEX — The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River announced a new slate of leaders who took office at the start of this year and will guide the museum through reopening its doors to the public after remaining closed for most of last year.

Lisa Harlow, who has been involved with the museum since early 2015 and previously served as the museum’s secretary, was sworn in as president. She said she was looking forward to getting back in touch with the community.

“As COVID restrictions in the county were put in place, we were unable to open in April, and we decided to remain closed to the public this season out of an abundance of caution,” she said in a statement to The Avenue. “We look forward to reopening our doors to the community, and we hope that this spring we will determine that it is safe to do so.”

She and the other officers will serve two-year terms in their current roles, carrying them through the end of next year when — hopefully — the world will be something like back to normal. They were sworn in by Julie Ensor, the Baltimore County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

In addition to Harlow, the new officers are George Weiss as Vice President, William Feuer as Secretary, Paul Rufe as Treasurer, Paul Blitz as Historian, Cynthia ‘Sandy’ Gruzs as Building & Maintenance Director and Kelly Bowman as Membership Committee Chair. The three trustees are Brian Marchetti, Karie May and District 6 Del. Ric Metzgar.

While the museum’s doors have been closed to the public, private events as part of the museum’s paranormal program have continued, overseen by Gruzs. The gatherings are limited to 10 people, including Gruzs herself, and guests are required to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.

“As the Museum is funded solely by donations and events such as these, it has been critical for us to keep these going to keep us afloat,” Harlow said.

Looking ahead, she said the museum will look to open once per month with free themed events and tours.

“We feel that this will enable us to offer something fun for families to regularly take part in and instill a love of history in the younger generations,” she said. “Because we are in the heart of Essex, we would love for the Museum to be recognized once again as a gathering place for the community.”

The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River

The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River, Inc. is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers whose goal is the preservation of the history of Essex and Middle River, Maryland. We understand the value of history and we want to share and preserve this community’s heritage and pass it unto our children, grandchildren and all future generations to come. We want to let other people know how they can join in and make a difference in not only their lives, but the lives of others and future generations also. The first meeting was held at Essex Elementary on Sept. 26th, 1968 and the Museum opened exactly seven years later on Sept. 26th, 1975. The Museum is housed in the 1920 Fire/Police Station which also served as a court house.


The Mission of The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River:

To investigate, collect and preserve the history of the Essex and Middle River areas for ourselves and future generations; to support and promote programs and projects for the good of the people of these areas.

We take pride in our ongoing achievements at The Heritage Society:

  • Conducts tours of the museum
  • Holds fundraisers to maintain the museum & exhibits
  • Hosts the annual Community Christmas Tree Lighting and other holiday events with other local organizations
  • Participates in various community events
  • Sponsors historical walking tours
  • Visits — upon request — to schools & other organizations in the community to provide information on the history of Essex & Middle River
  • Conducts school & organization tours of the museum by appointment
  • Maintains archives & assists members of the public with research
  • Preserves the past of Essex & Middle River by community outreach
  • Hosts speakers on series of history, collections & local subjects of interest

The museum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Major funding for The Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River, Inc. comes from the people. Become a member.