Sykesville is a small town in Carroll County, Maryland, United States. The town lies 20 miles (32 km) west of Baltimore and 40 miles (64 km) north of Washington D.C. The population was 4,436 at the 2010 census. BudgetTravel.com named Sykesville ‘Coolest Small Town in America’ in June 2016.Prior to European colonization, the area that is now Sykesville was used as a hunting ground by Native Americans from the Susquehannock and Lenape nations. By the late 1800s, many Europeans (predominantly from Germany and Scotland) had settled in Sykesville in pursuit of farming and mining.The land on which Sykesville sits started out as part of the 3,000-acre (12 km2) Springfield Estate, a slave plantation owned by wealthy Baltimore shipbuilder William Patterson.
In 1803, Patterson’s daughter Elizabeth, married Napoléon Bonaparte‘s younger brother Jérôme, but when she arrived in Europe as Jérôme’s bride, Napoléon refused to let Betsy Patterson Bonaparte set foot on land. Napoléon refused the marriage of the two, and would not let Elizabeth set foot on France’s soil. He was determined that Jerome marry into royalty, and sent Betsy back home. Denied by Napoléon, she was never able to see her husband again, leaving her to raise their son alone in the United States. Upon the death of William in 1824, his son George Patterson inherited the estate. In 1825, George Patterson sold 1,000 acres (4.0 km2; 1.6 sq mi) of Springfield Estate to his friend and business associate, James Sykes.
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