Laurel Museum Celebrates

Life of City's Founder

The Laurel Museum will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the town's founder, Horace Capron, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, with tours of the museum. Capron, who grew up in New York and Massachusetts, moved to Maryland around 1829. Using his mill expertise, he experimented with farming improvements before establishing the cotton mill and village that eventually became Laurel. Capron was superintendent of two mills, including the nearby Savage Mill. He was an officer in the Maryland Militia and was married to Louisa Snowden, daughter of the man who owned Montpelier Mansion. Capron led an Illinois cavalry regiment in the Civil War, reportedly the oldest cavalry officer in the Union Army. After losing a son in battle, he left the army with the rank of brevet brigadier general. In 1867, Capron was named U.S. commissioner of agriculture. Four years later, he led a team of experts to Japan to assist in agricultural reforms and to open the island of Hokkaido to colonization. Capron was present at the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument in 1848 and again at its dedication in February 1885. He is buried in Georgetown's Oak Hill Cemetery.

The museum is at 817 Main Street, Laurel. Admission is free. Call 301-725-7975. For additional information about Laurel, visit the Web site at www.laurelmuseum.org.

-- Compiled by GERRI MARMER