Bus tours are a hit with locals in their own backyard

The community of Catonsville, MD, proved in early May, a bus tour does not have to travel to far off destinations. Buses were a big hit when community leaders decided to give local residents a closer look at the nearby historical landmarks that have forged the community over the course of its 200-year history.

About 200 participants turned out for the hour-long bus tours that featured highlights from the Colonial period through to the controversial Catonsville Nine, who gained national attention in 1968 for their opposition to the Vietnam War.

Passengers said before the local tours they actually had not taken the time to learn more about the places they had seen for years; and that they were appreciative of the opportunity to better their own community.

Docents dressed in 18th-century garb took visitors on tours to such stops as the Hilton Mansion that has seen its share of historical visitors, including Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, and General Robert E. Lee. The Spring Grove State Hospital Center is the nation’s second oldest psychiatric hospital.

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The last stop was the Knights of Columbus where on May 17, 1968, nine Vietnam War protesters, who would become known as the Catonsville Nine, entered the Selective Service office and burned their draft cards.