Maude Hood-Dusome

Maude was born in Sykesville, MD where her parents owned buildings that housed the post office and other offices. She shares about her life and childhood.


INTERVIEWER 1: Today’s date is January 15, 2009, and we’re filming at the Sykesville Gate House Museum. And I’d like to introduce–


INTERVIEWER 1: And your maiden name?


INTERVIEWER 1: OK, and where were you born?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Where or when?



INTERVIEWER 1: Your mother was born in Howard County?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I think my father was too, but I’m not sure.

INTERVIEWER 1: And your mother’s maiden name was–


INTERVIEWER 1: So they had a business in Sykesville?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: My father built the Hood Building in Sykesville, and that’s where the post office was for years. It had a couple other businesses with apartments over the top which are still there, I believe. He worked in several different places. I couldn’t begin to– I think he worked for the B&O Railroad at one time.

INTERVIEWER 1: So he was a businessman.


INTERVIEWER 1: And did work as some kind of contractor or builder?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Yes, but I really can’t describe exactly what he did.

INTERVIEWER 1: How about your mother?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: She went to work at Springfield Hospital in the Sewing Department, and she worked there for several years. She worked with Mary Hall and a lady named Barnes. I can’t remember her first name, but she was there for quite awhile.

INTERVIEWER 1: Did she talk about work at Springfield?


INTERVIEWER 1: No? Do you have brothers and sisters?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I have two brothers, both deceased, and two sisters, both living. They’re all older than I am, of course, and that’s old.

INTERVIEWER 1: But you lived Sykesville a long time. Do you remember places that you used to go for fun?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: There wasn’t any place for fun. Except Ken Barnes had a little soda shop and a small room with a jukebox, and we used to dance there.

INTERVIEWER 1: Oh, that’s interesting.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: There used to be an old movie house down there. I forget what building it’s in, but the building’s still there. They had movies. Springfield Hospital used to show movies and the employees could go there, and we saw a lot of movies over there. But there wasn’t anything around Sykesville for fun.

I don’t know what the kids do nowadays. And we didn’t have cars. If one fellow had a car, he took all the fellows and their gals around. The church– we went to the Sykesville Methodist Church. They entertained the young people as much as they could, but they didn’t do a lot either.

INTERVIEWER 1: And where did you start school?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: At Sykesville. They didn’t have any middle school. It went from Sykesville to a high school. Elementary to high school, no middle school, and it was all up where it is now, only they’ve added to it, of course. But I liked going to school up there. I liked my teachers, and I liked it. It was good.

INTERVIEWER 1: Any particular teachers that you remember?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh, I don’t know. I remember Margaret Erb. Her husband was James Mann. But I took the academic course, so I didn’t have a lot of the same teachers that other kids had. I really don’t remember their names.

INTERVIEWER 1: Did you go on to college after high school?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I went to business school.

INTERVIEWER 1: You went to business school.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I graduated from Baltimore Business College, and I was living in Sykesville then, but then after that, I went to work several different places, and I moved away from Sykesville.

INTERVIEWER 1: Did you stay in town when you were in Baltimore– when you were a student?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I went sometimes–

INTERVIEWER 1: You’d go back and forth on the train?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: No, we never rode that train.

INTERVIEWER 1: How did you get back and forth?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: In private cars.

INTERVIEWER 1: In private cars.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: When I went to school, I rode with people who were working in Baltimore. They took me in town, or my father would take me to Gwynn Oak, and I’d catch the streetcar and go downtown to the school. And then when I started to work– where was I living?

I worked a while in Sykesville. I worked at Springfield, but I didn’t stay there very long. I went to work in Baltimore and several different places. I worked for the B&O Railroad, and I worked for a company called Monitor Controller. Those two companies I worked for quite a while.

I retired from B&O. It’s called– well, the B&O– C&O now, but it was B&O when I worked. But I got married, and we built a house on Oakland Road. I raised my boys there, and I was working all the time. By then, I was driving. I had my car, and I drove.

INTERVIEWER 1: Drove back and forth to work yourself.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Or else when they started the rapid transit, I went to the station of the rapid transit– drove there, and then took the rapid transit downtown. That was really modern then.

INTERVIEWER 1: I guess Sykesville’s changed a lot since you were a child.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh, yes, but nothing exciting. We’ll have some pretty good– took some pretty good trips, vacation trips, but nothing exciting, nothing unusual.

INTERVIEWER 1: How about– we were talking earlier about Eldersburg. It’s changed a lot since you were a young person.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I don’t think there’s anything the same in Eldersburg anymore.

INTERVIEWER 1: The Crossroads you remember as–

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh yeah, The Crossroads were there, but I don’t know much about them.

INTERVIEWER 1: The businesses are different.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Very different.

INTERVIEWER 1: Where did your parents get their groceries?

MAUDE HOOD DUSOME: In Sykesville. Except if my father was working in town, he always went to the market and bought fresh vegetables and meats.

INTERVIEWER 1: Lexington Market?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Yes. And if any of us went to Baltimore, we brought back fresh vegetables and meats, but I always bought groceries from Harris Department Store and Brown’s Department Store.

INTERVIEWER 1: How about clothing and things like that?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: When I was little, my mother made most of my clothing, but everything came from Sykesville.

INTERVIEWER 1: She got the fabric at Harris’s or one of the stores in Sykesville.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Unless somebody was going to town. If my father was going to town, my mother would go and buy whatever.

INTERVIEWER 1: Do you remember any particular stores she frequented in Baltimore?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh, I don’t know about her, but I remember the stores– Stewart’s, Hochshild’s, Hecht’s, May Company, Gaxton’s, other stores. None of them are there anymore, naturally. When I worked in town, I shopped in all those places. Hecht’s– I think Hecht’s is still going, and the May Company has been taken over, I know. But Hudson’s was a real nice store. Stewart’s– We used to have a beauty shop in Sykesville. So it had everything we needed.

INTERVIEWER 1: There was a barber shop and a beauty shop.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: And a doctor, Dr. Spricker, lived up on the hill in Sykesville.

INTERVIEWER 1: Dr. Spricker. And how about dentists and other things that– how about dentist?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Yeah, there was a dentist in Sykesville. I don’t know his name. Washe, Dr. Washe. I do remember that now. No specialists– well, they didn’t have those diseases in those days anyway. They didn’t know what they were.

INTERVIEWER 1: You went to the family doctor.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: You went to the family doctor for everything.

INTERVIEWER 1: Were all the children born at home?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh, no. The boys, I think, were born in New York, and I don’t know where the other girls were, but I was. I was born at home. I don’t know where my sisters were born.

INTERVIEWER 1: The doctor came to the house?


INTERVIEWER 1: Do you remember being very sick or anything thing as a child?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I had the usual measles and mumps, but no great illnesses. I don’t think I ever went to the hospital for anything– didn’t have to.

INTERVIEWER 1: Didn’t have to. You took care of things at home.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I had a good childhood. I had friends. I had a friend, Minnie Young, and we still need meet for lunch. There are six or seven of us meet for lunch once a month.

INTERVIEWER 1: Oh, really?

MAUDE HOOD DUSOME: And we graduated from Sykesville High School in 1938.

INTERVIEWER 1: And you’ve been friends since childhood, pretty much?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: No. We sort of all lost contact, and then about 10 years ago, a couple of us got together and we looked up some, and then we started to meet at Bullocks over on 32. And we’d sit there and hash out the old times.

INTERVIEWER 1: Do you talk about some of the things you did as children, some of the mischief you got into?


INTERVIEWER 1: Did you have a lot of chores as a child?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: My sister and I did a lot of chores. My mother was working, and we mowed the lawn and cleaned house and cooked food and did the washing and ironing.

INTERVIEWER 1: I wondered about that.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: And I mean from seven years old up. There wasn’t any of this business of video. We had very few books to read, but we worked. We really did.

INTERVIEWER 1: It’s unusual when my mother and father were both working in that time frame, so I assumed that the children probably had special tasks.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: But we cleaned house and did the washing and ironing. We learned to cook simple meals. We walked everywhere we went. We didn’t have anything to ride. We didn’t get bicycles until later. We had roller skates, but everything was hills, so we didn’t use that much. I liked my childhood, and I liked Sykesville.

INTERVIEWER 1: And how about your brothers? They’re both deceased, but what kind of work did they do as adults?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: One was in the US Navy. He retired from there. Of course, they were both in the war. I don’t know where– one worked for the Martin Company for years and years, and he was an engineer. They were both engineers, different kinds of engineers. My brother was head of the– I don’t know his exact title, but he was over in Japan after the war and head of sort of a maintenance section. He was over there are quite a while.

INTERVIEWER 1: How about your sisters? Did they raise families?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Yes, they both– one had one son, and the other one had quite a few children. And she lived in Woodlawn for quite a while, and then she moved up here. They’re in Sykesville.

INTERVIEWER 1: So all the girls kind of came back fairly close to the area?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Not my oldest sister. She always stayed away. Her son’s in Delaware, so she lived in Delaware for– well, she’s still up there. The one sister was a graduate nurse, the one that lives in Sykesville.

INTERVIEWER 1: Did she work at Springfield?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: No, she worked at Union Memorial for years. She retired from there. So she lived in Baltimore for a while. I’m the only one that lived in Sykesville.

INTERVIEWER 1: And your parents retired at some point. About when did they die?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: They died– in today’s age limit, they died young. They were 78 and 79 years old. Nowadays, they’re living to be 80s and 90s.

INTERVIEWER 1: That’s right.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: They just died of heart failure. They didn’t have anything special. They weren’t in a nursing home, so they died at home.

INTERVIEWER 1: They died at home.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I don’t think they had nursing homes then. They’ve been dead quite a while.

INTERVIEWER 1: You had said that you were very proud of your father. He was a very smart man.


INTERVIEWER 1: It sounds like he was in lots of different kinds of financial enterprises.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: My mother’s brother was the same. He was a lawyer, so he was a smart cookie, too.

INTERVIEWER 1: So education was important to the family.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Yes, it seems to.

INTERVIEWER 1: It sounds like everyone kind of–

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: My one sister, the oldest sister, started doing business college. She was a secretary for years and years and years, and then she got married. And my other sister was a nurse, and I was a secretary. And we all worked.

INTERVIEWER 1: And that was before most women were working, but you were used to your mother working.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh, yeah. Well, they lived through the Prohibition, and they had to work.

INTERVIEWER 1: Depression.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: They worked through the depression. They had to work.

INTERVIEWER 1: To keep the family going.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Right, but my father liked his old cars.

INTERVIEWER 1: He liked his old cars? Tell me about that.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Just that picture that showed he had that taxicab. Then he had an old [INAUDIBLE]. I don’t know– I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Great big old touring car, you know– awnings that came down on the sides.

INTERVIEWER 2: You mentioned the taxi service earlier. Could you tell us a little bit more about that taxi service?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I don’t know any more about it.

INTERVIEWER 2: But where did he go? He went from Sykesville–

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: He went from Sykesville to Ellicott City.

INTERVIEWER 2: And that was your father that did that.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: That was my father, and I don’t know how long he did it, and how they ran the taxi service. You know, nowadays, you’d think you’d call a cab and go– I have no idea whether he had a regular run, a regular schedule, or just what he did. But that picture–

INTERVIEWER 1: How old were you when he was doing that? Do you remember?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: We weren’t even born, all of us. None of us were born, so you know that was a long time ago.

INTERVIEWER 1: So was he probably a single man at that point?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: No, he was married. My mother’s picture’s on there with him.

INTERVIEWER 1: So it was around the time of their marriage, before the children were born.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Yeah, but I don’t know any more about him. And my sisters don’t either, the odd part.

INTERVIEWER 1: Well, sometimes–

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: They didn’t talk about their past. They really didn’t.

INTERVIEWER 1: It sounds like they were both pretty busy people.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: They were busy people. We didn’t have reunions. We didn’t do a lot of visiting. There’s Aunt Elsie, but I talked about she married an Arrington who lived in Howard County. We saw her, but she was the only relative I remember, and I have no idea anything about them now.

INTERVIEWER 1: And there were no cousins or people that you–

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh, I’m sure I had them, but–

INTERVIEWER 1: You didn’t get to know them.

MAUDE HOOD DUSOME: We didn’t keep in touch with them. We weren’t a real family-oriented group. We weren’t antisocial, but we didn’t have a lot of money to travel.

INTERVIEWER 1: And you were very busy with both parents working, children going to school, and things like that.

INTERVIEWER 2: Were you very active in your church?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: No, I can’t say we were active. We went. I went to Sunday school and then we went to church, but I wasn’t real active. After I moved from Sykesville, I never went to another church. I went to Oakland Church, because I lived near Oakland. And I belonged to them and the women’s group, but that’s when the kids were little. We helped served suppers and that, but that’s all. I don’t consider that being real active, but that’s all.

INTERVIEWER 1: OK, any other questions?

INTERVIEWER 2: No, I think we had a wonderful afternoon– or morning. I really appreciate you coming down and spending a couple minutes with us.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I’m sorry I don’t remember more.

INTERVIEWER 2: You remember an awful lot. That’s really wonderful that you came in and spent some time with us.

INTERVIEWER 1: You remembered some very unique things. I think it’s very nice to hear a little different family situation in Sykesville.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I liked living in Sykesville. I don’t like cities– to this day, I don’t like– I lived them for a while because at that time, it was the thing to do.

INTERVIEWER 1: Well, you had a strong business connection to Baltimore.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I worked there, so it was– I didn’t always live in the city when I worked there. I worked down– and all these snowy, cold days, I remember I used to have to drive 20 to 25 miles to go to work. You did that five days a week, and I was there on time.

INTERVIEWER 1: No matter what.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: No matter what. And I thought nothing of it.

INTERVIEWER 2: And how did you get from here to Baltimore in a snowstorm?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I don’t even want to go in Baltimore anymore. I go down to the Hippodrome when I can.

INTERVIEWER 1: Oh, do you?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: But I don’t like cities at all. I really don’t.

INTERVIEWER 1: It must have been very difficult driving in some of the weather.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Yeah, it was. I scraped ice more than once. I was fortunate though. I never broke down on the road or had a flat tire all the times I drove.

INTERVIEWER 2: The old Hippodrome’s changed quite a bit.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh yeah, I go there. I’m going Saturday.

INTERVIEWER 2: Are you really?

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I go. I travel with rails when I can. But I don’t drive at night anymore, so I only go on trips that come back in the daylight.

INTERVIEWER 2: Yeah, I remember my father loved vaudeville, so he would take us to the State Theater on Monument Street, and we went to the Hippodrome probably every second or third week. That was a big thing back in the ’40s and ’50s– even early ’60s– to have live vaudeville before TV.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I would go more often now, only it’s coming back in the dark, and I don’t do that.

INTERVIEWER 1: So when you have somebody that can take you–

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: No, I drive myself. I meet them in Westminster.

INTERVIEWER 1: Oh, I see what you do.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Oh, I got a daughter-in-law who would take me anywhere I want to go, but I don’t want to– if they’ve got to pick me up at 7, 8, or 9 o’clock at night, I don’t want them do that. That interferes with them, and I don’t want to do that. So I don’t go.

INTERVIEWER 1: It takes the fun out of it.

MAUDE HOOD DUSOME: That’d take the fun out of it.

INTERVIEWER 2: And you’re still very independent, very proud of that, I see.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: You bet I am, just about as much as I can.

INTERVIEWER 2: God bless you for that. That’s just wonderful that you’re still able to drive and go where you want when you want.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I do all my own work. I drive. I work out in the garden. That’s being limited though– my back, you know.

INTERVIEWER 1: Well, it’s a backbreaker, no matter what.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I’ve got osteoporosis of the spine, so that stops me. And I walk every morning– it’s not quite a half a mile– to pick up my newspaper in the morning.

INTERVIEWER 1: Oh, wow. That keeps you going.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Our driveway is in back, and the cat and I go up. I’ve got a kitty cat, and he follows me up, waits for me to get the paper, and follows me back down again.

INTERVIEWER 1: Oh, how cute. What’s the kitty cat’s name?



MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: He came from the pound. I always have a cat. He’s a very good kitty cat. Yeah, as long I can keep doing something, I’m going to keep doing it.

INTERVIEWER 2: It’s The best way to be.


INTERVIEWER 1: Well, we appreciate your visiting with us today.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Thank you for having me.

INTERVIEWER 1: Oh, well it’s our pleasure.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: Sorry I don’t know more about– but I’ve forgotten it all.

INTERVIEWER 1: Well, you remember some very interesting things.

MAUDE HOOD-DUSOME: I didn’t use the information, so it sort of just faded away.

INTERVIEWER 2: You remember more than you think you do. This is wonderful. We thank you very much for your time, and it’s been very valuable.