Meet The Cauthorns Again – Old, Mysterious, and Elegant

by Jack White on January 21, 2013

If you scroll down, you’ll see my little sad story about the Cauthorns. I thought it was fascinating that so many of them apparently were born and then died right away or died within a few years, and were all buried in a crooked row in Springfield Cemetery.

But there’s more to the story. I received a comment from Fay Dowling, who actually knew them, and here’s the nice story she told me about the Cauthorns who lived long lives.

cauthorn-long-view2

Here’s Fay’s account of the Cauthorns.

I knew the Cauthorns, sort of. I vaguely remember Alex and his three sisters. My father farmed their land for many years, and we rode horses through their farm to reach trails down to Ellicott City and beyond.

The water that rose from a natural spring up into the spring house below the barn had the most delicious taste – or perhaps it tasted so good from working hard in the hay fields on hot summer days.

I remember the sisters, Helen and Margaret, and their grand, tall thoroughbreds, watching them set out as if to ride a hunt. Elegant ladies, or so they seemed, to one so young as I was.

Their farm was up on Arrington Road, between Sykesville and Marriottsville. I often daydreamed of what it was like inside their grand home. I never did see myself, unless it was when I was very, very young. Before I reached my teens, my father was no longer farming their land, and the ladies no longer rode. I never knew them to not be old, and mysterious, and always, elegant.

I know I’m probably a little weird in this way, but these sorts of stories fascinate me, as I slowly piece together Sykesville’s past, and I’m really grateful when someone leaves a compliment, or better yet, a comment, especially one as vivid and well-written as this one, that helps tell the stories better.

So thanks, Fay. I’m glad the Cauthorn story wasn’t all tragedy, and I’m glad to learn that they were elegant, mysterious old ladies on horses.

But then, I’ve got to ask. Did they never marry, never have children. Were they lonely, did they only have one another, and was it maybe, a sad story nonetheless?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauri Newcomer January 21, 2013 at 10:15 am

I knew the Cauthorn ladies as well. I also know Fay. The Cauthorns farm was around the corner from my parents property, where I grew up. My father still lives there. My uncle farmed the Cauthorns property for years and my Dad was always available to help ‘the sisters’ out with errands, repairs, etc. The springhouse Fay speaks of, did indeed have the most divine taste. Their carraige house, old bank barn and barracks were flashbacks in time. The house, which I was in as a guest multiple times as a child, was fascinating to me. It dated back to pre Civil War. I remember the glass in the kitchen windows was the really old wavy glass. Some of the panes were signed by the glass makers. I don’t remember Alex, but I remember his sisters, Miss Agnes, Miss Margaret and Miss Helen well. I remember sitting with them listening to their banter many times as a child. Miss Helen rode her horse Rascal well into her later life. I’m not sure exactly how old she was but I expect somewhere in her 70′s. Miss Margaret was the one who drove the family car. Miss Agnes was more of a home body and the quieter one of the sisters. To my knowledge they never married or had families.

Jack White January 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Thanks, Lauri, the story keeps getting more interesting.

Kimberly Madeja January 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I’m with you Jack! I love to hear these tales of days and folks gone by.

Tim Iannuzzi February 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Lauri-do remember Susan O’Brien? She I my mom and died in 1990. But she lived with the Cauthorns in the late 1940′s around 1946-49?

Linda Cimbaljevich April 23, 2014 at 11:07 am

I knew the Caulthorn Lady’s as well. Miss Margaret was at one time a school teacher. There was a school house on their property. Miss Agnes when she was younger I believe she worked off the family farm. Miss Helen…..oh my, I kept my horse at their farm, and cleaned the stalls everyday for my board. Miss Helen would come down and ask me to go and fetch her horse “Rebel” who was the fattest Morgan horse I had ever seen. I would get him all tacked up for her and she would wait for me to tack my horse then we would go riding. She was afraid to go alone since she was older and her horse was very spirited. I remember when I was little and would visit my grandparents (who lived 1/4 mile from the Caulthorn farm) and Helen would come riding by on one of her grand horses. She was dressed like she was fox hunting. Great memories. The Caulthorns did have a 4th sister. She was mentally disabled and was looked after by Margaret. Their brother farmed with horses, and even after buying a tractor he still farmed with horses. One day the tractor did not start and he just left it there in the field to rust. He went back to the horses. My Dad worked at Grims nurserys as a young man and would help Alex on the farm. When the Coulthorn sisters found out who my Dad was they seemed more open and talkative. They were very private. They lived their life together, always together. They mourned their brothers death to their last day. Their brother had a Beautiful TB Horse named “June”. Helen told me one day that her brother said if anything happened to him he wanted June to be destroyed. He didn’t want anyone else to ride her….The sisters couldn’t do it, they kept June in memory of their brother. Not sure how true that story is, but Miss Helen was the one who told it to me, and I had the pleasure of grooming a very old TB Mare in her stall every time I cleaned the barn.
They never married. They were very happy just being on that farm where they lived all of their lives. Lots of memories…….

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