Nov 29, 2007

Brunswick buildings awaiting facelifts

Brunswick, Md. (Gazette.Net) - Five downtown Brunswick properties will move one step closer to a facelift when graduate students at the University of Maryland finish design plans next month. Since Nov. 1, 15 architecture students have descended on Brunswick to evaluate, analyze and design façade improvements for commercial buildings at Railroad Square and East and West Potomac streets.
The students are part of ‘‘About Face,” a collaborative workshop between the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Brunswick Main Street, a nonprofit group dedicated to revitalizing the city’s downtown. Continued

Photo of Brunswick, Maryland courtesy of MDRails

Nov 27, 2007

Oxford Grain & Hay Co.

Oxford, Pennsylvania
Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

Nov 26, 2007

Rogue preservationists break into French antiquities - and repair them

(The Guardian) - Four members of an underground "cultural guerrilla" movement known as the Untergunther, whose purpose is to restore France's cultural heritage, were cleared on Friday of breaking into the 18th-century monument in a plot worthy of Dan Brown or Umberto Eco.

For a year from September 2005, under the nose of the Panthéon's unsuspecting security officials, a group of intrepid "illegal restorers" set up a secret workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building's famous dome. Under the supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker, they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves. Link

The B&O Holly

(HSoCC Blog) - One tradition for kicking off the Christmas Season in Cecil County is the annual lighting of the “Holly Tree by-the-tracks.” The Baltimore & Ohio held the first public ceremony in 1948 and for many years the company dispatched a special train from Mount Royal Station to Jackson for the occassion. After 1971, the tree was dark for a few years until a group of local volunteers started making sure the tree festively blazed for the holiday season. Continued

Photo courtesy MDRails

Nov 25, 2007

Md. man unearths answer to Civil War mystery

(AP) - The Civil War spawned countless human narratives, each seemingly more heart-wrenching than the last. But few of those narratives matched the drama surrounding the final moments of Confederate Col. Isaac Erwin Avery. The date was July 2, 1863, the opening day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Avery's North Carolina unit was ordered to attack a heavily fortified Union position on East Cemetery Hill. Leading the charge on a white horse, Avery was struck in the neck by a musket ball.
As he lay dying, a close friend, Maj. Samuel McDowell, managed to reach Avery's side. So badly wounded that he was unable to speak, Avery dipped the point of a stick or some other sharp object into his blood and scratched out on a piece of paper his last words, "Major, tell my father I died with my face to the enemy." Continued

Images courtesy of Ethan F. Bishop

Nov 23, 2007

A Cecil County glossary

The Historical Society of Cecil County has posted a glossary of sorts to its website. It's called The Ernest A. Howard Cecil County Genealogy and History Fact File and is filled with lots of good information.

Tunnel on Wildcat Point, Cecil County, Maryland.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel

Nov 21, 2007

America's REAL First Thanksgiving.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (USA Today) - What does REAL mean? Well, she's not talking turkey and cranberry sauce. She's talking a Spanish explorer who landed here on Sept. 8, 1565, and celebrated a feast of thanksgiving with Timucua Indians. They dined on bean soup. Continued

Nov 20, 2007

Falmanac Flees Free State for Flavor Country

It has suddenly occurred to me that while Falmanac has done a tolerably good job of exploring the history of Maryland & Pennsylvania, we have totally, and to our shame, left out one of our closest relatives: Delaware.
Rest assured, gentle reader, this error won't go uncorrected! Beginning with the first of the year, Falmanac plans to make regular forays into the First State in order to bring you packs, nay, cartons of historical goodness.

Photo: Swing bridge at Seaford Delaware by Kim Choate

Nov 19, 2007

Meanwhile, at the other blog

We've been featuring night scenes of Bel Air, Maryland & Red Lion, Pennsylvania. You can view them here.

Nov 18, 2007


I've been eating these berries since I was 5 years old. That's when I found my neighbor, a wise old second grader, eating them. I wouldn't touch them until the next day, just to make sure she didn't die overnight. She called them wineberries, but I never could find a thing out about them, until I looked them up on Wikipedia, which says: "The species was introduced to Europe and North America as an ornamental plant and for its potential in breeding hybrid raspberries. It has subsequently escaped from cultivation and become naturalised and sometimes invasive in parts of Europe and eastern North America. They are also called Wine raspberries." The wineberry season is over, but if you see some next summer, try them; they're tasty & grow all over Maryland and Southeast Pennsylvania. I like them better than raspberries or blackberries.

Photo: Wikipedia under a GNU License

Nov 17, 2007

Just some leftovers from the past few months. Various cameras & various locations throughout Maryland & Pennsylvania.

Nov 16, 2007

Whistle-stop tour through Eastern Baltimore County

(Times-Herald) ... In eastern Baltimore County, the B&O was in constant competition with its rival, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), for access to track between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Ultimately, in the late 1880’s both railroads eventually developed parallel routes of track between the two cities. Today’s “Penn Line,” which is utilized by both Amtrak and the Maryland Transit Administration’s MARC commuter rail service, was the PRR’s track while the rail line about five miles to the north was the B&O’s Philadelphia Branch. Continued.

Photo by Warren Olt: MA&PA Railroad at Glen Arm, Maryland. MDRails collection.

History of photoshopping from 1860 to present day

(boingboing) - This nearly iconic portrait of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is a composite of Lincoln's head and the Southern politician John Calhoun's body. Link

Nov 15, 2007

A new branch of history

(Slashdot) - "The team of 'digital archaeologists' who developed the technology behind the Intel Museum's 4004 microprocessor exhibit have done it again. 36 years after Intel introduced their first microprocessor on November 15, 1971, these computer historians have turned the spotlight on the first application software ever written for a general-purpose microprocessor: the Busicom 141-PF calculator. Link

Slate roof

York County, Pennsylvania

Canon EOS 5D, 28-135mm IS lens

Nov 14, 2007

Nov 13, 2007

Delta Wye Trestle

We hear that the remaining trestle at the Wye in Delta, Pa. may soon be coming down. Meanwhile, up in Red Lion, I hear the trestle there may be preserved. Two different ways of thinking, I guess. It's all rumor, though if you like looking at old bridges & ditches (or anything MA&PA related), this may be a good time to go and examine the thing. I'll leave it to you, clever reader, to find it.

1. 2000-ish, Olympus D-60
2. & 3. 2007, Canon 20D, Kim Choate
3. 1949, Warren Olt

Nov 12, 2007

Miss Oxford Diner

Oxford, Pa.
Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

Nov 10, 2007

The Great War

This is a picture of one of my relatives who fought in World War One. He was in the 141st Infantry ("First Texas") AEF.
The 141st, part of the 36th Division, fought well at the Meuse-Argonne, and other places in France through the end of the war. See here for more info.

Antietam morning

Sharpsburg, Md
Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

Nov 9, 2007

Industrial landscape

Wrightsville, Pa.

Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

Nov 7, 2007

Historical Society of Cecil County posting its death & burial records online

"... Locally the burial permits were issued by coroners and the burial spreadsheet contains abstracted data data from 1912 to 1955. The death certificates came from the file copies kept in the local corners office. These records are important sources of genealogical information and Evelyn and Billie are working on more of these valuable projects, including additional death records. Billie, our most experienced genealogist and the person we turn to with our complex family history research questions, is also working on digitizing (with images) some of our naturalization records. ..." Link

Nov 5, 2007

Country Churches: Holy Trinity Episcopal

Churchville, Maryland

Photos by Kim Choate, Canon EOS 20D & EF-S 10-22mm lens

Nov 4, 2007

A Peek Into Pennsylvania's Most Unique Museums

(PRNewswire) - What do elephants, lighters, bugs, trains, Houdini, and Pez dispensers have in common?
They are just a few of Pennsylvania's offbeat museums which everyone can tour with Dave Rhodes and Dave Hallewell in their next Pennsylvania Public Television Network (PPTN) show called Pennsylvania's Offbeat Museums with Dave and Dave.

... WPSU - Sunday, November 11 at 7pm -- WQED - Thursday, November 15 at 8pm and Sunday, November 18 at 5pm -- WITF - Sunday, November 18 at 5pm -- WVIA - Monday, December 31 at 10pm; Friday, January 11 at 10am; and Saturday, January 12 at 11pm Link

Nov 1, 2007

November's "Historic Harford"

This month's edition takes a look at the defunct & submerged town of Conowingo in Cecil County, Maryland. It premiered this evening and will be repeated on Comcast channel 21 throughout the month.

The RR bridge at Conowingo Creek (by the boat launch), marks the approximate location of the old town.

Photo courtesy of MDRails

Barton's Farm Market

Wiley, Pennsylvania
Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens