May 31, 2008

Colora Station

According to The Bullsheet, this building once served as a station on the PRR's Octoraro Branch, which went from near Port Deposit, Maryland to Wawa, Pennsylvania.

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

May 30, 2008

1806 - Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel

(Wikipedia) - Charles Dickinson (1780-May 30, 1806), was a 19th century American and nationally famous duelist. An expert marksman, Dickinson's dueling career included 26 kills before it was ended at the hands of future President Andrew Jackson.
Born at Wiltshire Manor, Dickinson grew up in the Grove community of Caroline County, Maryland. He was a successful planter, renowned duelist, and a popular socialite. Dickinson owned a house in Maryland for 13 years.
Jackson's political opponents convinced Dickinson to insult Jackson's wife, assuming Jackson would not survive. At a party near Hillsboro, Maryland at the Daffin House plantation, he met Andrew Jackson and struck up a conversation about horse racing. Continued

May 29, 2008

More Maryland tickets: 1844

"The first dark horse candidate was born at the Democratic Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. With the political rush of support for James K. Polk, after just seven ballots, Mr. Polk’s name appeared to break the deadlock. Polk won the nomination on the ninth ballot and, eventually, the U.S. Presidency." - TWTD

Baltimore, Maryland election tickets. Nov. 4, 1844, Library of Congress.

Country Churches: Round Hill Presbyterian

"The first settlers to come to southeastern York County were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who crossed the Susquehanna River as early as 1736. Having come to America, these hardy immigrants began to gather in private homes or outdoors to hold services. By 1756, the Round Hill congregation was holding Sabbath meetings near a spring at the site of the Old Round Hill Cemetery located between Cross Roads and Felton. Here the first church building, a log structure, was built in 1770." Continued

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

May 28, 2008


Resigning his commission, the military hero joined Congress in acting out a strict protocol to symbolize the supremacy of civil government

By THEODORE R. McKELDIN, Governor of Maryland (1951-1959)

It was my privilege some time ago to discuss the fundamentals of American government with President Eisenhower. The talk led to George Washington. Mr. Eisenhower said that, in his view, the great hour of Washington’s life came at Valley Forge where, militarily speaking, Washington achieved a miracle. Continued

Painting of Washington by Charles Willson Peale

Harford County to Celebrate New Extension of the MA & PA Trail

(via BANV) - To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the MA & PA Trail is growing by almost two miles. On Saturday, June 7, Harford County area walkers, runners, dog owners, bicyclists, train buffs and outdoor lovers will celebrate the new Edgeley Grove trail extension as well as the 10th anniversary with a first-ever “Trail-a-bration,” event. Continued

Photos: MA&PA Railroad at York (top) & Muddy Creek Forks, Pennsylvania (Bottom) MDRails

Maryland Ticket: Constitutional Union Party

(Wikipedia) - The Constitutional Union Party (also known as the Bell-Everett Party in California) was a political party in the United States created in 1860. It was made up of conservative former Whigs who wanted to avoid disunion over the slavery issue. These former Whigs teamed up with former Know-Nothings to form the Constitutional Union Party. Its name comes from its extremely simple platform, a simple resolution "to recognize no political principle other than the Constitution...the Union...and the Enforcement of the Laws." They hoped that by failing to take a firm stand either for or against slavery or its extension, the issue could be pushed aside.

Image: Library of Congress

John Arbuckle: entrepreneur, trust-buster, inventor and humanitarian

(Bob Cornett, Sharlot Hall Museum) - ... In 1866, John, age 27, and younger brother Charles, ran a grocery store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By experimenting, they came up with an egg-sugar glaze that sealed in the roasted coffee bean freshness yet did not alter the taste. John received a patent for this process in 1868. Now the home roasting process was not necessary and they could achieve more dependable uniformity. Continued

Photo taken at the Lockhouse Museum in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens.

May 27, 2008

The Beauty of Bridges

(WIRED) - The bridge is among our most ancient technologies. The moment some distant ancestor thought to place a log where he (or she) wanted to cross the stream, and not where the logs happen to have fallen, the bridge was born.
A bridge inspires us. A bridge overcomes an obstacle and connects someplace to someplace else, with strength and often with grace and beauty. A bridge lets us go to the other side. Continued

Photo: Railroad lift bridge over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Canon EOS 20D.

Susquehanna shad down 90 percent

CONOWINGO, Md. (Examiner, AP) - American shad are in trouble, and on the Susquehanna River, scientists say the fish population has dropped more than 90 percent over the last seven years.
The shad's decline up and down the East Coast has alarmed biologists and led to calls for new fishing limits or moratoriums to protect the silvery, oily fish once so common it was a staple of the Colonial-era American diet. Link

Such a mystery!

Top photo: Historical Society of Cecil County. Bottom: Falmanac.

Dashiell Hammett

(Wikipedia) - Samuel Dashiell Hammett (May 27, 1894—January 10, 1961) was an American author of hardboiled detective novels and short stories. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse). In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett "is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time" and was called, in his obituary in the New York Times, "the dean of the... 'hard-boiled' school of detective fiction". Hammett was born on a farm called "Hopewell and Aim" off Great Mills Road, St. Mary's County, in southern Maryland. Continued

He had made up honor early in his life and stuck with his rules, fierce in the protection of them. In 1951 he went to jail because he and two other trustees of the bail bond fund of The Civil Rights Congress refused to reveal the names of the contributors to the fund. The truth was that Hammett had never been in the office of the Committee and did not know the name of a single contributor. The night before he was to appear in court, I said, "Why don't you say that you don't know the names?" "No," he said, "I can't say that." "Why?" "I don't know why." After we had a nervous silence he said, "I guess it has something to do with keeping my word, but I don't want to talk about that. Nothing much will happen, although I think we'll go to jail for a while, but you're not to worry because—" and then suddenly I couldn't understand him because the voice had dropped and the words were coming in a most untypical nervous rush. I said I couldn't hear him and he raised his voice and dropped his head. "I hate this damn kind of talk, but maybe I better tell you that if it were more than jail, if it were my life, I would give it for what I think democracy is and I don't let cops or judges tell me what I think democracy is." Then he went home to bed and the next day he went to jail. - Lillian Hellman

May 25, 2008

Country Churches: Gorsuch Chapel

Gorsuch Chapel is located in the northwest corner of Baltimore County, Maryland. It was built in 1863 and was a chapel of ease, affiliated with West Liberty Methodist Church. Today it is the Lighted Pathway Independent Baptist Church.

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

1738 - Conojocular War ends

(Wikipedia) - A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ends the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.

Photo: Bridge crossing the Susquehanna at Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, formerly Wrightsville, Maryland.
Canon EOS 30D

May 24, 2008

"What hath God wrought"

May 24, 1844 - Samuel F. B. Morse sent the message "What hath God wrought" (a Bible quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Text: Wikipedia Photo: Library of Congress

May 23, 2008

As WWII vets pass, memories preserved

(MSNBC) - They were a swashbuckling lot — parachuting behind enemy lines, charging onto sandy beaches as bullets whizzed by, liberating countries from a totalitarian grip.
They jitterbugged the nights away, sang about faraway sweethearts and painted the noses of their B-17 bombers with bawdy pinups. "They're overpaid, over-sexed and over here," the British groused about their American allies.
And now, they're dying off, and with them the memories that defined what has been called the Greatest Generation. Continued

Photo: Library of Congress

Monuments fancy and rustic

Baltimore County, Maryland

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

I could use one of these

Via boingboing

Lexington Market circa 1900

Library of Congress

May 22, 2008

EFF forces Lockheed to withdraw trademark claim on B-24 bomber

(boingboing) - Great news: The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Corynne McSherry arm-twisted Lockheed Martin into giving up on their crazy attempt to stop people from posting 3D models of the WWII bombers that they built at government expense, claiming a trademark in the design: Continued

Smart as a Whip: Can Indiana Jones teach kids about history?

(David Zax, SLATE) - "Seventy percent of all archaeology is done in the library. Research. Reading," says professor Indiana Jones to a roomful of students in Last Crusade. But it's the other 30 percent—the boulder-fleeing, the snake-dodging—that makes for good cinema.
Moviegoers lining up today for the professor's fourth outing probably aren't looking for what you'd describe as an intellectual experience. Who can claim to have learned anything from Raiders of the Lost Ark—beyond the fact that if you happen to be present at the opening of the Ark of the Covenant and prefer your face unmelted, you had better close your eyes? Continued


National Watch and Clock Museum, Columbia, PA.
Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

May 21, 2008

1758 - Mary Campbell abducted

(Wikipedia) - Mary Campbell was an American colonial settler, taken captive as a child by Native Americans during the French and Indian War, and believed to have been the first white child to travel to the Western Reserve. Continued

Photo: Mary Campbell Cave by Jeff Medkeff

May 20, 2008

Dallastown backs rail-trail study

(York Daily Record) - The Dallastown Council has given its preliminary support for a Ma & Pa Community Greenway Feasibility Study.
The greenway is a non-motorized recreational trail along the former Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad Line.
The trail would benefit the citizens in Spring Garden, York, Windsor and Chanceford townships, as well as, Yoe, Dallastown and Red Lion boroughs, officials said. Link

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

Study indicates that Harford County could support an arts center

(Baltimore Examiner) - Harford County’s art community is thriving sufficiently to support a $52 million space for music, art and exhibits, according to a study released this month.
The nonprofit group Harford County Center for the Arts is in the midst of planning a cultural center for the county, which is the only jurisdiction in the Baltimore area without a central location for music, theater and visual arts, said Executive Director Sallee Kunkel Filkins.
... Preliminary plans for the center include performance spaces that will seat 1,200, 400 and 100 people; exhibit spaces that can house permanent and traveling shows; and a “heritage gallery” focused on Harford County’s history, Filkins said. Link

Photo: William Pfingsten

The Homestead Act

(LoC) - President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862. The act provided settlers with 160 acres of surveyed public land after payment of a filing fee and five years of continuous residence. Designed to spur Western migration, the Homestead Act culminated a twenty-year battle to distribute public lands to citizens willing to farm. Continued

Photo: My great grandparents' family at their homestead in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). My grandmother is in the front, standing between her father & mother.

May 19, 2008

MPA x131

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

Mr. Johns Hopkins

Johns Hopkins was born on May 19, 1795, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, to a Quaker family.
Convinced that slavery was morally wrong, his parents freed their slaves. As a result, Johns had to leave school at age twelve to work in the family tobacco fields. Hopkins regretted that his formal education ended so early. Continued

May 18, 2008

River Hills, trough of the Potomac

WIlliam Henry Jackson, photographer, c. 1893.

Religious Intent

Waldman’s conclusion is that “the Founding Faith ... was not Christianity, and it was not secularism. It was religious liberty — a revolutionary formula for promoting faith by leaving it alone.”

FOUNDING FAITH: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America.
By Steven Waldman.
277 pp. Random House. $26.

(RICHARD BROOKHISER NYTBR) - Nothing about the founders seems as interesting or as timely to us, 200 years and more farther on, as their religious views — who, if Anyone, they worshiped, how they marked the boundaries of church and state. As a Washington biographer, I have been assured, during the Q. and A. periods after talks, that George Washington saw the Virgin Mary at Valley Forge and converted to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed (why wait, if he had seen the Virgin 21 years earlier?). I was also once asked if he was an “illuminated Freemason”; I sped away from that question as fast as possible. Continued

Photo: Fallston Presbyterian Church, Fallston, Maryland. Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens.


Top picture: Library of Congress. The Rest were taken at the Baltimore Museum of Industry with a Canon EOS 5D & EF 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

May 17, 2008

Climate, soil position Maryland for winemaking success

(Examiner) - Sitting atop a cooler fashioned with wheels, Ron Wates scoots along rows of vines, plucking leaves to make room for what in August will become plump bunches of deep red grapes.
“The vines are always more vigorous than we want them to be,” said Wates, a vineyard manager.
With a cool breeze tempering the spring sun, Wates could be pruning in Bordeaux, France, or California’s Sonoma County.
But, perhaps surprisingly, he is shuffling along the rows of Cabernet Franc grapes at Boordy Vineyards in Hydes in Baltimore County. Continued

Canon EOS 5D & EF 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS lens


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