May 31, 2009

Interview With Bobbie Keith the Weathergirl

( - As the camera pans back from the mini-skirted blonde in front of a U.S. weather map in a Saigon TV studio, she bids greetings to the “fellas in the 175th Radio Research Company motor pool” and purrs her signature sign off: “Until tomorrow, have a pleasant evening, weather-wise and you know, of course, otherwise.” With that, the Box Tops’ hit single “The Letter” begins to blare—“Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane, Ain’t got time to take a fast train—” and Bobbie the Weathergirl starts grooving to the music. Thus ended one of hundreds of Armed Forces Vietnam (AFVN) broadcasts by the young and adventurous Agency for International Development (AID) clerk and volunteer morale booster, Bobbie Keith. Continued

Efforts afoot to save historic Cockeysville depot

(Baltimore Sun) - ... The vacant building, which dates to 1892, suffers from decades of neglect, its gray paint flaking from the splintered wood siding. Only traces of red remain on its window frames and wide cargo doors. Several of the decorative corbel brackets at the roof line are pulling away from the building. Continued

Photo: Cockeysville Station door c. 2004

May 30, 2009

Shorpy: Always Something Interesting

If you like the vintage photos at Falmanac, you'll love Shorpy.

May 30, 1947: Eastern Airlines Flight 605 Crashes Near Port Deposit

(WoCCP) - Sixty-two years ago on a gorgeous Memorial Day, a DC-4 with 53-people on board suddenly plunged from the sky into a thick woods outside Port Deposit, MD. With about an hour of daylight remaining Eastern Airlines Flight 605 departed La Guardia on time for its scheduled trip to Miami. As the southbound craft neared the Susquehanna River, Bainbridge and Port Deposit coming into view, everything seemed perfectly normal on this serene afternoon. Continued

Photo: "The Douglas C-54 is the military version of the commerical transport DC-4 used by the airline companies." (Library of Congress)

May 29, 2009

York settles with Ohio Blenders for final Northwest Triangle property

(InYork) - ... The Ohio Blenders property was the last parcel the authority needed to acquire at the Northwest Triangle, the site of a $53 million revitalization project in downtown York. The area is bounded by North George and West Philadelphia streets and the Codorus Creek.
Plans for the site call for redeveloping 84,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and building 85-135 market-rate townhouses and condominiums. The project also would extend the York County Heritage Rail Trail. Continued


Amtrak: Baltimore Penn Station to get hotel

(Baltimore Sun) - After years of planning and false starts, Amtrak has reached agreement with a developer to turn the upper three levels of Baltimore's historic Pennsylvania Station into a 77-room hotel, a first for an Amtrak-owned station along the northeast corridor. Amtrak officials confirmed this week that they have signed a lease with Hospitality Partners of Bethesda that will enable the company to build and run a "boutique" hotel inside the 1911 train station while it continues to operate as a railroad terminal. Continued

Photos: Library of Congress, MDRails.

Bruce Price

(Wikipedia) - Bruce Price (12 December 1845–29 May 1903) was the American architect of many of the Canadian Pacific Railway's Ch√Ęteau-type stations and hotels. A fine example of his work for CP is Montreal's Windsor Station and the chateau of CP co-founder James Ross now known as Chancellor Day Hall at McGill University.
Born in Cumberland, Maryland, Bruce Price practiced briefly in Baltimore and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, before moving to New York in 1877. Price married Josephine Lee of Wilkes-Barre. His daughter Emily Price Post, was the author of books on etiquette. Continued

Photo: Old Washington County Library (Maryland Historical Trust).

May 28, 2009

Long overdue Gettysburg battlefield projects under way

(Hanover Evening Sun) - Operational budget increases and stimulus money are allowing Gettysburg National Military Park to catch up on maintenance - and fill nine positions that have been vacant. Continued

Heirlooms are tomatoes with a rich history

(Baltimore Sun) - ... What we now call heirloom tomatoes are varieties of tomatoes that have endured the test of time. Seeds from plants with specific qualities were once collected and saved from year to year by farmers, cooks and gardeners in various parts of the world as a way to ensure an annual harvest of that region's most flavorful, best preserving or most productive plants. Continued

Photo: Spenceola Farms Tomatoes, Canon EOS 5D

May 27, 2009

10 Things Parents Should Know About Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

(Geekdad) - The five year old and I went to see Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Memorial Day (opening) weekend. We sat in a packed theater amongst hundreds of children of all ages. Here’s a quick spoiler-free rundown of what you should know before going. Continued

Photo: Wikipedia

Trolley ran between Manchester and Mount Wolf

(York Town Square) - For years, newspapers were delivered to York County's hinterlands via trolley car.
In particular, I remember reading Bradley Rentzel's account about their delivery to Mount Wolf.
"The first trolley car arrives at 5:30 a.m. from York with one or two workmen who head for the Wire Cloth plant," Rentzel wrote in "History of Mount Wolf." "A paper carrier picks up a bundle of papers, The York Gazette, which he immediately starts distributing. Continued

Photo: Kim Choate/MDRails

Tall ship's cook faces a boatload of challenges in the kitchen

(Baltimore Sun) - Robert Lampe bakes a wicked chocolate bread. He also helps load cannons. He is the cook on the Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of the privateers that were built in the Chesapeake Bay and used during the War of 1812. The tall ship sails to ports around the world, representing the Port of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. Continued

Photo: USCG via Wikipedia

May 26, 2009

City seeks tenant for landmark President Street Station

(Sun) - Baltimore is set to designate President Street Station, an 1850s train depot with chapters in the histories of both the Underground Railroad and the Civil War, as a city landmark. But the city's plan to also seek a long-term tenant to revitalize the vacant building has a group of history buffs fearful that the building's past will get swallowed up in any future use. Continued

May 25, 2009

Don’t Panic, May 25th is Towel Day

(Geekdad) - If you learned that the planet Earth was about to be destroyed to make room for an interstellar expressway, would you be prepared? I’m not talking about making peace with your God or clearing up all your debts. I’m talking about something much more important and useful. Do you have your towel? Continued

Photo: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

An Extra Wreath for Obama on Memorial Day

(NYTimes) - ... Last week, a group of university professors petitioned the White House to end a longstanding practice of sending a wreath to a monument to Confederate soldiers on the cemetery grounds. Mr. Obama continued that tradition but started another, the White House said, by sending a second wreath across the Potomac River to the historically black neighborhood in Washington where the African-American Civil War Memorial commemorates more than 200,000 blacks who fought for the North in the Civil War. Continued

Photo: Mt. Zoar Cemetery, Cecil County, MD

Memorial Day

Austin Lane Crothers

(Wikipedia) - Austin Lane Crothers (May 17, 1860 - May 25, 1912), a member of the United States Democratic Party, was the 46th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1908 to 1912.
Crothers was born near Conowingo in Cecil County, Maryland, the eighth son of Alpheus and Margaret Crothers. He was raised on his father's farm, spending much of his life there. Educated at West Nottingham Academy, he spent several years in the work force, first as a store clerk, then as a public school teacher. Continued

May 24, 2009

American Girl’s Journey to the Lower East Side

(NYTimes) - WHEN Abraham Foxman met Rebecca Rubin, he was impressed.
“I’m surprised,” said Mr. Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, as he gazed at Rebecca, a brown-haired doll who was sitting on his desk last week, her hazel eyes locked unwaveringly onto his.
Ms. Rubin, all of 18 inches tall, is the newest historical character doll to be released by American Girl, the company in Middleton, Wis., whose products have a rabidly devoted following among the female 7- to 12-year-old set. She is a 9-year-old girl living on the Lower East Side in 1914 with her Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, siblings and a grandmother known only as Bubbie. Continued

Photo: Molly McIntire from the American Girl doll series (Hustvedt/Wikipedia).

Aldersgate Day

(Wikipedia) - Aldersgate Day is a holiday celebrated by Methodists on May 24 to commemorate the day in 1738 when John Wesley experienced his conversion in a meeting room in Aldersgate Street, London. Continued

May 23, 2009

Skipjack gets new sails in time for season

(Baltimore Sun) - The skipjack Martha Lewis, a living classroom for bay ecology, Maryland history and watermen lore programs that is berthed in Havre de Grace, should have smoother sailing this season. A Harford County organization has raised $34,000 to replace all 2,000 square feet of the boat's canvas sails. Continued

Photo: Skipjack "Kathryn" (Library of Congress).

Dairy farmer gets right to open creamery

(Baltimore Sun) - A man whose efforts to open a creamery at his Long Green Valley dairy farm had been thwarted by a few neighbors emerged victorious Thursday when the Baltimore County Council passed a zoning regulation that will allow him to sell organic products from the milk his cows produce. "This bill will support the county's $300 million agricultural industry, help meet our land preservation goals and help farmers supply fresh local produce to patrons," said Chris McCollum, agriculture liaison for the county's department of economic development. The new law will allow farmstead creameries to operate in agricultural areas. Continued

Photo: Cow, somewhere in PA.

World Turtle Day

(HSUS) - What can you do for turtles?

  • Protect Turtle Habitat. Become active in your local conservation commission or parks and recreation department, and work to preserve turtle habitat.
  • Don't Pollute or Litter. Pollution makes its way into bodies of water and wild areas, poisoning turtles and destroying their habitats. Reduce the amount of garbage you produce, and dispose of it properly.
  • Give Turtles a Brake. If you see a turtle crossing a road, gently pick him up by the edge of his shell and carry him across in the direction he was headed. (Be watchful for cars in the process.) If the turtle is a large one, or a snapping turtle, use a stick to nudge him gently across the road without getting too close. Never pick up a turtle by his tail and always wash your hands after handling any turtle.
  • Enjoy Turtles in the Wild. Never keep wild turtles as pets or buy them from a pet store. Learn to enjoy turtles by observing them in their natural habitat, where they belong. If turtles live in your yard, keep them happy by building a pond and by landscaping with plants that provide protection and food.
  • Don't Release Pets into the Wild. If you already have a pet turtle that you can no longer take care of, contact your local animal shelter for assistance.
  • Spread the Word. Educate others about the importance of protecting turtles from commercial exploitation and abuse in your community and throughout the world. Be a voice for turtles. Continued

May 22, 2009

Trust offers 'hoopskirts and hardtack' camp

(YDR) - When children step into the vibrant backyard of Bonham House in York from July 21 to 24, they will embark on a historic adventure, traveling back in time to the 1860s and experiencing life during the American Civil War and the Victorian era through the York County Heritage Trust's "Hoopskirts & Hardtack" summer camp. Continued

Photo: Mrs. John A. Logan and children (Library of Congress).

John Barth

(Wikipedia) - John Simmons Barth (born May 27, 1930) is an American novelist and short-story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work.
John Barth was born in Cambridge, Maryland, and briefly studied "Elementary Theory and Advanced Orchestration" at Juilliard before attending Johns Hopkins University, receiving a B.A. in 1951 and an M.A. in 1952 (for which he wrote a thesis novel, The Shirt of Nessus).
He was a professor at Penn State University (1953-1965), SUNY Buffalo (1965-1973), Boston University (visiting professor, 1972-1973), and Johns Hopkins University (1973-1995) before he retired in 1995. Continued

May 21, 2009

Reverdy Johnson

(LoC) - On May 21, 1796, attorney and statesman Reverdy Johnson was born in Annapolis, Maryland. Johnson represented Maryland, a slaveholding state south of the Mason-Dixon line, as a Whig, in the U.S. Senate from 1845-49 and again following the Civil War as a Democrat from 1863-68. Under President Zachary Taylor, he served as attorney general from 1849 until Taylor's death in 1850. Johnson was considered a brilliant constitutional lawyer and won an 1854 Supreme Court decision in favor of a patent for the McCormick reaper. Continued

May 20, 2009

William Thornton

(Wikipedia) - Dr. William Thornton (May 20, 1759 - March 28, 1828) was an American physician, inventor, painter and architect who designed the United States Capitol. He also served as the first Architect of the Capitol and first Superintendent of the United States Patent Office. Continued

May 19, 2009

Ogden Nash

(Wikipedia) - Frederic Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) was an American poet well known for his light verse. At the time of his death in 1971, the New York Times said his "droll verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country's best-known producer of humorous poetry".
... Nash moved to Baltimore, Maryland, three years after marrying Frances Leonard, a Baltimore native. He lived in Baltimore from 1934 and most of his life until his death in 1971. Nash thought of Baltimore as home. After his return from a brief move to New York, he wrote "I could have loved New York had I not loved Balti-more." Continued

Photo: U.S. Postal Service

Another Farm (not for sale)

May 18, 2009

Gold Fever Hits York County

(Universal York) - Gold was discovered in California in early 1848. By the beginning of 1849, more adventurers from York County than you might think were headed for the gold fields, never mind the grueling voyage by sea around the tip of South America. The January 23, 1849 Democratic Press reports: Continued

Photo: "49ers," signed, lower right: WILL / CRAWFORD (Library of Congress).

Grand Army of the Republic, Charles Sumner Post # 25 Open House

(RoDP) - When the Civil War ended, over 400 African American soldiers and sailors returned home to Kent County. A small handful of these men formed the Charles Sumner Post #25, Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans’ association dedicated to the principles in their motto, “Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty.” Continued

Old Hickory, That Emo Punk, Singing and Dancing to Fame

(NYTimes) - Populism. Now there’s a word that makes you want to shout and strut and do something funky with your hips. Or that’s the effect this Latinate noun has on the young and restless residents of the young and restless country portrayed with zeal in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: The Concert Version,” the raw but tasty new musical that opened Sunday night at the Public Theater. Continued

Photo: Library of Congress

Brooks Robinson

(Wikipedia) - Brooks Calbert Robinson, Jr. (born May 18, 1937 in Little Rock, Arkansas) is an American former third baseman in Major League Baseball. He played his entire 23-year career with the Baltimore Orioles (1955–77). Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. ... Nicknamed "The Human Vacuum Cleaner", he is generally acclaimed as the greatest defensive third-baseman of all time. Continued

May 17, 2009

Farm For Sale

This farm, here.

Castle in a Kit

(Baltimore Sun) - ... In 1920, Todd Taylor's great-grandfather ordered a kit house for his hilltop property. "It was pulled up Church Road on a wagon - by a mule," said Todd Taylor, deputy state's attorney for Howard County. When built, it had seven rooms, four of them upstairs bedrooms, and a bathroom. Continued

Photo: Sears Archives

May 16, 2009

Count Fleet Wins the 1943 Preakness

(Wikipedia) - Count Fleet, (March 24, 1940 - December 3, 1973) Born and died at Stoner Creek Stud farm in Paris, Kentucky, United States, he was a thoroughbred racehorse and Triple Crown champion in 1943. Sired by 1928 Kentucky Derby winner, Reigh Count and out of a mare named Quickly, Count Fleet was owned by the wife of John D. Hertz (1879-1961), best known for the rental car company bearing his name. John Hertz initially did not think much of Count Fleet and contemplated selling him until jockey Johnny Longden convinced him to keep the colt. Continued

Photos: Arthur S. Siegel, OWI/Library of Congress

H. B. Reese

(Wikipedia) - Harry Burnett (H.B.) Reese (May 24, 1879 – May 16, 1956) was the inventor of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and founder of the H.B. Reese Candy Company. He was born in Frosty Hill, York County, Pennsylvania.
Reese first tried his hand at candy making in Hummelstown and Palmyra, Pennsylvania, where he made Johnny Bars and Lizzy Bars. Continued

Photos: Wikipedia/Gila Brand

May 15, 2009

Wrightsville bridge changes go back to another era

(York Daily Record) - An icon that connects York and Lancaster counties could soon receive a bright facelift.
Officials from the Lancaster-York Heritage Region and Rivertownes PA USA unveiled plans recently in Columbia, Lancaster County, to revamp the Veterans Memorial Bridge with a new lighting system and gardens.
The art deco-style bridge, which is on the National Register of Historic Structures, spans the Susquehanna River linking Wrightsville and Columbia along Rt. 462.
The project will return the bridge to how it looked when it was built more than 75 years ago, said Claire Storm, president of the local Rivertownes organization. Continued

May 14, 2009

Train Wreck on the B&O Railroad

Washington D.C., but no date or details. One commenter at flickr, suggests it may have been a 1906 disaster that killed around 60 passengers, but they don't seem to match up: the accident reported in the article happened in December and the photo appears to have been taken in the summer.

History of the Roma Sausage Company

(Roma) - The Roma Sausage Company was founded in 1963 by owner Joe Misotti. Joe started in the food service industry as a caterer at the Pimlico race track in Baltimore. Joe's specialty was his homemade meatballs and sausage. The meatballs were good but the sausage was great. When he was asked by his customers at the track where he got his sausage he told them "I made it myself." Using the recipe that his Palermo born father gave him, Misotti's sausage soon became a local sensation. Encouraged by his family and friends Joe Misotti opened the Roma Sausage Company.
Joe decided to open his shop in the heavily Italian populated neighborhood of Highlandtown. in Baltimore City. The location was a corner row home on Claremont Avenue. Continued

Photo: Roma Gourmet Sausage

May 13, 2009

Obama steps up Chesapeake Bay cleanup

MOUNT VERNON, Va. (AP) - Calling it "a national treasure," President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued an executive order dedicated to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, putting the federal government at the head of efforts previously led by the states.
The executive order establishes a Federal Leadership Committee, led by the Environmental Protection Agency to oversee restoration programs and orders the EPA to research its authority under the Clean Water Act to restore the Bay.
At a press conference Tuesday on George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate overlooking the Potomac River, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the bay's poor health requires an urgent federal effort in partnership with the states. Continued

Photo: Concord Point Lighthouse

Mrs. Linthicum

Helen A. Linthicum, wife of John Charles Linthicum, congressman from Baltimore (Library of Congress).

Quick action, foresight needed to save Baltimore's architectural gems

(Baltimore Sun) - Look around Baltimore and you will see a compendium of architectural styles and historic structures. From the dome of the Basilica and the Washington Monument tower to the elegant main building of the Maryland Institute College of Art and the magnificent Marburg Pavilion at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital, Baltimore is home to hundreds of landmark buildings that document its nearly 300-year history. Yet despite this rich architectural legacy, many Baltimore landmarks have survived the passage of time almost by accident; it wasn't until the late 1960s that serious efforts to preserve historic city structures got underway. Continued

Photo: Hippodrome ktylerconk

Arlington National Cemetery

(LoC) - On May 13, 1864, a Confederate prisoner of war was buried on the grounds of Arlington House, now Arlington National Cemetery. The prisoner, who had died at a local hospital, was the first soldier buried at the cemetery, located on the Potomac River opposite Washington, D.C. It now contains the graves of soldiers from every war in which the United States has participated, including the American Revolution.
Arlington House was built in 1802 by George Washington Parke Custis, adopted son of George Washington. In 1831, Custis' daughter, Mary Anna, married Lieutenant Robert E. Lee in the main hall of the mansion. The couple resided there until 1861, when Lee took command of Confederate troops in the Civil War. After Lee's departure, the Union Army transformed Arlington House, also called the Custis-Lee Mansion, into a military headquarters and the grounds into a camp. In 1864, the estate was declared a military cemetery by order of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Continued

Photo: Theodor Horydczak (Library of Congress).

May 12, 2009

Stewartstown Historical Society finds new home

(YDR) - Plans can change quickly, the Stewartstown Historical Society learned last week.
The society was ready to move its belongings into temporary storage, having lost its old home in a borough-owned building.
But a society supporter, Gordon Wisnom, came to the rescue, president Becky Manifold said. Continued

Photo: Stewartstown Historical Society's old home (Nightening).

May 11, 2009

Samuel Ringgold

(Wikipedia) - Samuel B. Ringgold (1796 – May 11, 1846) was an artillery officer in the United States Army who was noted for several military innovations which caused him to be called the "Father of Modern Artillery." He was also, famously, the first U.S. officer to fall in the Mexican-American War, perishing from wounds inflicted during the Battle of Palo Alto.
Ringgold was the son of Samuel Ringgold, a U.S. Congressman from Maryland. A younger brother, Cadwallader Ringgold, also served in the military, becoming a rear admiral. Continued