50 Years Ago (week of July 5-11, 1942):
* Fire destroyed a barn on Roy Stirn's farm at Rockland after a bolt of lightning struck a few feet from the building, which contained 1,300 bushels of barley. Fire companies responded from Ellicott City and Baltimore County. When the farm's water supply was exhausted, water to fight the blaze had to be carried from Ellicott City in 200-gallon tank trucks. The firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in two hours, and prevented it from spreading to nearby storage buildings and farm equipment.
* Two Ellicott City taxi drivers were stopped by state police on the Route 40 bypass (now U.S. 40) and charged with driving at speeds above 70 mph. The men were brought before the magistrate, found to be guilty as charged, and fined $100 each. At the time of their arrest, both drivers had been displaying placards in their cabs stating the cab's speed was to be limited to 35 mph. All motorists were being urged to drive below 40 mph to conserve tires and gasoline for the war effort.
25 Years Ago (week of July 2-8, 1967):
* The second annual Howard County Fourth of July Parade was washed out by a sudden thunderstorm. The start of the parade had been delayed 40 minutes so that traffic, which had been backed up on U.S. 29 from Columbia's south entrance to the intersection at U.S. 40, could be cleared. Because of the delay, only three marching units had passed the reviewing stand when the heavens opened. Gusty winds blew away decorations during the 30-minute downpour, and 320 hot dog and hamburger rolls were declared a total loss.
* The Board of Zoning Appeals granted a special permit to the Howard-Montgomery Crushed Stone Co. to allow the extension of quarrying operations on Brighton Dam Road near Highland. One condition of the permit was that a 200-foot buffer strip would have to be maintained around the perimeter of the quarrying operation. Other restrictions controlled debris, dust, and frequency of blasting. The permit would be subject to yearly renewal.
Information for this column was culled from the Howard County Historical Society's library.