Same Book, New Chapter

January 04, 1995|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

In late January 1988, a pictorial book chronicling Glen Burnie's growth over the previous 100 years sold out 2,000 copies in three days. That spring, 3,000 second-edition copies sold out in 15 days.

Or so it was thought.

But one day in late November last year, Nicole Clary, executive director of the Northern Arundel Chamber of Commerce, was rummaging around in a storage room when she found four cases of the 100-page, white, hardcover books.

The chamber quickly put the 400 books on sale, at $20 each, and already half of them have been sold.

When she first saw the boxes of books, Ms. Clary assumed they held the blue, hardcover volumes the chamber put out in 1989 as a companion to the white ones. The later books concentrated on only one year and sold poorly.

"When we opened the boxes, we were surprised to see the white books," said Ms. Clary, executive director of the chamber since last summer.

Chamber members worked on the books with staff members and students from Glen Burnie High School and with the Anne Arrundell County Historical Society.

The book provides glimpses of a time when land on which Harundale and Harundale Mall now sit was Saunders Range, which served during World War I was a training camp where soldiers were quartered in rows of tents.

Pat German, who bought one of the rediscovered books, came across a photograph of an old employer, Poland's, a five-and-dime store on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard.

Ms. German, a 52-year-old Pasadena woman, worked at the store for 50 cents an hour when she was 15.

The buildings she remembered, a competing five-and-dime across the street, a drugstore, a department store, a tavern and a supermarket, no longer exist. But flipping through the pages of the book "really brings back memories," she said.

"It's a real shock to see all this, especially if you are interested in history," said Ms. German, who teaches history at Dundalk Community College.

She said she will be able to use the pictures in the book in her classes.

"This book is quite a find," she said. "It's truly unbelievable."

Alfred J. Lipin, a former state senator from Glen Burnie, came up with the idea for the first book to help celebrate the town's centennial.

The Maryland Gazette donated space to advertise the effort, printing notices for nearly a year while Glen Burnie residents rooted through their attics and basements for old photographs of their town, said Mr. Lipin.

The chamber and the Glen Burnie centennial committee donated $44,000 profits from the first book to Glen Burnie High School's scholarship fund.

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