Savage Historical Society's calendar presents daily reminders of days past


January 04, 2002|By Betsy Diehl | Betsy Diehl,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CALENDARS ARE usually designed to let us look ahead to the coming weeks and months. But the Savage Historical Society has fashioned a calendar that does the opposite - it gives us a glimpse of the past through the old photographs featured on the pages for each month.

Called A Long Time Ago ... , the black-and-white calendar for 2002 includes 15 photographs of Savage taken during the early 1900s. It is a project of the fledgling Savage Historical Society, a group that first met in April. The society hopes to raise awareness about the history of the town while raising funds to get the organization going, said Galen R. Menne, pastor of the United Methodist Church of Savage.

Menne, who serves as the group's president, has a keen interest in history. "We're trying to preserve it so it won't be lost," he said.

The group would like to purchase a mill house to be dedicated to making Savage's history readily accessible. For now, the calendar is being used to do that.

"It's not like one person having old pictures up in the attic. We're putting them out there" for others to see, Menne said.

Because he is a relative newcomer to town - Menne is in his third year at the church - he appealed to the community for help in collecting old photographs. Local residents pored through boxes and albums, some tucked away in attics. Some of the images were accompanied by explanations; others required a bit of detective work to determine probable dates or locations.

Lifelong Savage resident Jeannette Vollmerhausen, 73, submitted the photo of the Joshua Barney House used on the August page. Vollmerhausen's grandparents once owned the stately home at the north end of Savage-Guilford Road. She can't say exactly when the photo was taken, but the 1939 Ford parked in the driveway gives her an idea.

There is no mystery about the cherubic little boy standing in the photo for the month of March. He is May Jenkins' late brother, Lewis Stafford Redmond. "We called him `Bucky,'" said Jenkins, 81. "We all had nicknames back then."

She said that the photo was taken in 1921 or 1922, in the alley behind what is now Commercial Street, known at the time as Widow's Rest.

July features another photo from Jenkins' extensive archives. ("I have an Avon box full of [stuff]," she says.) The photo, taken circa 1925, shows a carousel set up near Carroll Baldwin Hall for the carnival that came to town each summer. "We used to call them `flying horses,'" she said of the merry-go-round.

The photo on the calendar cover is quite recognizable even today: It is an old postcard of Savage with a view down Baltimore Street toward the Superintendent's House on Fair Street, often referred to as the Manor House. The photo was taken before construction in 1922 of Carroll Baldwin Hall, Menne said. His church, however, is clearly visible on the right. The white cursive lettering across the bottom erroneously identifies "Main Street."

Menne hopes that the calendar will spark interest in Savage and its history, and he welcomes more members in the Savage Historical Society. "I think there's more here in Savage than people realize," he said.

More than 125 calendars have been sold through word of mouth. "When people hear about them, they want them," said Helen Rushing, 72, a lifelong resident of Savage and member of the society.

The calendars cost $4 each.

Information: 301-725-7630.

Together in harmony

You might have seen a familiar face or two on television during the holidays. Jane Miller, a music teacher at Patuxent Valley Middle School, appeared on WMAR-TV on Dec. 22 and 25, singing with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society for a holiday music program taped at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore.

Miller has been a member of the choir for 18 years, but this year offered a twist: Patuxent Valley eighth-grader Arreon Harley, a member of the Peabody Children's Chorus, also was part of the televised performance.

"It was pretty cool," Miller said of the coincidence.

Hammond artists recognized

Pupils from Hammond Elementary School will advance to the county-level portion of the PTA Reflections contest, a national arts recognition and achievement program.

They are Danny Klein and Abby Goron, literature; Amy Lee, Olivia Ostrom and Bryan Miller, musical composition; and Eric Held, Camille Shea and Evan Miller, visual arts.

Parting words

Old photographs can lead you to believe that the world once was tinted in faded tones of black, white or brown. Not so with Jan Arnold around. She has lived in Savage for 40 years, and spent much of the 1980s and early 1990s delivering local mail in a bright purple truck.

"Everyone knew it was me," said the 65-year-old former letter carrier. She said that the interior also was purple, to match her totally violet wardrobe.

Arnold says she wears purple, the color of amethyst, her birthstone, to bring her luck. Has it worked? "Not really. I keep hoping," she said.

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