Harford History

May 14, 2006

1783: `Bell Air' in print

The first printed use of the name of the Harford County seat -- albeit spelled "Bell Air" -- appeared in the Maryland Journal of May 13, 1783.

A paragraph in that newspaper reported that Bel Air had celebrated "the glorious return of Peace by a Fue-de-Joye (a fusillade of shots into the air from anything that could be loaded, expressing joy), an elegant entertainment with barbecued ox, wine, punch, etc., etc., etc." and 13 toasts, starting with one to Gen. George Washington and the victorious Continental Army.

This was very likely the first bull roast in town. "At any rate, the town was off to a rousing start," Marilynn M. Larew wrote in Bel Air: The Town Through its Buildings.

[Research by Harford County Public Library]

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