From prosperity to downfall

harford history

August 31, 2008

The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad operated for 80 years, beginning in 1884. The little railroad ran from Baltimore to York twice daily. Stops in Harford County included Forest Hill, Highland, Bel Air and Fallston. With the lack of good roads, the Ma and Pa, as it was called, allowed local businesses and farms to prosper through the barter and sale of their products. The Ma and Pa marked the beginning of a period of prosperity for Harford County. As roads and automobiles improved, the railroad industry suffered. By 1954, the Maryland and Pennsylvania was running at a deficit. On Aug. 31, 1954, the train pulled out of the Bel Air station for the last time. By 1959, the organization ceased all train runs, the roadbed from Baltimore to Delta, Pa., was deserted and the rails were sold for scrap.

Source: Our Harford Heritage: A History of Harford County, Maryland by C. Milton Wright. 1967. Compiled by staff of the Harford County Public Library.

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