Looking back 50 years

Giving two dams for saving Harford's soil

July 06, 2011

From the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, July 6, 1961:

The big news in Harford County 50 years ago this week was soil conservationists and county officials signing an agreement to allow two more dams to built along Little Deer Creek that, according to the story, "which will hold and release evenly flood waters feeding into Deer Creek."

Bel Air celebrated the Fourth of July a bit differently than it will this year. According to a front page picture, "Bel Air's celebration of July 4 was the raising of 'Old Glory' on the new flag pole on the courthouse lawn, after many months of discussion." There didn't appear to be any other coverage of a Fourth of July celebration in Bel Air.

There was, however, a story about 10,000 celebrating the Fourth of July in Havre de Grace. "Seventy antique cars and 72 other units were featured in the biggest display in 11-year-old history of the annual event," the story said. The Havre de Grace Record, in a contradictory piece of reporting, said this was the 10th anniversary of the town's big celebration.

Also reported on the front page that week was a record 274 applied for the Town of Bel Air's Swimming Program. Another 33 people from outside the town applied, which was another record. "The seven-week program gets under way Monday at 8:30 a.m. Sessions will be held twice for each class and will run two hours each," the story said. "Buses will transport the group each morning to the Maryland Country Club on MacPhail Rd. where the instruction will be under the direction of Pool Manager Al Cesky and his assistants."

Swimming lessons were as important then as they are now. The swimming lessons item was at the bottomed of the front page and at the top of the front page was a story about two drownings with Harford County connections – a Harford County drowning in the C&D Canal will swimming and a Baltimore man drowning in the Bush River after falling off of a small boat.

In other news that week, it was summer and time for Boy Scouts and Broad Creek. There were pictures sprinkled throughout this week's edition of various troops and their scouts in various activities. Among those pictured were of Troop 313, sponsored by the Bel Air Rotary Club, Troop 369, of Edgewood, and Troop 950 or 960, it was written one way under the photograph and the other in the story, from Harmony Church, in Darlington. There would be an eight-week season at the 2,000-acre Boy Scout Reservation near Whiteford. There was a record 1,100 boys from 33 different Troops registered for the first week's session.

In sports, Chuck Thompson, who made his fame in the region as the voice of the Baltimore Colts and the Baltimore Orioles, "had an eagle 3 on the 510 yard Par 5 fourth hole at the Maryland Golf and Country Club recently."

Reid Caudill held the state record crappie catch for less than two weeks after landing a 14 1/2 inch crappie that weighed in at 20 ounces at the Atkisson Reservoir. Another angler quickly broke that record by landing a 16-inch crappie that weighed 23 ounces from the Youghiogheny Reservoir in Western Maryland.

In a sign of the season, there was an ad touting the fine qualities of swimming in Miami Beach, Md.: "Salt Water Bathing; Sandy Beach; Picnic Tables; Ample Parking; No Sea Nettles." Miami Beach was open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and it was "just 30 minutes from Bel Air. Here were the directions: "West on Route 40 to Ebenezer Rd. (White Marsh) turn left and continue to Earls Rd., turn right to Eastern Ave., turn right go 100 yds. To Bowley's Quarters Rd., bear left and follow signs." You wouldn't have to go that way today.

Lana Lobell at Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street in Bel Air was advertising its July clearance sale with dresses selling for $3, $4 and $5 and shoes selling at half price with "Values to $8.98."

At the movies in Harford County 50 years ago, George Hamilton in "Angel Baby" and Jeff Chandler in "The Plunders" were being advertised at the Harford Drive-In Theatre in Aberdeen. James "Gunsmoke" Arness in "Gun The Man Down" and "The Chartreuse Caboose" billed as "A laff-a-minute family comedy" were playing at the Bel Air Drive-In Theatre in Churchville. "Misty," advertised as "A kind of love story … An especially great kind!" starring David Ladd and Arthur O'Connell was playing at the Bel Air Theatre on Main Street.

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