Bel Air tries to spur residents to clean up the town

April 29, 2013|BY ROBIN BENJES

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, May 2, 1963:

Bel Air's First Clean-Up Day began this week as city officials are fully cooperating in the effort to make Bel Air one of the nation's most progressive communities. More than 15 organizations put their membership behind the clean-up campaign. Mayor Buchal hoped that Bel Air would win a prize in the national contest. The highlight of the 10-day Bel Air Clean-Up, Fix-Up, Paint-Up campaign was a parade through Main Street. Featured in the parade were bands from Bel Air Senior High and Central High Schools, commercial and fraternal floats, marching bands and garden clubs, scout groups and tiny tots and official cars.

Four county and state government-owned vehicles were destroyed in an early morning blaze. The flames destroyed a large shed adjacent to the Harford County highways department building on Dallam Place and Churchville Road. Ironically, the property where the fire occurred was just slated to become the new future home of the Bel Air Fire Department.

Dale Snodgrass and Cornelius Cronin, two local bankers, were elected as new directors of the Harford County Fair Association which was affiliated with the Bel Air Race Track. The gentlemen were elected after the by-laws were amended to create a board of directors to manage the association's affairs. Since legislation was passed to abandon the Bel Air Race Track, considerable interest had been made concerning liquidation of the corporation's assets and the future of an agriculture fair.

Improperly treated waste from the Bel Air Sewage Plant was believed to be responsible for the recent fish kills on Bynum Run. Several members of the Harford Chapter of the Izaak Walton League had recovered dead and sick trout during the past two weeks. Samples of the water were taken and the Water Pollution Control Commission and the State Health Department were notified.

A fire destroyed a storage shed on the Alvin Boyd farm at Boyd and Ady roads. Volunteer firemen arrived at the Boyd property to discover the empty building completely on fire and almost totally destroyed. The origin of the fire which destroyed the wooden shed was unknown at the time.

Donald McGuire, a 14-year-old Edgewood boy, was recovering at Harford Memorial Hospital after suffering severe burns. McGuire and two friends had been fishing off the railroad bridge in Edgewood. McGuire caught an eel and decided to hang it up to dry. He climbed up on a platform above the rails and accidentally came in contact with lines carrying 6,000 volts of electricity. The shock rendered him unconscious for a brief period. McGuire suffered from burns to his left hand, left foot and right arm.

The Maryland State Police Central Accident Records Division reported that there were 103 auto accidents in Harford County in March 1963. These accidents resulted in one person being killed and 45 others being injured. High frequency routes for the month included Route 40 with 26 wrecks; Route 1 with 24 wrecks; Route 7 with nine wrecks and Route 24 with four wrecks. Causes of these accidents were speed, failing to grant right of way, equipment violation and reckless driving.

Five Harford County diary farmers' daughters were getting to compete against 34 others in the Maryland Dairy Princess competition. The final competition would be held at the Lord Baltimore Hotel with Comptroller Louis Goldstein serving as toastmaster.

Mr. and Mrs. John Dowell of Route 1 in Hickory woke to discover dozens of dead birds lying on their lawn and on the roof of their house. Dowell said he counted 36 blackbirds and six robins in the group. He was at a loss as to the reason for their deaths. Further tests were done in an attempt to discover what caused the deaths of so many birds in this one location.

Playing at the Bel Air Drive-in in Churchville were, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, "Rear Window," and "Sword of Sherwood Forest" with Richard Greene.

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