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By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN | January 20, 2007
John W. McGrain Jr., 75, former secretary of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission -- who was named official county historian in 1998 -- recently retired. "I retired a month or two short of 30 years when I was 74 3/4 years old. I thought I better do it while I was at the top of my game," said McGrain, who has a reputation as a walking database of county history. "When I began my career in 1976 with the preservation commission that's housed in Department of Planning, I was the sole worker.
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NEWS
By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN | August 30, 2009
John W. McGrain, former secretary of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Committee and official county historian since 1998, was an 8-year-old living in Ashburton when the world veered toward war in 1939. Reflecting on those Depression years the other day, McGrain said that by the mid-1930s, "all kids knew about the approaching war." Bubble gum packages came with "war cards depicting the Japan-China War; families gathered around the Philco in the living room to listen to Hitler's rantings on the radio."
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NEWS
November 20, 2003
On Monday, November 17, 2003, MARY KAY McGRAIN (nee Foley), beloved wife of Joseph McGrain; loving mother of Kenneth, Elizabeth, Catherine and Joseph; loving daughter of Jeanette Foley and her late husband John; adored sister of John, Michael and Robert. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Schimunek Funeral Home Inc., 9705 Belair Rd (Perry Hall) on Wednesday and Thursday 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 P.M. with a Vigil Service on Thursday at 4 P.M. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church on Friday at 9 A.M. Interment St. Joseph Church Fullerton Cemetery.
NEWS
By MICHAEL DRESSER | May 19, 2008
Robert McGrain of Towson likes most roundabouts - but not the dreaded one in downtown Towson, where four roads come together in a two-lane mishmash. "The Towson roundabout is unique. If you haven't experienced it, you don't know what you're missing. It probably rates as an 'engineering' success because it moves traffic more efficiently than the old intersection ever did. However, I think that the patrons at Souris' bar [which occupies the southwest end of the roundabout] still place crash bets at happy hour," he wrote.
NEWS
By Suzanne Loudermilk and Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF | June 9, 1998
For almost 25 years, John W. McGrain has been keeping tabs on Baltimore County heritage as executive secretary of the county Landmarks Preservation Commission. In all that time, he never missed a meeting.Now, McGrain, 66, a planning department employee, has been named official county historian as the department funnels new resources into preserving the county's cultural identity. While he will continue to do research, Kimberly Abe, 33, is taking over administrative duties for the landmarks commission as secretary.
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson and Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF | November 30, 1995
To John W. McGrain, the lichen-green stones -- overgrown by trees and vines but with squared edges that nature never cut -- read like a building plan of the old cotton mill that once operated on the site."
NEWS
February 27, 1996
An article in Sunday's editions incorrectly quoted John McGrain, executive secretary of Baltimore County's Landmarks Preservation Commission, as saying the dismantling of the historic Samuel Owings House in Owings Mills would damage its bricks. The comment should have been attributed to Jeffrey A. Lees, an architect who sits on the commission.The Sun regrets the error.
NEWS
April 20, 1999
Robert A. McGrain Sr., 73, Realtor, tax board chairmanRobert A. McGrain Sr., a Realtor, died Thursday at St. Joseph Medical Center of complications after heart surgery. He was 73 and lived in Towson.Mr. McGrain, who joined O'Conor Piper & Flynn 35 years ago, was chairman of the Baltimore County Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board.Born in Baltimore, he graduated from Loyola High School in 1944 and enlisted in the Army Air Forces. He graduated from Loyola College in 1950, worked for his family's grocery store -- "Gain by dealing with McGrain" -- in the old North Avenue Market and held various sales jobs before he joined O'Conor Piper & Flynn.
SPORTS
By Michael Richman and Michael Richman,Contributing Writer | February 12, 1993
Confronting an opponent he described as having "man strength" in his legs, Wilde Lake 160-pound wrestler Rob McGrain made a savvy move.McGrain's escape with 10 seconds left against Howard's Seth Eldridge gave him a 10-9 win in what proved to be the meet's most pivotal match. The victory pulled the Wildcats within eight points and put them within striking distance in a wild 35-28Howard County dual-meet victory at home.McGrain escaped before being taken down by Eldridge, who is at his best on the floor.
NEWS
By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN | August 30, 2009
John W. McGrain, former secretary of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Committee and official county historian since 1998, was an 8-year-old living in Ashburton when the world veered toward war in 1939. Reflecting on those Depression years the other day, McGrain said that by the mid-1930s, "all kids knew about the approaching war." Bubble gum packages came with "war cards depicting the Japan-China War; families gathered around the Philco in the living room to listen to Hitler's rantings on the radio."
NEWS
By FREDERICK N. RASMUSSEN | January 20, 2007
John W. McGrain Jr., 75, former secretary of the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission -- who was named official county historian in 1998 -- recently retired. "I retired a month or two short of 30 years when I was 74 3/4 years old. I thought I better do it while I was at the top of my game," said McGrain, who has a reputation as a walking database of county history. "When I began my career in 1976 with the preservation commission that's housed in Department of Planning, I was the sole worker.
NEWS
November 20, 2003
On Monday, November 17, 2003, MARY KAY McGRAIN (nee Foley), beloved wife of Joseph McGrain; loving mother of Kenneth, Elizabeth, Catherine and Joseph; loving daughter of Jeanette Foley and her late husband John; adored sister of John, Michael and Robert. Relatives and friends are invited to call at the Schimunek Funeral Home Inc., 9705 Belair Rd (Perry Hall) on Wednesday and Thursday 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 P.M. with a Vigil Service on Thursday at 4 P.M. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church on Friday at 9 A.M. Interment St. Joseph Church Fullerton Cemetery.
NEWS
By Maria Blackburn and Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF | October 17, 2002
Some people collect photographs of their families. Others proudly display "grip and grins" of themselves posing with the rich, famous and powerful. Richard Parsons is driven to gathering photographic images of everything else - diner waitresses and distillery workers, mammoth snowfalls and fatal car accidents, 19th-century streetcars and school band portraits. He'll even accept a photo of Great Aunt Shirley, depending on the era. If it's a picture that has something to do with Baltimore County's past or present, with people living, working or playing, chances are Parsons will want to have a look at it. And if he likes it, the photo will join the thousands of others the retired librarian has amassed over the past 20 years for the Baltimore County Public Library.
NEWS
November 15, 2000
The student: Michelle McGrain, 11 School: Harper's Choice Middle School The achievement: One of six Howard County students named Carson Scholars this year. The Carson Scholars Fund - which was co-founded by Dr. Benjamin Carson, best-selling author and director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions - recognized Michelle for her academic excellence and extracurricular endeavors. Michelle reports that she received all A's on her report cards this past year. She has been studying and performing Irish dance for the past six years.
NEWS
April 20, 1999
Robert A. McGrain Sr., 73, Realtor, tax board chairmanRobert A. McGrain Sr., a Realtor, died Thursday at St. Joseph Medical Center of complications after heart surgery. He was 73 and lived in Towson.Mr. McGrain, who joined O'Conor Piper & Flynn 35 years ago, was chairman of the Baltimore County Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board.Born in Baltimore, he graduated from Loyola High School in 1944 and enlisted in the Army Air Forces. He graduated from Loyola College in 1950, worked for his family's grocery store -- "Gain by dealing with McGrain" -- in the old North Avenue Market and held various sales jobs before he joined O'Conor Piper & Flynn.
NEWS
By JAY APPERSON and JAY APPERSON,SUN STAFF | February 14, 1999
Louis Diggs parks his truck at the vast graveyard that is Arbutus Memorial Park, and he points across the street to an aging church. Propped up on one end by wooden beams, it is a mostly overlooked beacon for a little-known neighborhood that has existed since slave days."
NEWS
By Robert A. Erlandson and Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF | March 5, 1996
The recent controversy over the fate of two old Baltimore County buildings points up just how iffy historic preservation is.Some structures attract enough public interest, sympathy -- and the all-important dollars -- to be rescued, said John W. McGrain, historian in the county's Office of Planning and Zoning.Others simply disappear, losers in an intensifying competition for dwindling public preservation funds and victims of suburban sprawl.Every case is different and A key factor in every decision, beyond historical or architectural significance, is whether a restored building would serve a practical use, Mr. McGrain said.
SPORTS
By Gary Lambrecht and Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer | December 6, 1992
Wilde Lake just can't seem to catch a break.Last season, the Wildecats were the state's best losing wrestling team at 4-7-1. They dropped four dual meets by three points or less in an 0-5 start, yet still came back to finish a strong third in the county tournament.But the Wildecats enter this season without three valuable components of that team. Antoine Harris (125 pounds), who will not wrestle this season, transferred to Atholton. Chris Turner (130) moved to Virginia. And middleweight Joe Underhoffer moved to California.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly and Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF | January 23, 1999
An old bell tower, looking fresh under four coats of Essex green and coconut cream paint, stands proud as the Jones Falls Valley's newest visual asset, a symbol of the peppy economic life that has transformed a once-moribund corner of the city.After nearly five months of work, contractors began to remove a veil of scaffolding from the landmark Meadow Mill last week, exposing the results of their renewal labors -- a graceful cupola, a weather vane and a rooftop slate design."It has a Kremlinesque tower," said John McGrain, a Baltimore County planner and historian of Baltimore's 19th-century industries.
NEWS
By Suzanne Loudermilk and Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF | June 9, 1998
For almost 25 years, John W. McGrain has been keeping tabs on Baltimore County heritage as executive secretary of the county Landmarks Preservation Commission. In all that time, he never missed a meeting.Now, McGrain, 66, a planning department employee, has been named official county historian as the department funnels new resources into preserving the county's cultural identity. While he will continue to do research, Kimberly Abe, 33, is taking over administrative duties for the landmarks commission as secretary.
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