‘Sea of Beer in Her Saloon’

Mrs. Mary Koerner received quite a surprise when she entered her Highlandtown saloon one late March morning in 1911. ‘...[S]he was greeted with a veritable ocean of beer flowing over the floor. Floating on it were cigars, some whole, some stumps and some that were ‘entirely too young to be left to drown,’” reported The... Continue Reading →

Valentine’s Day 1887

In a piece called “Cupid’s Missives” in The News (Frederick) the day after Valentine’s Day 1887, observations about the growing holiday were made, including the type of valentines that were being purchased: “In consequence of the scope and character of the day, the mails at our postoffice [sic] yesterday were unusually heavy. The stationers report the sales... Continue Reading →

Love Potions Land Man in Jail

The ads were placed in newspapers in the Midwest, enticing those unlucky in love: “Parted friends, sweethearts, husbands, or wives brought together, either sex; everything strictly confidential. Send stamp. F. M. Brown, Smithsburg, Md.” “Friendship or love easily won or regained, 10 cents. F. M. Brown, Smithsburg, Md.” But these promises to the lovelorn were... Continue Reading →

‘Novel Cure for Bad Temper’

In January 1902, a Washington County judge ordered a unique punishment for a man convicted of carrying concealed weapons. The man, George W. Oroby, was described by The News as “an aged resident of Williamsport.” Judge Stake presided over the sentencing of Oroby. Stake said that he’d known Oroby all his life, “...that he was... Continue Reading →

Winter Adventures on the Tred Avon River

A century ago, Maryland was going through a severe cold snap. Sound familiar? Because of the weather conditions in Oxford (Talbot County), it only took one afternoon for the Tred Avon River to freeze, a feat that typically takes several nights, according to a 1918 Baltimore Sun article. The frozen river provided many opportunities for... Continue Reading →

‘A Park Bench and A Bogus Policeman’

Like today, thieves of yesteryear had some pretty creative ways of getting what they wanted. Take, for instance, the man who impersonated a park police officer for some easy cash in February 1897 Baltimore. It happened when Harry Crooks — the son of a police officer — was sitting on a park bench in Druid... Continue Reading →

No Understudies, No Show

Sometimes the show mustn’t go on, as was the case at the Lyric in January 1904 Baltimore. The production of The Ninety and Nine had been taking place there and enjoyed by large audiences. But it seems that a cold that swept through the cast halted further performances. “There are about 30 in the cast,... Continue Reading →

Bakery Robbers Take All

Three robbers added insult to injury when they robbed Isaac Silber’s bakery in 1932 Baltimore. “Isaac Silber doesn’t mind so much that three young men robbed his till last night, but he wishes they’d hand the cash register back so he could find out how much the robbery cost him,” The Baltimore Sun reported on... Continue Reading →

Cowhide Justice in Baltimore

In 1898 Baltimore, hotelkeeper J.L. Boswell had a unique way of settling a debt with a man who wouldn’t pay. Boswell caused a scene on the corner of Lexington and Calvert streets, according to The Baltimore Sun, after a conversation with a man who owed him money took a turn. “The men were seen to... Continue Reading →

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