Eyerly’s Department Store

High on a brick building overlooking West Washington Street is the faded sign for Eyerly’s Department Store, once a downtown Hagerstown institution. Charles Eyerly and his father started a dry goods firm in the late 1880s, according to a Morning Herald front page article detailing Charles’ passing in 1947. In 1900, George Eyerly turned over... Continue Reading →

Frederick Beauty Academy

On a blustery Sunday afternoon in late November, I rushed to meet two dear friends for lunch in downtown Frederick. Not a big fan of parallel parking, I pulled into the Carroll Creek parking garage and nearly reached the top before I found an open space. Then I saw it: a ghost sign for the... Continue Reading →

P.L. Hargett & Co.

Pedestrians walking around South Market Street in downtown Frederick have likely noticed the painted advertisement for P.L. Hargett & Co. and “Delicious! Refreshing! Drink Coca-Cola” on the building near Carroll Creek Park. For nearly 100 years, P.L. Hargett & Co.  was a downtown fixture. In 1877, five brothers — Peter, Douglass, John, Samuel and Schaeffer... Continue Reading →

Saltz Furniture Store

The former Saltz Furniture Store building in Crisfield (Somerset County) not only had the distinction of featuring architectural details unique to the area, but the distinction of narrowly escaping ruin in 1928. The faded paint can still easily be read on the side of the building, once identifying the establishment to shoppers. According to the... Continue Reading →

Damascus Electric Company

Many of the drivers along a well-traveled roadway in Damascus (Montgomery County) don’t realize the significance behind the rusted Damascus Electric Company sign situated atop a building at the intersection of Md. 27 and Md. 108. According to an article in The Gazette, the Damascus Light and Power Company was opened in 1924 by J. Leslie Woodfield;... Continue Reading →

The Boxwood at the Dielman Inn

In New Windsor, a small town tucked away in the western part of Carroll County, a large building takes up a good chunk of one of its quiet blocks. Outside, a white sign with “The Boxwood” in black lettering hangs in contrast to the building’s pale greenish-gray exterior, though the antiques shop that was once... Continue Reading →

Sherwood Distillery Company

Running the length of the red brick building on Railroad Avenue in downtown Westminster (Carroll County), whitish tan lettering declares the site’s former purpose: The Sherwood Distillery Co. Distiller of Sherwood Straight Rye Whiskey Above the faded words sits a drawing of a barrel on its side with the words “Sherwood Whiskey” on the top,... Continue Reading →

Baltimore School of Beauty Culture

Situated on sloping East Mulberry Street in Baltimore, the sign’s words on the side of the building are chipped and peeling, but still easy to read: Baltimore School of Beauty Culture Licensed to Teach Marinello System An online Maryland State Archives search reveals that two buildings – at 5 East Mulberry Street and 7 East... Continue Reading →

Zile’s Ice Cream

Painting advertisements on the side of buildings was one of the ways companies got the attention of potential customers in years past. Today, those fading advertisements are sometimes called “ghost signs.” The more I noticed them in my travels, the more I became curious about the companies and products they once represented. The Zile’s Ice... Continue Reading →

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