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 →

Strange Accidents

There’s no shortage of reports of peculiar accidents in Maryland newspapers of yesteryear. Here are three accounts of bizarre situations occurring in Washington County that remind us that anything can happen as we move through the daily tasks of our lives: In December 1896, The Baltimore Sun reported “a strange accident” involving Charles Hoffman, a... Continue Reading →

Time to Fall Back

Early this morning, Maryland and most of the nation turned its clocks back one hour as daylight saving time ended. The act of switching from standard time to daylight saving time was formally introduced in 1918, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website. But some areas in the country — and... Continue Reading →

Flies: ‘More Dangerous than Rattlesnakes’

Today, we generally think of flies as more of a nuisance than a health hazard. But in the early 20th century, flies spreading typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis and other diseases was a true public safety concern. In 1912, government officials encouraged farmers to keep stables clean, use screens in doors and windows and fly-catching devices to protect... Continue Reading →

Life in 1883

In the spring and summer of 1883, happenings from around the state included two accidents and a “devilish” act of animal cruelty: ‘Not a Suicidal Leap’ The June 2, 1883 Denton Journal reported that Miss Bertha Gebhardt did not commit suicide “by leaping from her bed room window” in Baltimore; instead, she fell out the... Continue Reading →

Coca-Cola Bottling Plant

The Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Frederick operated in its North Market Street location for more than 60 years before permanently closing in 2008. Built in the late ’40s, the plant moved from another location in town where it had been since the 1920s “on the north bank of Carroll Creek” on East Patrick Street, according... Continue Reading →

Straw Hat Day

Straw Hat Day was an unofficial holiday across the nation each May signaling the start of spring. This was the day when men would switch from wearing their felt hats to straw hats in anticipation of the warmer weather. Though basically unheard of today, Straw Hat Day advertisements and articles could be found in newspapers... Continue Reading →

Applicants Needed For ‘A Man-Size Job’

Dr. Theo. Kharas, the general manager of Keystone Mobile Car-Sign Company, knew exactly what he wanted in an assistant general manager. Kharas placed a sizeable ad in The News (Frederick) with a very particular set of attributes for the vacant position at the business, a streetcar sign advertising company with an office in Hagerstown. For... Continue Reading →

1899 Accidents & Injuries

Although the front page news of a newspaper is deemed the most important, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the most interesting. Case in point: the February 3, 1899 issue of The Mail (Hagerstown), in which stories featuring a battle with an eagle, a rib-crushing hug and a frozen tongue were reported: I Triple-Dog-Dare You: For... Continue Reading →

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