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 →

B&O Railroad

It was the second-oldest railroad in the United States. It was one of the coveted railroads featured on the iconic Monopoly game board, and it got its start in Baltimore. Of course it’s the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad.

19th-Century Lost & Found Ads

I find it fascinating to look through old newspapers to see what kind of news was important to the communities at that time. Although we’re used to being able to get our news whenever we want it today, for the Marylanders who came before us, newspapers were sometimes the only means of getting widespread news... Continue Reading →

Central Chemical Company

It may be hard to imagine now, but many fertilizer companies once lined downtown Frederick’s South Carroll Street in the 1800s. Painted on a tan, nondescript building facing the street, one can make out the remnants of a sign identifying the Central Chemical Company. Tyson’s Phosphate Factory/J. Tyson & Son was one these fertilizer companies,... 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 →

Stomach Ailments and Remedies

In the past, just like today, if you had an ailment, someone had a remedy for it. Faced with a “derangement of the liver and bowels”? Never fear, Simmons’ Liver Regulator had you covered. Advertised on the front page of The Easton Star in 1874, the medicine’s ad reassured that the product contained no mercury, only the... Continue Reading →

The Day of the Groundhog

Today’s the day the groundhog rules. Will he peek his head out, see his shadow, and doom us to six more weeks of winter? Or will he emerge shadowless from his lair and grant us an early spring? He and his ancestors have kept us guessing for years. A February 1898 Denton Journal article describes 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 →

Murder or Unfortunate Accident?

What was supposed to be a lighthearted farce on the stage turned into a real-life tragedy in the Eastern Shore town of Marydel in January 1909. The play “Chaps” was being presented on New Year’s night to benefit the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Charles Pippin’s character was to drink sherry. He did — and it... Continue Reading →

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