‘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 →

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 →

Curious Crowd Follows Police Carrying Human ‘Limbs’

In January 1903, a pair of police officers in Baltimore drew a morbid crowd of followers as they carried arms and legs through the streets to the police station. Patrolman Kaufman carried two legs under his arm while Patrolman Batzer carried a tin bucket with a hand and arm sticking out of it. “Supposing that... Continue Reading →

A Clever Thief

In 1850 Baltimore, a clever thief figured out a way to gain entrance to a home. It happened one evening in November when “a lad, of rather respectable appearance, rang for entrance” at Mr. Courtney’s home on Saratoga Street in Baltimore and claimed that a “mischievous person had thrown his cap in the second story,... Continue Reading →

A Sewing Surprise

In 1911, Miss Edna Bachtel of Chewsville (Washington County) received quite a fright while sewing at home. "...[S]he was horrified upon glancing down to see a large snake rolled about one of the legs of the [sewing] machine," according to an article in The News. "She jumped backward screaming, and the noise startled the snake,... Continue Reading →

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