Blast from the Past

December 10, 2003

Week of Dec. 7, 1953

There is probably only one commodity used by all citizens of Hagerstown on which the price has not increased over the level of 35 years ago.

In 1918 - 35 years ago - the price of water to Hagerstown domestic consumers was 30 cents per 1,000 gallons. Today, the price per thousand gallons to a domestic consumer is still 30 cents.

Reading matter of the comic book type apparently was the only loot sought by the thieves who last night broke into the newsstand at 935 Concord St., operated by R.S. Yourson.

According to a city police report, the newsstand was entered through a window and a large number of comic books stolen.


Here's something to bear in mind about Christmas greeting cards. If the card envelopes are smaller than 23/4 inches by 4 inches, they must carry a 3-cent stamp, since they require special treatment or handling.

Also, cards bearing 2-cent stamps won't be forwarded to new addresses, won't be returned to senders and can't carry written messages, since 2-cent postage is not first-class.

Week of Dec. 7, 1978

An eight-column streamer across the front page of The Daily Mail of April 4, 1925, proclaimed: "Hagerstown Sewage Disposal Plant Finest in World."

Take it from Mike McGauhey, head of the city's water pollution control department, it's still the finest after many major improvements a half-century later.

While some economists say Christmas sales will drop by as much as 8 percent nationwide this year, local shoppers seem immune to economic worries. And that's welcome news to retailers here because many of them do as much as 50 percent of their annual business during late November and December.

Local officials predicted that the average assessment in Washington County will rise about 33 percent this year because of inflation, an active real estate market and a previously undercalculated estimate of property worth.

The assessment increases may well prove to be one of the higher increases in any of Maryland's counties and Baltimore City.

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