Blast from the past

August 02, 2006

Week of July 30, 1956

Now that the steel strike is over steam engines will be back in service on the Pennsylvania Railroad as "pushers."

During the strike, steam locomotives used to push Pennsy freights up the grade which extends about a half mile north of Hagerstown, were replaced by diesels which were not needed elsewhere on the Pennsylvania line because of the decline in freight traffic, officials said.

The "pushers" are attached to the rear of trains pulled by the diesels and once the grade is cleared they are uncoupled to return to Hagerstown.

Smaller units are in greater demand than larger apartment units at Hagerstown's federal low rent housing projects.

Robert Shank, executive secretary of the Hagerstown Housing Authority, said there is a large backlog of applicants for one and two bedroom units, but little or no backlog for units available for larger families.


Hagerstown's West End railroad overpass project is expected to get underway before winter and will require upwards of two years for completion.

The entire project is expected to cost between five and six million, said Albert L. Grubb, engineer for the State Roads Commission. The contribution of the City of Hagerstown toward the project will be $1,300,000, which will be raised by bond issue approved by voters in a special referendum in June of 1955.

Week of July 30, 1981

Hagerstown is known not only for its airplanes and 18-wheelers - It's also known as the home of some of Santa's elves.

The workshop along Longmeadow Road is known as Gabriel Toys and Games, a division of CBS Inc., and the elves are the plants 250 employees.

Harold McCauley, plant manager, says 80 percent of the toys they produce are "staple items," like the Erector sets. The plant also produces chemistry and pottery kits, games and Show-and-Tell - a combination phonograph and filmstrip viewer.

Many oldsters remember when a two-deck wooden observation pavilion stood atop High Rock, about two miles from Pen Mar. That structure has long since deteriorated and has given way to a recreation unheard of when High Rock equaled Pen Mar as the place from which to see almost forever on a clear day.

Now that the sport of hang gliding has taken over, participants as well as spectators are finding High Rock a mecca once more.

When some Hancock residents speak about the U.S. Postal Service their voices quiver with anger. The reason is a new Postal Service policy that says people must have their mailing address in the state they live in.

For almost 200 years some Fulton County, Pa., residents have been receiving their mail through the Hancock Post Office because it's closer than Pennsylvania post offices. Beginning this month their addresses will be changed to Pennsylvania addresses.

- Compiled by Jean Baraclough

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