Blast from the Past

August 23, 2006

Week of Aug. 20, 1956

Pride swelled in the breasts of around 500 Williamsporters Thursday night as they listened to their two school bands, the senior high school band of 37 members and their cadet band of 27 members.

Realizing that the two bands are only 5 years old, under the direction of H.C. Kight, the audience was somewhat amazed at the remarkably fine program that the bands rendered.

We bet that dial telephones, which will be placed in service here next December, are older than you think. Believe it or not, the installation of them in Hagerstown was being talked about 40 years ago.

Four decades ago next week, the Daily Mail carried a news story about the use of dial phones in the Harrisburg section by the Cumberland Valley Telephone Company and mentioned the possibility that they would be installed here.


Forty years is a long time to wait, but better late than never.

A guest at the Costello Hotel on South Potomac Street figured there must have been an earthquake when he was awakened this morning.

Not only did a section of plaster fall from the ceiling to envelop the room in a cloud of dust, but pigeons suddenly appeared from somewhere to add to the confusion by their wing-flapping efforts to get out.

It was explained that the pigeons had gotten in through an open window at the same time the plaster fell, sending the guest fleeing to a hallway.

Week of Aug. 20, 1981

To make more room in City Hall and put a few more eyes on the street, Hagerstown's Public Works Board has recommended that the city council move the fire department office into the City Market House building.

News that Washington County Free Library has acquired a collection of words and pictures about the vanished cave at Cavetown had special meaning for Hagerstown resident Ethel A. Fleagle, who clearly remembers the famous cavern.

"I used to play there as a little girl," Mrs. Fleagle remembers. "I was in the cavern many times."

The cave, which was responsible for the name given to Cavetown, was a scenic wonder of this area, from the time settlers colonized Western Maryland until the cave was destroyed by quarrying operations early in this century.

The Washington County Board of Education passed a motion Tuesday night to implement the three-school pilot sex-education program by a 3-2 vote, with school board members Pete Callas and Marie Byers voting "no" to the program as written.

- Compiled by Jean Baraclough

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