Blast from the past

August 30, 2006

Week of Aug. 27, 1956

The citizens of Hagerstown are free to dig up and carry away the shrubbery on the grounds of the Rochester House at West Washington Street and South Prospect.

The Rochester House, along with the dwelling immediately to the rear, will be torn down to make way for another municipal parking lot.

The J.C. Gabel family at Clear Spring awoke with a start on Sunday morning to a noise that sounded like the muffled explosion of a cannon. The noise seemed to come from downstairs and neighbors on both sides also heard it.

When Mr. Gabel investigated, he found that his $250 television set had literally blown up, wrecking the practically new picture tube and seven of the small tubes.


A television repairman said it was only the third time that he had seen a television so wrecked, that there must have been too much vacuum in the picture tube.

Eleven young men were inducted into the armed forces this week from Hagerstown and Washington County by local Draft Boards. It was the largest group called for induction in many months.

Week of Aug. 27, 1981

The Hagerstown Fairgrounds, home of the Washington County fair for more than a century, is up for sale.

Agricultural and Mechanical Association corresponding secretary Roy Garlett, who is also office manager at the fairgrounds, said the group's board of directors decided Friday to put the 69-acre parcel of land on the selling block.

A stockholders report issued by the association for the fiscal year ending Nov. 1980 listed the grounds, buildings and equipment worth $1,234,449.71 before depreciation.

It was a standing-room-only crowd at City Hall last night as neighbors of the old North Potomac Middle School site filled the council chambers to hear local architect George Bushey's construction plans for the 6.7-acre Potomac Avenue tract.

If Bushey's request for a zoning change from R-1 (residential) to PUD (planned unit development) is approved, he plans to build 24 three-storey townhouses and a six-storey condominium complex with commercial space on the first floor.

Very little water was going over Dam No. 5 this week, but an alarming amount was going through. Numerous leaks can now be seen, spanning the whole distance across the river.

Benjamin Garrish, 80-year-old Williamsport resident, says he has not seen the Potomac this low since his "canal days" which ended in 1923.

- Compiled by Jean Baraclough

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