Blast from the past

November 22, 2006

Week of Nov. 19, 1956

Quite a few fishermen around Williamsport have turned in recent weeks to sucker fishing and report some very nice catches.

Now that the chill has returned to the waters of the Potomac River and Conococheague Creek, the flesh of the suckers has firmed and they are quite succulent and most tasty.

Complaints of low flying airplanes in the North End shortly before noon were passed on to the Air Force in Washington, D.C.

"One of the black planes almost hit the Long Meadows Apartments on Northern Avenue," one of the occupants of the apartment reported to this newspaper. There were numerous other complaints from the same vicinity. Planes are not allowed to fly under 500 feet, it is understood.


When the low flying continued, the Air Force in Washington, D.C. was contacted.

An interesting religious publication, given to both soldiers and sailors, during the Civil War, is a cherished possession of Mrs. Rhoda Babylon, 607 Maryland Avenue.

The paper called The Christian Banner, was presented to Mrs. Babylon by her father, the late J.A.W. Matthews, who had been given the paper by his father, Lewis Matthews, a member of the Union Army.

This particular issue was published in November 1864 toward the end of the Civil War by the American Tract Society, of Boston, Mass.

Week of Nov. 19, 1981

Williamsport - Life moved at a lazy pace in 1916 when 23-year-old Harvey Brant got a job here tending Lock 44 on the C&O Canal.

"It was the same as a vacation. There wasn't much to do except let a boat through and keep your (water) level up," Brant, now 88, recalls. But he was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A worker on a mule-drawn barge would blow a bugle to signal Brant when approaching his lift-lock, and Brant would close the wooden gates, which "weighed a couple of tons," he remembers.

Building contracts of $3.5 million were awarded last week to Morgan-Keller Inc. of Smithsburg for the second phase of the Homewood Retirement Community near Williamsport.

Under the latest contracts for the $11.8-million retirement village, Homewood will build a 59-unit apartment complex and 37 additional cottages.

It was Gains Burger and Debbie all the way.

The former, a 4-year-old quarterhorse mare, carried the latter, Debbie Wellman, 18, of Clear Spring, to first place recently in the National Quarter Horse Congress' youth association team class at the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus.

In overall standings, Debbie is currently second in the nation's quarter horse rankings with youth halter mares. And she ranks 5th in showmanship.

- compiled by Jean Baraclough

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