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Blast from the Past

August 08, 2008

Week of July 27, 1958

  • On their way back to Washington from Gettysburg, Pa., President and Mrs. Eisenhower stopped at the Byron home in Frederick, Md. It is the home of Goodloe E. Byron, son of former Congresswoman Katherine E. Byron and the late Congressman William D. Byron.

    The president and the first lady probably made the unscheduled stop at Mrs. Eisenhower's insistence, since she and Mrs. Byron are very close friends.

    While Secret Servicemen deployed around the modest two-story brick dwelling, children and neighbors quickly gathered to stare.

    On the trip back to the White House, the Eisenhowers had another interruption, a flat tire, which temporarily blocked U.S. Route 240 for a time while the President and Mrs. Eisenhower changed cars.

  • A rural mailbox, you would think, would be the last place in the world one would expect to find an anthill. Nevertheless, the Richard DeGranges, who reside on Beaver Creek Road below Funkstown, have a full colony of ants inside their mailbox.

    Mrs. DeGrange isn't sure, but thinks perhaps some youngsters dropped a piece of candy into the box, because you just can't imagine why the ants would take over if there was nothing to eat inside.

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Week of July 27, 1983

  • The Washington County Commissioners decided to buy three small County Commuter buses and three big ones.

    The move will save about $60,000, since the county originally planned to purchased six large "cruiser line" buses, at a cost of $120,000. Each of the three smaller buses will cost $20,000 less, the commissioners said.

    When the County Commuter system was established in 1974, the county operated several minibuses. Available state and federal grants prompted county officials to purchase nine large diesel bus units last year.

    But ridership is down, and Commissioner Dick Roulette said it appeared to be a waste of space to have a full-size bus on the road with three people in it.

  • The City Council approved a new zoning tool called "cluster housing," aimed at encouraging the construction of more single-family houses in Hagerstown.

    The concept allows a builder to put houses closer together, on smaller tracts of land, thereby cutting the cost of utility lines and development costs. Lower costs mean less expensive houses, and the city figures that will encourage people to buy houses in the city.

    The change affects virtually all of the 750 acres of residentially-zoned land now undeveloped within city limits. Not since 1979 has a single-family development been started in Hagerstown.

    -- Compiled by Kelly Moreno

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