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Dry weather helps spread three brush fires in Harford

BY ROBIN BENJES, rbenjes@theaegis.com

April 23, 2013

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As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, April 25, 1963:

Harford County was plagued by several fires that raged out of control over the weekend 50 years ago this week. All of the volunteer fire companies in Harford were called into action when three separate fires, one in Benson behind the Maryland State Police Barrack, one near Cooptown and another near Darlington. These fires were the result of the driest April weather since 1926 and the wind gusts were in access of 40 mph Between Friday morning and Sunday night, 405 acres of woodland and 90 acres of grass were involved in the fires.

The Harford County Commissioners and the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company agreed to exchange their county owned properties. The Highways Department on Dallam Place would soon be the home of the Bel Air fire company headquarters formerly of Bond Street. The exchange had been discussed for several weeks because the fire department was in need of larger quarters to provide proper service to the ever growing population of the county.

The recent wave of vandalism involving little cars continued when a 1959 Morris convertible was pushed away from its parking space, down a hill and over a 15-foot embankment where it landed right-side-up. Considerable damage was done to the car. This was the third foreign car to be moved during the night in the Bel Air area.

Aberdeen Police Department honored Chief Ben Ray with "Ben Ray Day." The chief was being honored for his 45 years of service to the Town of Aberdeen. Activities included a proclamation by Mayor George Adams at the town office, followed by an interview to the press and radio, and concluded with a special color guard ceremony at the Aberdeen school grounds on Howard Street. A special luncheon followed at the Redwood Inn and included all of the law enforcement agencies in the area.

An irate citizen reported that the flag in front of the courthouse was being flown unpatriotically. When the flag was being raised the rope broke and the national symbol fell to the ground. It was run up the pole soon after. The citizen was upset because it is against the law of our country which states that a flag should never touch the ground, and it should be burned if it does.

Homestead Village, Bel Air's newest community, formally opened this week. The residential community added 600 new homes and increased the town's population by one-third. There was a special preview open house for Harford County residents this week. The community was called "a town within a town" and was on 250 acres of the former "Homestead" farm.

The Bel Air Race Track was the host of the Harford County Kennel Club's dog show sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary of Harford Memorial Hospital. An Afghan hound owned by Mrs. Richard Leach of Joppa won the Best of Winners.

The Safety Committee of the Jarrettsville Lions Club was commended for its contribution to the community. In conjunction with the State Roads Commission, it provided funds for the installation of a four way stop traffic signal at a major intersection in Jarrettsville.

Daylight saving time was scheduled to begin on Sunday, April 28, 1963.