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Fourth of July, circa 1925, presented a who's who of local business

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On July 3, 1925, the now out-of-print American Sentinel reported the Fourth of July was celebrated with baseball, a carnival hosted by the Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Company No. 1, a parade, a dance and a community dinner.

"Saturday, July 4th, will be observed by the citizens and business men of this city by a complete suspension of business," the paper reported. "Public offices, banks, mercantile houses, barbershops and newspaper offices will be closed and remain so until Monday morning July 6th."

The baseball game took place "on the old field at Western Maryland College."

The names of the teams harkens back to the days when Westminster was a factory town, and featured the Fashion Q. Clothes Athletic Club against the Union Bridge Athletic Club.

"Wear Well Pants Company of this city is behind the Fashion Q. Clothes Athletic Club, and presented the players with the new uniforms," the paper noted. "Admission to the grounds (was) 25 cents."

Research for the Historical Society of Carroll by Jay Graybeal, gives us insight into the names of the businesses of the time.

Graybeal wrote, "A description of the Auto Parade appeared in the following week's paper.

"The line-up was as follows: Chief of Police John N. Weigle; Machine Gun, Co. H., 1st Inf. Md. National Guard; Boys on decorated bicycles; Westminster Fire Department …

"Richardson Brothers; Custin and Smith; American Restaurant; J.L. Mathias; Englar & Sponseller; Fisher Motor Co.; Nusbaum & Jordan; Farmers' Supply; Westminster Hardware Co.; DeLaval Cream Separator; and farming machinery."

Other entries included "D.S. Gehr, hardware; Wehler & King; three Amoco Gas Trucks; Keefer's Sanitary Grocery; Charles Eckenrode; T.W. Mather and Sons, Inc.; Coppersmith's taxi; Candy Kitchen; Baile Motor Co. of New Windsor; ... (and) Star Theatre.

"S.C. Stoner was chairman of the parade committee ... and H.L. Hobby (was) chairman of the committee for the Chamber of Commerce."

The Westminster Chamber of Commerce provided a "prize of $15 for best decorated auto and one of $25 for the best float." Parade judges were Dr. L.K. Woodward, J.L. Reifsnider Jr. and George W. Hoff.

"The firemen have provided an opportunity for those who care to dance to enjoy themselves to their heart's content. ... There will be many new features during the firemen's festival. Chicken suppers, soft drinks, ice cream, cakes, candy … will be offered for sale.

Also of note in the newspaper article was a request for donations for the Westminster Fire Department that is just as important today as it was in 1925.

"When in trouble you call the firemen. ... No better investment can be made with your money than helping to take care of the firemen. You may need them any moment."

Amen to that. Some things never change.

When he's not parading around town, Kevin Dayhoff may be reached at kevindayhoff@gmail.com

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