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Reflections on milestones of civic groups through the ages [Aberdeen]

CultureAberdeen Proving GroundAmerican Legion

Aberdeen has had strong membership in service organizations over the years. The Aberdeen Room Archive and Museum maintains a large file for all these organizations, with donations of programs and clippings of their comings and goings.

Among the many books of memories from the R. Lee Mitchell Estate, we have found many of the saved memories from event throughout the many years, pertaining to the Mitchell family involvement in civic affairs.

From April of 1958 is a clipping about the 99th Anniversary celebration of the Aberdeen Blenheim Lodge, Aberdeen's oldest service organization, established in 1859.

There is a program from the International Night of the Aberdeen Rotary Club in December of 1956, in which Thomas Colleran was chairman. Serving that year were President Joseph Lee, Vice-President Anthony Konstant, Secretary Isidor Goldstrom, and Treasurer Clark Connellee. The speaker for the evening was Lt. Col. Alexander Zielony. There is also a clipping that Thomas Colleran retired from Aberdeen Proving Ground that years.

The American Legion Post 128 of Aberdeen and other Harford Posts held a benefit in February of 1957 for Hungarian Relief at Aberdeen High School. The Harford Choral Society presented a concert, and it was a grand evening.

Back in records of the Aberdeen Lions Club, is a program from the Charter Night of 1956-1957 honoring the Lions' 25th Anniversary. Officers that year were President Harvey Ivins, Secretary William N. Mitchell and Treasurer Norman Bouder. On that May evening of 1957, the 20 Charter Members of year 1932 were honored. Eddie Dwyer's Orchestra played.

Looking back in 1941 is a bulletin from Spesutia Church in Perryman when the Reverend George W. Thomas was Rector. The sermon was given by the Very Reverend Noble C. Powell, D.D. Dean of the Cathedral of St. Peter & St. Paul in Washington, D.C. This service celebrated their 270th Anniversary 1671-1941.

Contained in this bulletin is a buried history of our "Mother" Church at St. George's Parish in Perryman. The first church was built at "Gravely" in 1671 on the original Post Road. The present church was completed in 1851, the 4th parish.

Another bulletin was from Spesutia Church in 1931, celebrating the 260th Anniversary 1671-1931. The address was given by Reverend Hebart Smith, with the sermon by Reverend James Magruder. The document explained that the church contained the 1717 Vinegar Bible, and the "Old Baltimore" site was in this parish. Aberdeen room volunteer Mary Lee Oliver Plummer recalls that her father did much of the landscape work at St. George's in the mid-1900's.

Going back to December of 1936 is a program from the Dedication of the New School Auditorium on North Philadelphia Boulevard in Aberdeen (part of the present Harford County Community Services Building).

The completion of this building was a very important event for Aberdeen. Until the new auditorium was a part of the school complex, big school events like graduations were always held elsewhere, because the school did not have a large enough facility for large groups.

On that important evening, the invocation was given by the Reverend Frank Fielding. Ernest Volkart gave the welcome, The Superintendent of Harford County Schools Milton Wright gave remarks. Senator Millard Tydings gave the address, and President of the Board of Education P.T. Baker gave remarks. A vocal solo was sung by Ms. Earl Price, and Principals Dr. E. H. Stevens gave his remarks. J. Wilmer Cronin, from the Aberdeen High School Alumni Association, and the oldest graduate, gave an account of early memories of the school.

Our column of several weeks ago about the stories people tell about the old B&O brought more stories. Sue Suttle Rollins has a wonderful one about her parents, Hugh and Dorothy Suttle, who met on the B&O in 1947. Her father was traveling from New York to Aberdeen Proving Ground, and her mother got on the train at Philadelphia with no seat available for her "Of course my Dad, being a fine officer and gentleman, gave up a seat to her," said Sue. By the time Hugh got off the train in Aberdeen, he had her name, rank and serial number They were married in 1949.

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