Bel Air post office renovations halted as residents try to preserve mural [50 years ago]

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, April 2, 1964:

The Bel Air Post Office, Main Street, remodeling project was halted 50 years ago this week when residents were alerted of plans to eliminate a mural in the lobby. The architect's plans called for the ceiling in the lobby to be lowered by six feet to accommodate new air-conditioning ducts which would cover a large part of the existing mural. The mural, which was painted in 1936 by William H. Calfee, depicted a performance at the Bel Air Courthouse by the famous actor Edwin Booth. Bel Air Mayor Werner Buchal said "the mural is dear to the local community, we don't want to see it mutilated or destroyed." Rep. Clarence D. Long said that the General Services Administration would find a way to install the air-conditioning ducts without destroying the mural.

The Havre de Grace City Council voted to build the court-ordered sewage treatment plant outside of the town limits. A resolution was passed for its construction on the old race track property owned by the National Guard. The city would first have to obtain permission from the State Board of Public Works to use the military property. The entire project could end up being a joint city-county operation between the Metropolitan Commission, the County Commissioners and the Economic Development Commission.

A string of brush and wood fires in Harford County were blamed on a defective locomotive on a B&O Railroad freight train. The train was finally stopped after spreading fires along the railroad tracks from Baltimore County all the way through Harford to the Susquehanna River. The locomotive was later hauled back to Baltimore.

The number of civil marriages performed at the Court House set a new record high for the Saturday before Easter. During a three hour period, 12 couples were married by Chief Deputy Clerk Douglas Chilcoat. The final ceremony of the day marked the 100th marriage performed since civil marriages became legal in January 1964.

The Aegis offices became the site for harboring evidence in a purse snatching. Police Chief J. Vaughan McMahan called The Aegis office asking if employees would check the tank in the men's bathroom for a wallet. Aegis employee Wilson Johnson checked the tank and did indeed find an unidentified wallet. A Pylesville youth had been taken into custody earlier in the day in connection with a theft of a wallet. He told the police that he had removed $32 and then walked into The Aegis offices and had hidden the wallet in the men's room. An employee of Preston's Card Shop reported seeing the boy come out of a rear exit in the store when she realized that her wallet had been taken from her purse. The youth was found walking along Williams Street.

A plaque was hung in the sheriff's office in the new County Office Building in memoriam for the late Raymond Fulker, sheriff of Harford County from Jan. 1, 1947 to March 22, 1963. The plaque was donated by the Soroptimist Clubs of Harford County.

A Texas youth, Jerry Cotten, was seen along Route 40 riding his bull. Cotten was riding his bull from Fort Worth to the World's Fair in New York as a means of raising money to further his education toward a doctorate in psychology. The eight-month-old, 1,600-pound bull was traveling at a rate of 3 miles an hour. The 23-year-old Cotten was hoping to raise his money by making personal appearances with "Bobo," his bull, at the Fair.

The second "Pigeon Shoot" was out in full force this week; 61 more pigeons had been killed in the downtown area. The total confirmed kills was at 106.

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