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Pages from the Past: Walnut tree cracked by lightning during storm in 1912

An article in the July 27, 1912 edition of The Argus remarked on the damage to prominent Catonsville landmark.

During the storm on Sunday, July 14, one of the largest and most symmetrical walnut trees in Baltimore county was struck by lightning, the bolt splitting the bark in six different places. The tree is on the property owned by Mr. Edward L. Graham, known as Graham Place, extending from the Old Frederick road to the Rolling road.


The second lap of cement sidewalks for Relay is well under way. The first lap was from the Relay schoolhouse to St. Denis Station, a distance of one mile: the second lap will be from the intersection of Arlington, Cedar and Rolling roads to Relay Station, a distance of three-quarters of a mile.

The walk is 40 inches wide and is put down 18 inches deep. The money was raised for the paving by a special tax levy and the work is being carried on under the direction of the Relay Improvement Association.


This is the season for mad dogs. It will therefore be wise to keep a close watch, even on the best tempered of these animals, and to be especially cautious of strangers and tramps. The heat is generally supposed to be responsible for the rabies, and even the best intentioned dogs may become afflicted. Do not let children play with dogs.


The new automobile fire truck for the Arlington Fire Department will arrive the later part of next week. This will make five automobile fire engines in Baltimore county, including the automobile truck of the Pikesville Volunteer Company. The County Commissioners Thursday night formally inspected and accepted the new automobile hook-and-ladder truck of the Roland Park Fire Department. An informal parade was held through the principal thoroughfares following the inspection.

75 Years Ago

An article in the July 23, 1937 edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian wished a popular civil servant well on running his new business in retirement.

Patrolman Ralph W. Smith, popular member of the Halethorpe police force, has resigned his position as special officer and station house keeper to devote all his time to the electrical contracting business. his fellow officers and many friends wish him success in his business venture. Mr. Christian Kessler of Lansdowne has been appointed to the vacancy.


Last Saturday evening, the Halethorpe Fire Department was called to extinguish a fire in a chicken coop located on property owned by Harry Shoffrey on First Avenue, Arbutus. The chicken coop, which was completely destroyed, was located only seven feet from a garage. The garage was saved.


George E. Beatty died inSt. Agnes Hospital a few hours after the laundry truck he was operating was struck by a Pennsylvania Railroad train on the Selma avenue crossing at Halethorpe last Saturday.

Track repairman working down the right of way from the crossing said they saw the west-bound truck slowly start across the tracks, then saw the train approaching and heard it whistle. They shouted at the driver, they said, but apparently he heard neither them nor the train.

When the Iocomotive of the train, bound from Philadelphia to Washington, struck the machine, Beatty was hurled thirty feet into a clump of bushes. The truck was demolished, part of it was carried for more than one hundred feet along the tracks.

The driver was taken to the hospital by passing motorists. Physicians there said he had suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries.


Catonsville defeated Granite in two games last Sunday. The scores were 4-2 and 9-2. Fine hurling and airtight defense work in both infield and outfield marked both victories, the Villagers outclassing their Second District rivals in all departments.

This Sunday, Catonsville will meet the Lansdowne club at Spring Grove in two games, first set to start at 2 P.M.

50 Years Ago

An article in the July 26, 1962 edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian advertised an upcoming local production.

The Lurman Players, a theatre group composed primarily of young people, will present "The Happy Time" at Catonsville Senior High School on August 2,3,4 at 8:30 P.M. Admission is one dollar and all proceeds will go to the Amphitheatre Fund, a division of the Catonsville Senior High Park Project.

"The Happy Time," by Samuel Taylor, is the story of a little boy's struggle to become a man in Ottawa in the early 1920's and concerns a French family, the Bonnards. When the play opens, it is Bibi's twelfth birthday.


Detective Lt. Charles Rockenbaugh apprehended a 40-year-old Westchester avenue man after several boys and girls reported that the man fired a shot in the direction where they were playing on the Westchester school lot on July 19. He was charged with discharging a firearm and posted $103 bail. Hearing was set for July 25 at the Catonsville Police Court.


Residents of Lansdowne, Riverview and surrounding area are preparing for their fourth annual Field Day, which will be held at the Riverview elementary school grounds this Saturday, July 28.

Sponsored by the Lansdowne-Riverview Recreation Council, the activities will start with a parade at 9:30 A.M. , assembling at the war memorial at Fifth and Washington avenues, moving east on Fifth avenue to Bero road and thence to the school grounds at Kellery road and Caladonia avenue.

The parade will include the Lansdowne, English Consul and Baltimore Highlands volunteer fire companies, Arbutus emergency truck, all beauty contestants, Jean O'Malley's sound truck, girls softball players, boys baseball players, boy scouts, Baltimore county auxiliary police and others.


A rash of animal bites was reported to Wilkens police during the past week. Parents are advised to contact the Humane Society of Baltimore County if they see stray dogs running loose. In event a person is bitten, police should be notified immediately.

Material from archives courtesy of Catonsville Historical Society.

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