History Matters: County's newest shopping center, Atholton Village Center, opens 50 years ago

100 years ago

The big ball

From the Dorsey social column: "Mr. and Mrs. Frank C. Rowles tendered a party in honor of the eighteenth birthday of their youngest daughter, Miss Eisye Louise, at their beautiful home on 'Walnut Lawn' Tuesday evening last. Music was rendered by musicians from Baltimore, also a few selections on the piano by Misses May Mimick, Virgie Cooney, Bessye Ritter, Liela Herbener, Florence and Sarah Smith, accompanied by Mr. Victor Devouges on the violin. The big doors between the two front rooms were thrown open, presenting one spacious ball room.

"Soon the mansion trembled with joy as the dancers began to glide smoothly over the floor to the first strains of 'Love Land,' and many other dances following. The happy couples indulged in dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Intermission took place at midnight and all the guests marched out on the lawn decorated with flags and Japanese lanterns, where a delightful repast was served. The chief attraction of the table, a handsome cake, decorated with eighteen candles illuminating their reflection on the trees, transformed everything into a beautiful fairyland.

The guests included Mrs. N.A. Pfeiffer, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Rowles, Misses Virgie Cooney, Eleanor Kingsbury, Agnes Owens, Margaret Ritter, Edith King, Gertrude Powell, Mary Petticord, Francis Mollman, Emily Schmidt, Matilda Reimers, Edythe Hamilton, Mae Mimick, Sarah Smith, Rev. B.D. Chambers, James Rittenhouse, George Hopkins, Maynard Linthicum, St. Clare Thompson, Charles Dewey ... ."

75 Years Ago

'Long, beautiful hair'

From the Movie and Radio column: "At last George Raft is out of seclusion and he is so relieved. For months he has had to go without a haircut for his role in 'Souls at Sea' and to his eternal discomfiture his shoulder-length hair was daily waved with a curling iron. He didn't dare face the mugs who are his best friends looking like that. The day the picture was finished he celebrated with a very tight haircut and smeared on the Vaseline lavishly."

Raft, well-known for starring in gangster movies, was born in 1901 and died in 1980, so he lived to see long hair on men become a popular fad and even lauded in the musical "Hair."

50 Years Ago

Early American style

"Atholton Village Shopping Center: Howard County's newest shopping center, Atholton Village, opened last week with four stores ready for business.

"Brain child of E.G. Pickett, the shopping center is designed in Early American style to fit with the location on Route 29 just north of the intersection of Route 32. Already occupying the premises are the Central Bank, Hill's Barber Shop, Atholton Realty Co. and the Atholton Pharmacy.

"This is the first branch office for the Central bank, chartered in 1906 as the Highland Savings Bank. In the early 1930s the bank moved to Clarksville and changed the name to the Central Bank of Howard County.

"The Atholton Pharmacy is incorporated by Richard T. Harman, Ernest Snellinger and William B. Jackson, though Bill Jackson is the pharmacist principally on duty. Mr. Jackson and his partners are trying to make this a real neighborhood pharmacy and have already changed plans to accommodate the wishes of the patrons. ... Their particular pride is in their prescription department and that they have a complete stock of all kinds of drugs."

Drugs in a drug store — imagine that! Early American decor was in vogue then and there must have been some massive sale on eagle-print wallpaper, because it seemed like every other home or business sported an eagle aviary on its walls.

From the "What's Doing" column of the Times:

"Mrs. William Stover of MacAlpine road was honored at a farewell bridge party at the home of Mrs. Walter Somerville, High Point road, Tuesday, August 14. Mr. and Mrs. Stover together with their daughter, will shortly move to New Jersey."

"Mr. and Mrs. August Sunell, 385 Old Frederick road, currently have as their house guest their young niece, Miss Madelaine Hayes of Hyatttsville. A trip to the Enchanted Forest is one of the outings planned by Mr. and Mrs. Sunell during Madelaine's visit."

For many decades, Enchanted Forest was a nursery-rhyme-themed amusement park for young children that opened in Ellicott City in 1955. After the park closed, some of the fairy tale theme structures were moved to Clark's Elioak Farm on Route 108.

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