Good deals could be had on farm wagons 100 years ago

100 Years Ago

Winning ways of wagons

In a large ad that week a headline screams, "Do You Want a Farm Wagon?"

"I have a lot of celebrated Birdsall Farm Wagons, all styles, which I will close out a very low prices. Real Bargains. R.W. Carter, Sykesville, Md.

I'm sure this was a hot ticket item in rural Howard County. And the farm wagon, as a way to cross unpaved areas, would be around a bit longer than other forms of horse-driven transportation, as Henry Ford was making the automobile more affordable for regular folks.

75 Years Ago

Tax revolt

"Challenges Constitutionality of Laws Creating Elkridge Water taxing district Asks Injunction:

Charles E. Toomey Claims Count illegally Issued Bonds - Asks Relief From Special Assessment - "Law Fatally Defective," he states - County Treasurer Must Answer by September 8.

Claiming that the acts under which Howard County issued bonds and which gave County Commissioners authority to levy special taxes in the so-called "Elkridge Water District, Charles E. Toomey of Elkridge filed suit this week asking that Dr. Frank E. Shipley County Treasurer, be restrained from collecting the taxes.

The bill of complaint alleges that the amendments of 1933 and 1935 to the law creating the water districts are illegal in that the title fails to give the full content of the bill. A complete review of the history of the law is set forth and the bill is accompanied by copies of the acts creating the Water district and plats showing the areas effected. ... ."

Toomey's complaint said that the "County Commissioners had no authority to issue or create said bond of indebtedness of $80,000 for the reason that if the Act of 1931, Chapter 394 is constitutional the second section thereof specially limited the County Commissioners in a bond of indebtedness to not more than seven percent (7%) of the assessable property in said area of taxing district." ... ."

The article also noted that Toomey said the areas of Hanover, Harwood and Lawyer's Hill "will never be able to secure the water supply called for in said act."

50 Years Ago

Blooming Books

In that week's Times there was a large picture of those attending the ceremony for the beginning of the construction of the Miller Branch Library in Ellicott City entitled "Planting a Library."

"Mrs. R. Neville Arrington turns the first shovel of dirt to signal that construction is ready to start on the new Howard County Library building. the Woodburn Contractors of Baltimore were awarded the bid of $113,113 to construct the building with funds raised by a fund drive headed by John E. Yingling. George Morrison, former Howard countian started the drive with a gift of $60,000 and Charles E. Miller donated the land."

It seems those making donations to the project took a page out of Andrew Carnegie's book. Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant and self-made millionaire, mostly via American railroads, donated some of his millions to "enlighten" the public through the construction of libraries.

By the early 20th century, 75 to 80 percent of the libraries in America were built by Carnegie. There were a total of 1,600 built in the United States, with almost another thousand Carnegie libraries built in several other countries. The architecture of the libraries was often unique and the buildings became one of the central hubs of many small towns.

Today, there are about 200 public libraries in Maryland, with almost 17,000 in the country. I have a habit when traveling of checking out the libraries in various towns and even taking pictures of them, (much to my husband's chagrin.) Anyway, there are so many wonderfully unique libraries out there from Glouster, Mass., to Carmel, Calif.

There are interesting libraries in Maryland, too, with other attributes in addition to the books and knowledgeable staffs. One example is upstairs at the library in Frederick, where you can take a book, buy a snack and sit outside on their patio, which overlooks the mural bridge.

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