As the seat of Harford County government, Bel Air had no significant industry in the 1800s. It did support stores and services for residents and local workers. Many blacksmiths operated in the town, including Philip G. Hunter. He was born in 1833 and lived in Bel Air at the time of the 1860 Census. After moving to Havre de Grace and Halls Cross Roads, he returned to Bel Air and worked shoeing horses and as a blacksmith. In 1900 he moved to North Eutaw Street in Baltimore. He died in a city hospital Oct. 4, 1906.
Source: Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree: Blacksmithing in America by Henry C. Peden and Jack L. Shagena
Compiled by the staff of the Harford County Public Library