Harford County to spend $11 million on public water, sewerage

From the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, Aug. 3, 1961:

Water and sewerage was the big news in Harford County 50 years ago this week.

The Aegis reported that Harford County received its master plan for providing public water and sewerage facilities from Whitman, Requardt and Associates in a study that cost $22,500 for a plan that was expected to cost an estimated $11.2 million for the first phase. It also projected the whole project would ultimately cost the county an estimated $37.5 million.

The plan was presented to the Harford County Commissioners and to the Metropolitan Commission, which would be in charge of the water and sewer systems. The project was also based on population forecasts of 280,000 people living in Harford County by the year 2000. There were about 219,000 Harford County residents in 2000 and there are still far fewer people living in the county which has about 245,000 residents.

The Harford County Fair was also front page news 50 years ago this week as the original farm fair still had a year or two to run before it went dormant. The story promoting the fair highlighted there were 75 entries in six different classes by five different members of the Harold Smith Family of Black Horse.

"That's enough to hold a fair within the family," the story said. Mrs. Harold Smith, no first name given, was followed by three of her five daughters, including Joan, 17, Susanne, 14, and Kathy, 12. The Smith family earned $300 in prize money at the fair the previous year.

Bel Air won the Little League championship for Harford County 50 years ago this week before falling to North East, the Cecil County champion, for the District 5 championship. District 5 was all of Harford and Cecil counties. Bel Air beat Aberdeen and Churchville before beating Havre de Grace in the Harford County championship game. Bel Air's team included Woody Bach, Eddie Barnard, Rich Barnes, Gene Brackins, Ed Cline, Ronnie Cooper, Chris Johnson, Mike Kelly, Louis Lewis, Johnny Manker, Terry Martin, Mike Robinson, Chris Schlehr and Bobby Smith. Paul Brackins was the manager and Harold Raub was the coach.

Sunday was going to be a big day at Sunset Park in Oxford, Pa., which was advertising the appearance of Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours and the Grand Ole Opry's Curly Herman and his W.Va. Hillbillies. Tickets would be $1 per person, with children younger than 12, admitted for free for those who ventured to drive north on Route 1.

Some things never change: Read's drugstores with locations around the county was offering hair color for men. The different panels on the ad said "Comb" – "Gray" – "Hair" – "Away" – gradually. Read's was selling "Creamy White Scott's Anti-Gray Hair Tone" as a way for me to get rid of gray hair in three to four weeks. The price for the hair color product was not advertised.

"Canning Season Is Here At Walker's," the advertisement said. Harford County had (has?) a long history of canning, both with large-scale commercial operations and with small, in-house operations. Walker's, with locations in Bel Air and Edgewood, was advertising its complete canning supplies for sale, including a 7-quart canner for $2.49 and a 9-quart or 7 half-gallon size canner for $4.49. Each came "complete with racks."

At the movies 50 years ago this week, another Walt Disney classic, though not an animated movie, was about to debut at the Bel Air Theatre on Main Street. "The Parent Trap," starring "Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills," along with Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara was coming to Harford County. Hayley was being touted as an "Honorary Academy Award Winner Outstanding Juvenile Performance" for her lead role as "Pollyanna" in 1960.

The original "Ocean's Eleven," starring the Rat Pack of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., et al, was coming to the Bel Air Drive-in in Churchville. That drive-in was also offering a five movie dusk to dawn show at a cost of 75 cents per adult. The top-billed move was Steve Reeves in "Hercules Unchained," followed by Sal Mineo in the "Gene Krupa Story," and "The Leech Woman," a "Thriller-Chiller." No stars were listed for "The Leech Woman," nor were the other two of the five movies advertised. A little research shows it featured Coleen Gray, Grant Williams, Phillip Terry and Gloria Talbott.

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