Pages from the Past: March snowstorm left dangerous drifts blocking Maryland roads in 1937

An article in the March 19, 1937, edition of The Catonsville Herald and Baltimore Countian reported the dangerous results from a sudden snowstorm that caught many residents by surprise.

A surprise snowstorm that began hesitantly, as if it would turn to rain, last Saturday and which continued through Sunday suddenly turned into a real problem on Monday and Tuesday, when high winds dried out the wet flakes and drove them across many county roads, piling up drifts from fifteen to eighteen feet high in some places.

Most of the snowdrifts blocking the roads occurred in the upper part of the county, in the vicinity of Towson, Reisterstown, Pikesville, Granite and on up to the Pennsylvania line. County Roads Engineer Jackson P. Grason said snow plows had extreme difficulty in opening roads near the Pennsylvania line. Many of the county roads were impassable, even on Wednesday. Strong winds continually drove drifts across many roads, which had to be plowed over and over again.


A meeting of all managers of teams entered in the Southwestern County Baseball League was called by president Clements for this Friday night in the Oella Community Hall. G. Andrew Miller, president of the Maryland Baseball Umpires Ass'n, was present to offer a list of umpires that are eligible for service in the county loop.

In addition to this, the playing schedule was discussed and player's contracts distributed to all managers of teams who have paid their franchise fees.


Chicken thieves are reported as active again in the vicinity of Halethorpe. Lawrence Kennedy of Oregon Avenue reported to the police that he lost twelve chickens and a guinea hen. Albert Cross of Birch Avenue reports the loss of fourteen chickens. Both raids occurred last week.

100 Years Ago

An article in the March 23, 1912, edition of The Argus reported the lack of water at the site hampered firefighters' attempts to save a large residence in what is now Westview Park.

Fire destroyed the large stone and frame mansion of Dr. H.M. Rowe, president of the Maryland Automobile Club, on the Johnnycake road, about one mile north of Catonsville, Wednesday afternoon, together with the greater part of the household furniture, entailing damage amounting to $15,000. The damage is partly covered by insurance. The fire was discovered about 1:30 o'clock by Mrs. Rowe, who, with her little daughter were going to the second floor to take a nap. Mrs. Rowe detected the odor of smoke and on investigation discovered the whole third floor a mass of flames.

The Catonsville automobile fire engine was summoned by telephone, but on account of the scarcity of water in the neighborhood, was able to render but little assistance. A large lake near the house was without water and after some delay, a dam was built across a stream flowing into the lake and the engine did splendid work in saving a frame back building containing the kitchen and servants' quarters.


That the throat disease epidemic that is keeping Baltimore physicians rushed was caused by a cow with an abscess of the breast, the germ of which produces blood poisoning and multiplies with great rapidity, being circulated through the mixing and distribution of milk, was the explanation advanced by Dr. Hugh H. Young a prominent physician of that city.


A presentment has been filed by the grand jury against Thomas F. Allman, proprietor of the Terminal Hotel, at Catonsville, charged with selling liquor on Sunday. The chief witness for the prosecution was Mr. David L. Matthews, who was a member of the last grand jury, secured evidence which resulted in several convictions.

50 Years Ago

An article in the March 22, 1962, edition of the Herald Argus and Baltimore Countian recognized a Catonsville postal worker for his years of dedicated service.

With several members of his family present, retirement ceremonies were held on Saturday, March 17, in the Catonsville Post Office for Leigh M. Allen, who completed thirty years and ten months of service on Saturday, March 3, 1962. Mr. Allen served as custodian both in the old Post Office where the Catonsville Library now stands and in the present Post Office located across the street. Mr. Allen was warmly praised, not only for his long and faithful years of service, but for services he often rendered without compensation.

Mr. Allen expressed his appreciation of the honor accorded him, as did Donald Allen, his son. Following the concluding remarks by Henry A. Rheb, the toastmaster, refreshments were served those present, about fifty in number.


The Rolling Road Art League is sponsoring the Westview Art Exhibition to run from March 18 to April 1.

This exhibition, now in its fourth year, has attracted many of Baltimore's well-known artists. Both the representatives and non-objective schools of painting will be represented.

Award winners, selected by E. Carey Kenny, were announced at the opening on Sunday at 2 P.M. The public is invited to a portrait demonstration by Lawrence O'Toole tonight, Thursday, March 22, at 8 o'clock in the galleries. Mrs. Sarah Carothers Thode will give a landscape demonstration in oil on Saturday, March 24, at 1 P.M.


The Catonsville Celebrations Committee Inc., is planning to crown a beauty queen on June 16 in the Catonsville Armory at the committee's first annual dance. The queen shall be known as "Miss Independence". Further information will be forthcoming within the next two weeks.


Christian H. Kahl, Baltimore County Executive, announced at the Inaugural Convocation of Catonsville Community College on Sunday, March 18, that acquisition of a new campus of approximately 100 acres for the college has been virtually completed.

Speaking at the investiture of Dr. Oliver H. Laine as the College's first president, Mr. Kahl said that the purchase of a substantial portion of the old Knapp estate on Rolling road will receive final approval and allocation of funds by his office this week.


Mrs. Mary L. Funk of 1220 Brester street, Halethorpe, has been appointed chairman of Nursing Services for the Arbutus-Halethorpe area of the Baltimore Regional Chapter, American Red Cross.

In this capacity, Mrs. Funk will be responsible for stimulating interest in Red Cross nursing programs in the area. Among them is the possibility of setting up free classes in Home Care of the sick and injured in churches or community halls. Groups consisting of fifteen persons from women's clubs or other organizations may make arrangements for such classes either by calling Mrs. Funk, Circle 2-0571, or the Nursing Services at Red Cross headquarters, Hopkins 7-9905.

Material from archives courtesy of the Catonsville Historical Society.

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