50 years ago: Bel Air proper expands boundary lines with annexations

As taken from the pages of The Aegis dated Thursday, Aug. 23, 1962:

When the annexations of The Homestead property on Emmorton Road and the Durham Farm property on Baltimore Pike were completed, it would enlarge the Town of Bel Air by more than one-third of its 1962 size. The town in 1962 consisted of approximately 838 acres within the boundaries of Moores Mill Road on the north, Wakefield Elementary School on the south, Shamrock development to the east and Kelly Avenue to the west.


The Army Chemical Center changed its name to the U.S. Army Edgewood Arsenal. It reflected the post's change in mission as a result of the reorganization of the Army's technical services. The name "Edgewood Arsenal" identified the post with its new role in the Munitions Command and reflected the emphasis placed on research, development, engineering and manufacturing the industrial functions.

A fire of unknown origin damaged the main building at the Harford Drive-in Theatre. The blaze was thought to have been started by youths setting fire to some trash containers beside the building. Damage was extensive to the snack bar enclosure. Movie management didn't expect any losses in programming or food service during their week of shows.

Joseph (Pepi) Simmeth, a popular local butcher, escaped serious injury when a gas stove which had gone out, was relighted too soon and the gas exploded in his face. The accident occurred in the bologna kitchen of his shop on Hays Street. Simmeth only suffered minor burns on his face, arms and hands.

The Dublin Grange built a sub-station to house one of the fire trucks belonging to the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company. The building was equipped with inside lighting, outside floodlights and a fire light, water supply from a driven well, rest room, heat, a paved entrance and parking lot. Residents in the Darlington area could now enjoy "on the spot" fire protection.

An ice cream stick collection contest was announced for the Harford and Cecil County areas. Kids under 16 years of age were eligible to enter the contest. A bicycle would be awarded to the boy or girl who turned in the most ice cream or popsicle sticks. The ice cream sticks would be used by patients in the state's tuberculosis hospitals as part of the patient handwork therapy program.

Joseph Foster, well known as being one of Bel Air's most enthusiastic gardeners, was surprised when his garden started to produce both yellow and red tomatoes on the same plant. Each planting season Foster planted a small amount of yellow tomato plants on his property. He was surprised when the plants began to produce both the yellow and the red variety. Foster seemed to think that it was possible that they were cross pollinated or were hybrids. The tomatoes proved to be delicious in both colors.

Jack's Tire Service in Bel Air officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. This became the Firestone chain's sixth store in Maryland. In attendance at the ceremony were Mayor Werner Buchal, owner Jack Spangenberg, his son, Bruce, Bel Air Store Manager Howard Norman and Bel Air Police Chief J. Vaughan McMahan.

At the movies this week, Bel Air Theatre was showing "That Touch of Mink," starring Cary Grant and Doris Day and Walt Disney's "Bon Voyage!" At the Bel Air Drive-in Theatre, on Route 22 in Churchville, were "King of Kings," a story of The Christ and the glory of His spoken word, and "Malaga" starring Trevor Howard and "The Couch" starring Grant Williams.