Cecil Whig first edition

ELKTON — Each week, we take a look back in time to examine what was on the minds of Cecil County readers. Rotating through the Whig’s 177-year history, we hope to not only provide direct text from our archives, but also context as to why the issue was important at the time.

Join us as we thumb through the pages of our history.

July 14, 1894 (125 years ago)

With so many people either working on the water or traveling by boat to their vacation destinations in the late 19th century, stories like this one about a water rescue were a fairly commons occurrence in newspapers of the period. Steamboats carried hundreds of passengers from ports in Elkton and elsewhere in Cecil County to popular beach towns in Kent County, including Betterton and Tolchester Beach. Keep in mind that automobiles and paved roads were not in widespread use for another few decades.

Off to Tolchester

A Lady Falls Overboard at Elkton Wharf and is Bravely Rescued.

Two pleasant excursions were run to Tolchester Beach from Elkton this week on the now Bay Steamer Sassafras, Captain Cundiff. On Monday Elkton Council No. 23, Jr. O.U.A.M.. gave its annual outing to the Beach, about 375 tickets being sold. Several parsons were left at the Beach and returned home by the way of Baltimore that night.

Methodist and Presbyterian Sunday Schools united in an excursion on Wednesday and the Sassafras left Elkton with 625 people including the many scholars of the schools.

A few minutes alter the boat had reached Singerly’s Wharf, Elkton, on the return trip, excitement was occasioned by Miss Mabel Merritt, of Leeds, falling into the river from the wharf. Andrew Rambo, of this town, instantly plunged into tho water and rescued Miss Merritt, who by this time had fainted and was sinking. Much difficulty was found by Mr. Rambo in securing a hand hold on the piling of the wharf, until a rope was gotten to Miss Merritt by young John Hitchens, of Elkton, who also bravely sprang into the river to aid Mr. Rambo.

Let’s just file this one under the weird local laws file. We’re not sure what prompted Elkton to prohibit merry-go-rounds in town — we also learned here that “flying horses” was once another name for a carousel — but we’re fairly sure that such a provision is no longer in effect.

A New Town Ordinance

The following ordinance was passed by the Board of Town Commissioners on Friday, July 6th, 1894.

Be it enacted, that no person or parsons shall operate any merry go round or flying horses or any show within the limits of the town of Elkton, without first having obtained from the Board of Town Commissioners of said town a permit or license so to do, and without having first paid to the Treasurer of said town a license or permit, fee of ten dollars for each and every day or part of a day the same may be operated, and every person violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall pay a fine of not more than ten dollars and costs of prosecution for each and every violation aforesaid.

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