Eagle Chronicles Thirty Years of History
Thursday, 23 April 2009 19:36

 

1969

It was the year that Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon.

A brand-new Chevy Camaro listed for just under $4,300.

American combat troops in Vietnam peaked at 540,000 and Richard M. Nixon had just been sworn in for his first term as the nation's 37th president.

Emala Lake Polluted

Closer to home, the first edition of The Dundalk Eagle-printed May 15, 1969- rolled off the presses.

The lead story that week, under a blaring headline spelled out in capital letters, reported claims that Emala Lake in Stanbrook was polluted.

At the time, residents of the surrounding areas, led by the Eastfield Civic Association, protested over a local refuse company that supposedly was dumping waste and trash into the lake. Although the company had the option to buy the land by June 30, Councilman Wallace Williams and state Senator Roy Staten lobbied heavily for the Department of Recreation and Parks to buy the parcel for recreational uses.

"I am hopeful that the source of pollution of the lake can be found and corrected," Williams was quoted as saying.

Within a week of the first article, The Optimist Club of Dundalk, the greater Bear Creek Civic Association and 7 other community organizations expressed support in having Baltimore County purchase the property for park and recreational facilities. But supporters would have to wait for the June 30 deadline.

 
 

As the date approached, community leaders became bolder in their attempts to stop the pollution and turn the area into a recreational facility.

On June 19, 1969, The Eagle reported that Sen. Staten was appealing to County Executive Dale Anderson to move immediately to set aside the Emala property for public use after learning that the disposal operator planned to exercise his option to buy the property.

We cannot afford to have this property used for any purpose other than recreational, and Baltimore County should take immediate steps to acquire it," Staten told the chief executive in a letter.

The senator also reminded Anderson that he had asked the county six months earlier to declare a moratorium on any sizable future development in the Dundalk area.

Just before the disposal operator's June 30 deadline to purchase the property, the county brought about condemnation proceedings on Emala Lake and the adjoining property for use by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

By the end of the year, the Baltimore County Council approved the purchase, and the Parcel of land-now known as Stansbury Park-was secured by the county.

Of This You Can Be Sure

In The Eagle's first month of publication, the Baltimore County Council voted on the 1969-1970 real estate taxes.

The outcome was to continue the previous year's rate of $3.47 per $100 of assessed value. Councilman Williams, who voted to keep the previous year's rate, represented the Dundalk area in 1969 with others who since have left the public spotlight, as well as several who have remained.

Current senator Norman Stone was serving his first year in the senate, after having served one term in the House of Delegates. The area also was represented by a second senator-Roy Staten-before redistricting allowed for only one senator from Greater Dundalk.

Sam D'Anna, Danny Minnick and John Arnick sat in the House of Delegates that year. Today, only Arnick remains from that time of 30 years ago.

 
 

County Executive Dale Anderson later served six months in jail for accepting bribes from contractors on county bids, a federal offense.

Growing Pains

Greater Dundalk was feeling its growing pains in 1969, as plans were underway for construction projects and buildings that would soon become permanent fixtures in the area's landscape.

That year saw the erection of the Patapsco Federal building on Merritt Boulevard. Ground was broken for the two story structure, designed by architect John Weid, on July 15 in anticipation of its completion by that Christmas.

In September of 1969, The Eagle reported on five Dundalkians who were appointed to the Dundalk Community College Study Committee.

The appointees were Marge Cappecci, who was president of the PTA Council of Baltimore County; Lou Grumbach, who helped establish the Dundalk Arts Festival; Emmanuel Krajovic, an employee of the Martin-Marietta Company at the time and an active member in community affairs; Margaret Steele (now Margaret Gibson), who served as chairwoman of the Educational Committee of the Greater Dundalk Council of Community Associations; and Joseph Thomas Jr., and attorney who served on the advisory council for Essex Community College.

In 1971, Dundalk Community College held classes at various locations around the area, including Dundalk United Methodist Church, which served as a temporary headquarters, according to literature from the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society. On October 12 of that same year, the ground breaking ceremony for the proposed campus facing Sollers Point Road took place.

The Eagle also reported on the late fall opening of Franklin Square Hospital, which was to serve Dundalk and other communities of Eastern Baltimore County.

Miss Baseball 1969

Always a voice of the community, The Eagle then featured the triumphs of the youth of Dundalk, as it continues to do today.

On the first page of the first edition was a picture of three young women who competed for the title of Miss Baseball 1969 from the Patapsco Neck Recreation Council

Standing front and center, and wearing a full- length gown and a huge smile was 14-year old Toni Cox, then of Wareham Road, who "bested 24 other comely misses for the title."

She was flanked by Bonnie Dalmaso, 16 and Cathy Dukeman, 15.

"It was my first contest and the first time I spoke in public, " said Cox, who now goes by Toni Stone. "I entered myself {in the contest}."

 
 

Stone recalls competing for Miss Dundalk High School and other contests in her younger years. "They were always a lot of fun, "she recalled." "I loved it because I would always get a new dress and a new bathing suit, " she said with a laugh.

The mother of two girls, Stone move to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. from Dundalk almost 15 years ago. She said she still carries fond memories of growing up in the area.

"I always thought it was a great place to live", she said, " and there's no place that has a better 4th of July celebration than Dundalk."

Decked Out

In August of that first year, the paper featured a front-page photo of Jean Kettell Dance Studio students, decked out in toy soldier costumes, who were to perform in the Tony Grant Show on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City that week.

"It was a great experience for those kids to be able to be part of that performance," Kettell recalled. The instructor and former Radio City Music Hall Rockette dancer was delighted to reminisce about those times. That brought back a lot of memories for me," she said over her car phone. "Even though I'm driving my car right now, I can't help but daydream about it."

A Piece of History

Like Dundalk, The Eagle itself has acquired a history of its own over the past 30 years. Sometimes, those pieces tend to intertwine, oddly enough. For example, the late Louise and Sam Couper of Flagship Road were the first subscribers to The Eagle when it began taking subscriptions soon after its first publication.

Now Eagle columnist and copy editor Diane Pinter and her family live in the Couper's former home.

Coincidence? perhaps, but to us it sounds like just another tribute to Dundalk's intimate community appeal, even after 30 years.