'On Wings of Time' was a huge expo in the county
Cast of the 1937 ¿On Wings of Time¿ pageant, which was part of a larger exposition to recognize the 200th anniversary of the Settling of Washington County, the 175th anniversary of the Founding of Hagerstown and the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. The group received a commemorative coin for the event. (Submitted photo / March 22, 2012)
Goodyear blimp and airplane rides were offered for sightseeing. A railroad siding was set up within the exposition grounds to display equipment and rolling stocks from many periods of railroad history. Concerts by bands from Hagerstown, Keedysville, Boonsboro, Myersville, Md., and Waynesboro, Pa., were held twice each day. Parades matching the themes of the day, beginning with one dedicated to history, were directed down an avenue of flags accessing the exposition grounds each day. Fireworks, athletic contests, judging of exhibits, demonstrations by national champions in various sports and additional evening balls continued throughout.
Honored speakers came from around the region, including Francis S.K. Smith, the grandson of Francis Scott Key, and various governors, senators and congressional representatives. This was all to add to two performances daily of the pageant called, "On Wings of Time," with scenes depicting 32 separate historical episodes of life in Washington County.
In addition to the professional staff from the production company, hundreds of local citizens were recruited for pageant vignettes, with a different cast of principle players for each of the two weeks of the show. All were listed in the program.
According to an article written by Frances Cruger, long-time member of the Washington County Historical Society for the December/January 1998 issue of the Cracker Barrel Magazine, "Every merchant in downtown Hagerstown had his own distinct display in the window featuring the commemoration. Prizes were awarded for the best and most interesting historic display."
Edward Tenney went on to serve as president of the historical society until his death in 1942. The start of World War II disrupted activities of the organization for a short time, but with the election of Mary Vernon Mish, the first and only woman to ever lead the group, came an era of preservation pursuits unlike anything before or since.
Linda Irvin-Craig is executive director of the Washington County Historical Society. The society is inside the Miller House, 135 W. Washington St., downtown Hagerstown. For more information, call 301-797-8782 or go to www.washcomdhistoricalsociety.org.
Mad Hatters' Ball
Planning goes forward for the 2012 Mad Hatters' Ball, a fundraiser for the Washington County Historical Society, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Fountain Head Country Club. Tickets cost $100 each and additional details about this year's celebration are available by calling 301-797-8782 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. The date coincides with the 100th anniversary of the R.M.S. Titanic's collision with the iceberg and period-style headwear is encouraged but not required. Designed as a party, the fundraiser will feature special foods from the Titanic menus will be featured and music for dancing or mingling and listening will be provided.
Besides the food, ice sculptures and an 11-foot hat tree, there will also be a silent auction and the raffle of a restored historic trunk (1850 to 1910). Crystal prisms and some of the Miller House silver collection will provide additional "Titanic-like" opulence for the event.