Photos and text by Amy Davis
Three weeks before flood waters raged through the streets of historic Ellicott City, artists perched on its sidewalks and hillsides to paint what they saw, sights, it turned out, that in many cases may never look quite the same again.
Forming a unique composite of how the area appeared right before the disaster, the dozens of works created during the Howard County Arts Council‘s annual plein air paint out are also providing a means to help artists recover from it.
Motorists who travel along Route 1 between Harford and Cecil counties across the Susquehanna River over the mile-long Conowingo Dam might wonder what’s inside the large facility that’s owned and operated by Exelon Generation Corporation.
The Conowingo Hydroelectric Station, which includes the Conowingo Dam and Powerhouse, took two years to construct and started generating power in 1928. The dam is one of four hydroelectric dams along the Susquehanna. Its turbines produce 572 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power 159,000 households.
Entering the plant is like stepping back in time into an oddly beautiful scene. The giant turbine hall contains over 3000 windows overlooking seven enormous turbines. Morning light floods the large open space, which faces the river.
Exelon general manager Archie Gleason states, “The Conowingo Dam is undoubtedly a special place that is reflected in its historic heritage. The fact that so much of the original structure, equipment and fixtures still exist in such pristine, working condition is a testament to the quality and care that was taken when the dam was built in the late 1920’s. There is so much rich history preserved here that makes the Conowingo Dam much more than the concrete, steel and glass you see – it is a reflection of the shared memories and goals of the generations who worked
As though the spacious showroom could not become any more pleasing with its high ceilings, numerous windows, oriental carpet and walls lined with stringed instruments, the sound of a violin pierces the silence, making the room come alive with music.
One might have to be completely lost or a true fan to know about the Arcadia Carnival Grounds, six miles north of Reisterstown in Upperco. Nestled among century-old hardwood trees, the northwest Baltimore County community is normally a peaceful place, until drivers fire up their modified junkers to compete in Demo Derby Day, a series of races organized to raise funds for a local fire company.
For the past two years, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has been restoring a Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad 2-6-6-2 steam locomotive. When completed, the No. 1309 will be the largest and most powerful steam locomotive still in regular operation in the United States.