Carroll’s Yesteryears

20 June 1993

Of cars and carnations

By Jay Graybeal

Last week this column described the beginning of the weeklong Home-Coming in 1914.

The second major event in Westminster was an Automobile Parade which was described by a Times correspondent:

“The chief amusement feature on Wednesday was the Automobile Parade, which proved to be one of the most beautiful displays Westminster has ever seen. The streets were crowded with visitors, who occupied every vantage point, and applauded heartily the different designs represented in the show as they passed. There were between fifty and sixty cars in line, and the procession at one time just reached around the square, beginning at Longwell and Main streets and running over Willis, around the Court House, on Court Street, to Main and back to Longwell again.

“There were many beautiful designs on the various cars entered in the precession showing originality of thought, and fine skill in execution. Many of the machines were laden with girls, attractively dressed, who added very much to the beauty of the parade. Other cars were filled with children, who cheered and waved flags as they went along.

“Three prizes were offered, of $15, $10 and $5 for the best decorated cars and a prize of an electric horn for the most comic design. The first prize was won by Mr. Frank Myers, whose Buick runabout was most beautifully trimmed with daisies. The second prize was taken by Herr & Babylon, who had built on a small car, a representation of the battleship Texas. This was one of the real interesting features of the parade. The funnel of the battleship emitted smoke continually, and the occupants by firing cartridges kept up a continual cannonading throughout the procession. This design almost completely obscured the car which carried it and was well executed. The third prize went to Mr. A.V. Moore whose large Overland car was elaborately trimmed with daises and honeysuckle, and in the cars were seated six charming young ladies attractively dressed in white. The comic prize went to T.W. Mather & Sons, whose big Buick was covered with representation of a large turtle. The driver and the occupants of the car were completely obscured and the turtle caused much comment as it made its way along the street. The idea was splendidly carried out and as the work of Messrs. Arthur Stonesifer and Clarence Lockard.

“Other cars in the parade which are deserving of special notice were those of Mr. Theodore Englar, which was beautifully timed in a very original way with rye straw and red poppies, and the car of Mr. Marshall Campbell, which was elaborately decorated in the colors of orange and black.

“The judges were J.D. Hesson, G.W. Yeiser, B.F. George, Dr. M.D. Norris and J. Thos. Hunt.

“The route of the procession was as follows: Parade formed on Liberty Street and the Park thence to Main to Washington Avenue, to Green, to Liberty to Longwell to Court, to Main, to College Avenue, to Pennsylvania Avenue, to the Park.

“Near the head of the procession was the Pleasant Valley Band in a large automobile bus.

“Wednesday night the Pleasant Valley and Frostburg Bands gave a concert at the music stand near the railroad which drew a large crowd. In fact the streets of the city were thronged during the entire evening, and it was long after midnight before the noise and tumult quieted down.

“Three false alarms of fire, rung up by mischievous fellows out a job, added to the general confusion, and alarmed many of our citizens.”

This is the end of Part II. Part III will appear on July 11 and will describe the Fireman’s parade.

Photo credit: Historical Society of Carroll County, gift of Virginia Wantz

Photo caption: The Wantz and Mather buildings, E. Main St. Westminster, decorated for Home-Coming and Firemen’s Convention, June 1914.