Fun Fact: The Ouija Board Capital of Maryland

The 7-Eleven on Charles and Centre Street in Baltimore City, is where the Ouija board was developed and named. In the 1890s, talking board games were popular. Charles Kennard and Elijah Bond were in the board game manufacturing business. Their latest game had players place their hands on a planchette, which then moved to spell out a message. The night of April 25, 1890, in a boardinghouse that is now the 7-Eleven, they, along with…

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Join NACo for the Latest on the Delta Variant

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) for a webinar Tuesday, November 2, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST to hear the latest on the delta variant and how counties can use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to address the public health emergency. As public health officials track the surge of the Delta variant, counties are also poised to take steps to reduce transmission and protect our communities. NACo will be joined by Dr.…

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Fun Fact: Something Wicked This Way Comes…

While the legend of the Blair Witch of Burkittsville in Frederick County, may be the most well-known in Maryland, it is by no means the only bewitching tale in the state's history. The first woman accused of witchcraft never actually set foot in the state. In 1654, Mary Lee was sailing to the new world from England. The journey was plagued by foul weather, and the crew decided to blame Mary for their misfortune. They…

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NACo Webinar: Reducing Jail Populations

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) and its partners at The Pew Charitable Trusts for a webinar on “Reducing Jail Populations through State and Local Policy Coordination” Thursday, October 28th, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST. Counties across the country are partnering with state leaders to consider policies that reduce jail populations and improve public safety, especially as congregate care settings have fueled the spread of COVID-19. Counties operate 91 percent of local jails…

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Fun Fact: Trees in Transition – Colorful Counties

Did you know the Maryland Department of Natural Resources features a weekly fall foliage report every year starting in September? It’s true! The department highlights the trees’ transition each week with reports from experts with Maryland state forest and parks. The reports also include photos from various counties submitted by outdoor enthusiasts who capture the changing colors. Counties in Western Maryland are typically the first to see changes in the leaves. Garrett County has hit…

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NACo Webinar: Cyber Insurance

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) for "Is Cyber Insurance Coverage Holding Local Government Ransom?" this Wednesday, October 20th, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST. Rising cyber liability insurance premiums and fewer insurance carriers have left counties facing difficulty acquiring and renewing coverage. Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) and industry experts from Risk Strategies, Inc., Eckert Seamans and county elected officials for a discussion on the evolving cyber liability insurance landscape and…

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Fun Fact: Getting to the Root of It….240 Years in the Making

This week, Harford County announced the preservation of a 240-year-old root cellar. It is the last freestanding cellar in the county and one of very few that remain in Maryland. Root cellars are underground or partially underground shelters that were used to store vegetables, fruits, and other foods before refrigeration. Most cellars were built as part of houses, but others were separate structures. In the late 1700s, planter Aquila Scott lived on and worked the…

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Fun Fact: County Origins – Get in Formation

Today’s Maryland counties did not always exist in their present form. The borders that define the 24 jurisdictions were formed over the course of three centuries. St. Mary’s County was the first to be organized, and Garrett County was the last. Below are Maryland’s counties listed in order of formation. Click on the Conduit Street Fun Fact to discover something new about each place! 1637 St. Mary's CountyFun Fact: Which Famous Actor Had His First…

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September 29 Child Tax Credit Navigator Training

Members of the National Association of Counties (NACo) are cordially invited to join an upcoming training hosted jointly by the White House, Department of the Treasury, and IGA Associations on Wednesday, September 29, from noon to 1 pm ET. The White House and Treasury are partnering with Federal agencies, national organizations, and community groups to train thousands of people across the country to serve as navigators who can walk families through the Code for America…

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Fun Fact: Baltimore Bath House Boom

Did you know Baltimore City had public bath houses in operation as late as 1959? For most of human history, private bath facilities were a rare commodity. In the 19th century, municipal governments realized the benefits of cleanliness for public health. Wealthier residents had accommodations with access to water and sewer systems that residents in more urban areas lacked. In Baltimore City, the first bath house was opened in 1901, after the newly formed Free…

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