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Allegany County
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Allegany Almanack, page 4

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


"George Thomas, better known as Mortar Johnny, was an enterprising Welsh stone mason and brick layer in Frostburg. Mortar Johnny had a special contract to build a stone privy guaranteed not to smell; and being 'fresh out of stone,' Johnny happened to be passing by Braddock's Stone, and recalling that Braddock at one time was reported to have been Privy Counsellor for George Washington determined to make better use of the stone. He therefore took out his trusty stone mason's hammer and chisel, and neatly bisected the stone. At any rate Chisel Chin finally located the stone in the new privy. He threatened Mortar Johnny with an action of replevin if he would not give it up peaceably. So Johnny returned the stone to its original resting place, and into the loving care of the Daughters of the American Revolution. To make amends he mended it together with a bit of Mortar Johnny's mortar.

"Kear (G. Kear Hoskin, Frostburg), Earl, Mary, Frank and I are writing an almanack for the Alleganians serving overseas. We are here in Frostburg. I am going to ask to name who, in your opinion, is one of the most unforgettable characters in this town. 'Well,' says Kear, 'that is easy. All of you just push over, and in two minutes I will show him to you.' Mr. Riley is about sixty years old and weighs around two hundred pounds. His head has about the same amount of hair as a billiard ball. He is of Italian extraction, although he had adopted the good old Irish name of Lou Riley. He has had more hard knocks than a golf ball, and more ups and downs than an elevator. Around 1915 he was hurt working as a coal miner for the Consolidation Coal Company and lost his right arm. Four or five years ago he had his left leg amputated as the result of diabetes. Lou, about 25 years ago, decided to run a speak-easy in his home which he did until prohibition was thrown out the window in 1933. It was then he procured a beer license, and now lives strictly within the law. Do you remember the time, Kear, when the sole topic of conversation was the good or evils of prohibition, and how the AntiSaloon man came to Frostburg to have a rally in one of the Churches and got


Editor: Felix G. Robinson

One of the oldest pictures of Baltimore Street. Taken before time of Civil War. It is taken looking west from Centre Street with Emmanuel Episcopal Church in background. From Herman J. Miller Collection of historical pictures.


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History


Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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