Dressed Up for the Number 8 Line

By Raleigh Mann

     My family lived on Cator avenue near the 4000 block of Old York Road. We rode the #8 car for years to go most everywhere. I clearly recall a car barn on York Road a little south of Cold Spring Lane, but most of the 8 cars went all the way to Towson at our end and either Irvington or Catonsville at the other. When I was a high school student at City College, I briefly dated an Irvington girl and rode the car late at night. More than once, I fell asleep and missed my Rosehill Terrace stop and was awakened in Towson.

     When the "new" green cars first appeared, my parents and I got dressed up and spent an evening riding the #8 line.

     As a junior high kids, I used to ride the 36 bus to Alameda and 33rd Street, transfer to another bus, whose number I don't remember, then transfer again to the #19 car to die out Harford Road into Hamilton. every school day. The wait for the 19 car in the winter could be miserable. We stood near Mother's Gardens near Erdman Avenue to wait.

     During that period, there were at least three generations of cars on the lines, old ones, that were yellow and had reversible, cane seats with bras handles, a newer yellow, boxy-shaped car, and the newest green ones. This was true in the late 40s and early 50s.

     There was also a large car barn on Harford Road, near Walther Boulevard, I believe.

     As a young child, I remember riding a street car out Roland Avenue that went into a very wooded, country-like section north of town.

     On one occasion, our church (Boundary Methodist) chartered several street cars that started at the York Road barn and took us all to the harbor, where we got on a boat to take us to Tolchester.

     Do you remember the trackless trolleys on Preston Street?

     I just discovered your wonderful site. What a find! I'll visit your site again and again.

     Raleigh Mann is a retired reporter, editor and journalism educator, now living in Chapel Hill, N.C. and doing research for a novel about his childhood in Baltimore in the 30s, 40s and 50s. You can email Mr Mann (raleighm@email.unc.edu) using the comments button.

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