Catonsville, Baltimore county, Maryland
Catonsville is west of Baltimore, east of Ellicott City and centered along Maryland Route 144. In the late 1800s wealthier citizens of Baltimore built large Victorian homes and used them as summer residences. A small business district sprang up to fill the needs of the summer residents. It later became a thriving village.
On the right side of this page is the Catonsville Telephone Directory, 1936-1937, Winter – Spring edition. It is actually a greater Baltimore County phone book with Catonsville being the target of the advertisements. If you have a person of interest, you may find them listed.
Select the image on the right to view the directory →
Another copy has been made that is “searchable”. It is a large 200MB file.
Select → SEARCHABLE CATONSVILLE DIRECTORY (200MB).
(OCR conversion courtesy Greg Burton)
You may find that some of the telephone numbers have a letter following the number. This means it was a “party line”. The same line was shared with two or more numbers. Each line had a distinctive sound, so that you would know if it was for you. If you needed to make a call, you would pick up the receiver. If it is not in use, you could make your call. If one of the other parties were using it, you would hang up.
Bernard Weinekoetter was a shoemaker from Oelde, Westphalia, Germany and came to Baltimore around 1892. He married Catherine Amend from Bavaria in 1894 and together had two children, Anna and Bernard.
They moved to 25 Bloomsbury avenue in Catonsville around 1900. The house is 2/3 of the size it was supposed to be. The builder started the house and ran off with the remaining money before it was finished.
After Catherine’s husband Bernard died in 1904, she raised her two children in this house. She would earn money by doing other people’s laundry.
In 1911 Catherine married John Thomas Conner. They stayed at 25 Bloomsbury and John’s son lived there as well. Catherine’s daughter, Anna, marries John T. Conner’s son, John Rickard Conner, and they stay in the house as well.
All of John and Anna Conner’s children were born in this house. The house had plumbing installed around 1925 by John R. Conner. Until that time there was an outhouse that was in the back corner of the yard. There was no radiator heat until plumbing was installed. A coal furnace provided the heat. Katherine would use the furnace to burn rubbish, which was not good. The furnace “went up” at the beginning of WW II and was replaced with an oil furnace. This was bad timing because of all the oil rationing.
There were many different types of fruit trees that populated the yard – Cherry, Apple, Pears, etc. In the summer bees filled the air and chickens provided a stream of eggs.
Catherine was well know in Catonsville and many people came to pay their respect at the time of her death in 1947. The funeral book lists friends and family. If you had family living here at this time, perhaps they are listed.
Scroll to the end of the book’s images and you will find a transcription of each name along with a brief description of who they were and how they were connected to the family.
Before World War II, going to the Hippodrome cost 25 cents (15 – if you got there an hour early). The Ice-Box drip pan always needed changing. The following are recollections of life in another era.
→ Recollections before the War
In 1952 the family moved away from Catonsville while two brothers fought in the Korean War. Another brother kept them informed on life at home. Experience a simpler time in the Letters From Home Web Log
The Old Catonsville Firehouse circa 1920.
Built in 1887 at 22 Bloomsbury avenue, it served the county until 1928 and witnessed the transition from horse drawn vehicles to motorized units. It was remodeled and is still in existence for another purpose (https://goo.gl/maps/nVfxo). In 1928 a new firehouse was built on the site of the old Railroad Hotel on Frederick road and remains in use at the present time (https://goo.gl/maps/8Louv).