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Excerpts and summaries of local news stories from the pages of the Intelligencer Journal and Lancaster New Era appear here each Monday. They focus on events in the county's past that were noteworthy, newsworthy or just strange. Full versions are available on microfilm at Lancaster Public Library, 125 N. Duke St.
Also, during the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, excerpts from Lancaster's Civil War-era newspapers, as well as new stories, can be found on the "Lancaster County and the Civil War" blog, at LancasterOnline.com, keyword: Civil War.
ALCOHOL WORRIES: The Lancaster New Era reported on a response to growing concerns about alcoholism in Lancaster County.
Several dozen people -- a mix of social workers, government officials, medical personnel and others -- gathered at the Lancaster County Health and Welfare Center for the first Community Seminar on Problems of Alcohol.
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health said nearly 12,000 county residents were alcoholics or potential alcoholics, and most were first put at risk by social drinking.
The seminar, the first of five scheduled, was intended to educate attendees about the dangers of alcoholism and the best plans for treatment.
Special attention was given to the growing problem of alcoholism among women -- as one event speaker said, "Female alcoholics are actually hard to find because they remain hidden. ... The male has to work and meet people and is in the public eye more. The female alcoholic may be hiding her drinks in the laundry basket or in closets at home." (April 23, 1963)
THE FATE OF OVERLOOK: The New Era reported on the sale of Overlook Golf Course to an unknown buyer and speculated that it might be broken up into housing lots.
The 102-acre golf course included a clubhouse; a former bowling alley, which had been converted into an indoor driving range; and two houses.
The rumored sale price was $257,000, down from an asking price of $300,000.
Several potential buyers were named, with intentions ranging from building apartments on the site to dividing up the land for sale as individual housing lots to continuing to run the property as a golf course.
The last scenario proved to be true. (April 24, 1963)
GUEST SPEAKER: Millersville was the site of two lectures by noted science and science fiction author Isaac Asimov, according to the New Era:
"First you take an established fact. Then you speculate. If you're Dr. Isaac Asimov, the result is brilliant science fiction.
" 'But you must be careful,' Dr. Asimov warned Wednesday at Millersville State College prior to his speech at the annual High School Science Night.
" 'The most important tool you must have to work with is a disciplined imagination. Otherwise, your speculation will come out as hairy-legged monsters devouring fair young maidens. You know, like Hollywood.' "
Asimov, regarded as a luminary of science fiction and of science books for laymen and children, spoke about writing science fiction to an audience of college students in the afternoon, then talked about science for the high school event. (April 25, 1963)
FALLOUT TRAINING: As Lancaster County and all of America braced for the possibility of nuclear war, more than 100 people signed up to receive training as fallout shelter managers, the New Era reported.
Two courses were to be taught at Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown, a site chosen because its many tunnels and basement areas made it suitable for fallout protection.
Shelter managers would learn how to organize occupants of fallout shelters in time of atomic attack. They would learn about safety measures, sanitation, medical procedures, food distribution and methods of reducing boredom and conflict during long periods in a shelter.
Part of the training involved spending a 24-hour period in a fallout shelter. (April 27, 1963)
ASYLUM INVESTIGATION: The Intelligencer reported on the results of ongoing complaints about mistreatment of patients at the county's insane asylum.
The Lancaster County Insane Asylum had been accused in several letters to the local newspapers of mistreating patients. As a result, the county's Board of Poor Directors, which oversaw the county almshouse and asylum, asked the state Board of Lunacy to conduct a "full and thorough" investigation and for the Lancaster County Medical Society to do likewise. (April 22, 1913)
BOILER BLAST: Two workers were hurt when an engine boiler exploded at a sawmill in Columbia, the Intelligencer reported.
The boiler exploded with such force that it was launched out of the building and flew 60 feet into the Susquehanna River.
The entire building collapsed, then caught fire. The two men inside were injured, one seriously, and were pulled out by members of a crowd of onlookers. (April 23, 1913)
Flashback Lancaster is compiled from the Lancaster Newspapers archives by Jed Reinert.