It was spring on the year of 1949. The United States had just a few years ago declared victory on the two fonts of World War II. Darlington, a small village of some 400 inhabitants in the northeast of Harford County, had returned to normal. Walter R. Reeves owned the coal company, H. Clinton Scarborough and Ernest Hummer were supplying the town’s residents with groceries from their two grocery store, and Herbert S. Bailey was the town’s undertaker. South of town, B.G.S Jourdan operated a tomato farm and cannery. The blossoms were on the trees in Edwin McNutt Sr.’s fruit farm. Transportation to Bel Air and points south was provided by the McMahon bus service. All was well with one exception.
The town of Darlington was in dire need of fire protection. Neighboring fire companies always responded, but the distance away was so great that if there was a fire, it almost always meant a total loss. The need was apparent to all businesses and all families that took only a push from the Darlington Lions Club to start the ball rolling. On the Sunday prior to March 1, 1949, a meeting was held in the home of Francis S. Silver for the purpose of forming a volunteer fire company. This was accomplished, officers were elected, committees were established, and a letter was written to a local attorney documenting the meeting and asking the attorney to proceed with the incorporation of the fire company.
On may 12, 1949, the first meeting of the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company was held at the Darlington school.
Shortly thereafter, the Company arranged to purchase a fire truck from the Susquehanna Electric Company. On July 12,1949, the title for a Ford Model A 1½ Ton fire truck was received by the Company. The cost of the fire truck was $1.00
At this point, the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company was incorporated, had an organization, had elected officers, had members, and possessed a fire truck.
But the village of Darlington wasn’t the only community that needed fire protection. The nearby villages of Berkley, Castleton, Dublin, and Scarboro also needed it.
Following Route 623 north from Darlington led to Berkley, a very quite crossroad area which was eventually placed in the Maryland Historical Registry in 1998. The population has grown very little today from what it was in 1949. Even today the homes, buildings and scenery look almost like they where in 1949. Located in Berkley was the Rigbie house, built in 1731; the Shallowfield historic estate; Hosanna school, built in 1867; and Hosanna A.M.E. church. Dr. Franklin Snodgrass was the local family doctor, with his house and office in the area. The local grocery store, owned by the Thomas family, was located at the intersection of Berkley and Castleton roads.
Continuing north of route 623 brought you to Castleton, another rural crossroads community, located at the intersection of Castleton Road and Glen Cove Road. At the intersection was a local grocery store owned by Burton and Gilbert Smith, with the residence of the owner in the same building. The store is now closed and the home has been demolished. There has been a small growth in the population with some new homes over the years. At the eastern end of Glen Cove Road is the Glen Cove Marina, which provides access to the lake behind the Conowingo Dam. The scenery has changed very little over the years. Following route 623 through Castleton leads to the town of Dublin.
The village of Dublin was and is located in the area around the intersection of Maryland routes 136 and 440. In 1949, Lamar McCann had a general store in the northwest corner of the intersection. A large building, located diagonally across the intersection, served as a hotel for some time and a home at other times. The Clark family had a store near the intersection and sold farm equipment and other similar items.
The Darlington Volunteer Fire Company provided the needed fire protection to all these areas from the single station house in Darlington, but not for long.