Bel Air Turns 150!

Bel Air Turns 150!

Bel Air, our town located in Maryland, is gearing up to celebrate a momentous occasion in 2024: its 150th anniversary as a municipality. This milestone marks not only a century and a half of existence but also the remarkable journey of a community that started small and has grown into a vibrant hub for over 10,000 residents. 

Bel Air’s story began back in 1874 when it was founded with just 42 lots. The town’s foundation revolved around essential establishments like the county courthouse, jail, and Sheriff’s residence. These buildings symbolized the town’s commitment to law, order, and governance. Over the years, Bel Air has flourished into a thriving center for commerce, local and state government, healthcare, dining, and cultural arts. 

Bel Air has a rich and diverse history. Originally named “Scott’s Old Fields” in 1731 by founder Danielle Scott, the town was later renamed “Belle Aire” in 1735 to attract more settlers. Eventually, the name was simplified to Bel Air in 1798 for convenience in town records, although it wasn’t officially incorporated until 1901.

Throughout its history, Bel Air has experienced notable events, such as the operation of the beloved Bel Air Racetrack from 1870 to 1960. The racetrack, which brought joy and entertainment to the local community, now lives on in cherished memories as the Harford Mall stands in its place. On the other hand, a more rocky moment in Bel Air’s past was the Great Bel Air Fire on February 2, 1972. Although it caused extensive damage to several Main Street businesses, fortunately, no lives were lost.

To commemorate this150 year anniversary, a dedicated committee consisting of town staff, community organizations, and residents has meticulously planned a series of celebrations. They have also chosen a special logo, designed by Nate Dorrell, a talented graduate from John Carroll, which beautifully captures the essence and history of Bel Air. 

As we come together to celebrate Bel Air’s 150th anniversary, let us not only reflect on the town’s growth and development but also appreciate the resilience and community that have defined it. This milestone is not just about looking back; it’s about embracing the future and continuing to build a vibrant and united community. 

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