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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Charlotte Hall Basketball: 1920

Charlotte Hall Basketball: 1920

St. Mary's County, Maryland, circa 1920. "Charlotte Hall Military Academy basketball." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

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I went to school here. This is facing the main entrance to the campus. The building in the background is the "white house" schoolhouse built in 1803. The newer school building would be to the left in this picture. Behind the photographer was the main building.

This probably was not a yearbook picture. The players would have been in uniform for that. The only one in uniform is the third guy from the front. Orange shirt, orange shorts with black and white trim.

1966 was the only time I have been to Savannah

and Shorpy's view struck a familiar chord with me and I wondered if this was the neighborhood I had visited 43 years ago when touring the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace. Thanks to Google maps, I discovered the the Low home is only a few hundred yards from this scene.

[You might be just a smidge off course. - Dave]

Laces on the ball

My great uncle told me how in the "old days" the ball had laces and you had to learn to take that into account when dribbling.

And what's up with the rolled up socks?


Wonder if the phrase "Charlotte Hall Five" struck fear into the hearts of opponents in 1905. Bet the trash talk was interesting.

Charlotte Hall

I grew up just south of Charlotte Hall (in Mechanicsville) and drive through there every day to get to work. Though he is not listed in the Wikipedia article (perhaps because he attended but did not graduate), Sylvester Stallone is a notable alumnus of the academy, which closed in 1976.

Right across from the academy is Ye Olde Coole Springs, a spring that was supposed to have medical properties. A hospital (possibly America's first sanatorium) was later built nearby (no longer there). The village was at one time called Cool Springs.

Charlotte Hall is still home to an Amish and Mennonite population (as is next-door neighbor Mechanicsville).

Here's some great info on the area from the Maryland Historical Trust, including a modern photo of the building, here.

More of these, please! Also - what is the purpose of the hands on the shoulders? It looks like they're about to conga.

A challenge to dribble

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to dribble that ball with the open laces and rough edges. No wonder the scores were low back then.


Amazing how much taller we have become in 100+ years!!! Love this photo!!!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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