Web Site History, Goals, and Information

January 2005

The Internet is a revolutionary communication medium that began in 1990. At that time, the World Wide Web was born when HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) was developed by Tim Berners-Lee. The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc. (HSHC) Web Page was begun slowly in early 1996 by the current webmaster. We explored putting it on a Harford County or Public Library server, but that was not possible. It was first put online in October of 1996. It was hosted by NetGSI, an Aberdeen, Maryland Internet service provider. It was assumed that a local company would be easier to work with. Also, we assumed that other members of the HSHC would want to make their own updates and that it would be easier to update the Web Site at the Headquarters. Thus, for several years, the Web Page was setup and updated from computers at the Headquarters of the HSHC. During the summer of 1999, NetGSI went bankrupt. We did not know about that until the fall of 1999. Innovative Exchange Inc. of Bel Air, IXIMD, had taken over as the HSHC Web Site Host. Thus, during the winter of 2000, it was decided that all of our initial assumptions were in error. It was necessary to start over.

Thus, I bought a new personal computer, with the most complete version of Microsoft Office 2000 for web development. After that, all the work on the site was done at my home. The Officers of HSHC selected "www.HarfordHistory.net" as the domain name. One of the biggest hosting services, HostPro, Inc. was selected. HostPro was a subsidiary of Micron Electronics, Inc. of Idaho. By March 2000 the new Web Site was up and running with all new software. Since then, the work on the Site has been much easier. HostPro had advantages such as 99% up time and free usage statistics.

Regina Pulfrey designed the first version of the Hays House Web Pages. Heather Grammer and Jeffrey Sawyer did some of the work on the Harford County Chronology.

The Baltimore County Historical Society (BCHS) had a web site hosted by the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) that had some difficulties. As a member of the BCHS Board of Directors, I took it over in the Fall of 2000. It had a long address of "www.bcpl.lib.md.us/branchpgs/bchs/bchshome.html" which the Board of Directors shortened to: "www.BaltoCoHistSoc.org." The BCPL bought the BCHS the new domain name and was very helpful. I have found that taking care of two sites produces synergistic effects that help both sites.

In the Fall of 2001, HostPro Inc. was bought by Interland Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, the largest hosting service for small businesses and organizations in the world. The web page now resides on a server in Los Angeles, CA 90010 (NETlimited). This hosting service provides us with FrontPage access and usage statistics.

In the Fall of 2001 and in 2002, a web page for the Booth Room Committee was added. Under that site, three pages have been added. These are titled, "Tour of Booth Family Historic Sites, Tour I. Harford County" and "Tour of Booth Family Historic Sites, Tour II. Baltimore and Howard Counties, and Baltimore City." The tours were researched, photographed, and written by Dinah Faber. In 2003, a Booth bibliography page was also added.

The domain name, "www.HarfordHistory.Net" has been renewed until March 2007.

In January 2005, the Web Site included 20 million bytes, 294 files, 202 pictures, 856 total hyperlinks, and 129 links to the Internet. In the calendar year of 2002, this web site had 113,364 hits, in 2003, we had 231,750 hits, and in 2004, we had 274,718 hits. The way technology has changed, the number of hits reported above may now be much smaller than the actual number of requests. This is due the fact that memory is so cheap that web sites are often stored on numerous proxy servers, and when requesters download from proxy servers, the home server cannot track the action.


While we can handle most aspects of the web page programming and development, we could progress more rapidly with your help and teamwork. Getting events on the web site very early is a big help. The longer notifications of events are on the Web Site, the more people who will see them. We can always use your thoughts, ideas, word-processing, drawings of web page maps, artwork, and photos. Comments, suggestions, corrections, and even criticism are helpful. In recent years, all of the photographs, typing, coding, domain management, the hosting service, and the domain name for the Web Site have been donated to the HSHC. The Society has had no expenses with regard to this effort.

"A country with no regard for its past will do little worth remembering in the future."         Abraham Lincoln

The Webmaster on the State Yacht near Annapolis, MD,

Photographed in 2001

Elwin Penski, Webmaster, Telephone: 410-877-2923      E-mail:  harchis@msn.com

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