Residents of Bel Air, a small county seat located in northern Maryland, played inordinately large roles in the evolution of the state and nation. Bel Air boasts two Maryland governors, William Paca and Augustus Bradford; the fi rst woman elected to the Maryland State Senate, Mary Risteau; as well as Milton Reckord, whose 65-year military career is unequaled. Other local legends include radio personality Diane Lyn, artist Jim Butcher, and Kimmie Meissner, the youngest member of the 2006 US Olympic team. There are villains as well. The civil rights era brought the mysterious 1970 explosion that rocked the town on the eve of H. Rap Brown’s scheduled trial in the Bel Air Courthouse. Peruse the pages of Legendary Locals of Bel Air and fi nd generations of talented and passionate people who turned a wilderness town into a thriving suburban center that still manages to maintain its unique beauty and sense of community.