"My wife mailed a letter to her sister in England and the Union Bridge post office called and said you couldn't send it for 32 cents postage. So they said they'd put the additional postage on it and send it for her," explained Johnson, a resident and a real estate agent with the Westminster office of Long and Foster Real Estate Inc. "See if that happens in Baltimore."
"I bet the post office could deliver 90 percent of the mail with just the names and no addresses," Johnson remarked.
With rows of intact Victorian homes and buildings lining its main street and the railroad station at its center, the town seems to have stood still in time, which is fine by its residents.
"I think it's the last town in Carroll County left to be discovered," said Brian Amsel, who purchased an 1890 residence on Main Street in 1997. Like many homeowners on Main Street, Amsel re-painted his Victorian home in a multicolored paint scheme that's more historically accurate for that era.
"We've experienced less growth than any other town in the county," said Jim Schumacher, the special projects manager for Union Bridge.
"It's just a little too far out; it's that extra 15 to 30 minutes of commute," Schumacher said in explaining why the town has not been overrun with development. It takes more than an hour to travel south on Route 75 to Interstate 70 to Baltimore.
"We're a well-kept secret; we're not anxious to have hordes of people descend," explained Johnson. "We want to stay the kind of town where, when an underage kid tries to buy cigarettes, his parents get a call."
Although it's surrounded by farms owned by generations of families, Union Bridge has been essentially a one-employer town since Lehigh Portland Cement set up business near the center of town in 1911.
The plant is being modernized and a new access road that will divert truck traffic off Main Street is being built. The Maryland Midland Railway runs freight service on the old Western Maryland Railway right-of-way through town and recently built new offices that blend well with the downtown's historic buildings.
Because of Union Bridge's isolated location, the real estate market isn't exactly booming. Six properties are for sale.
A two-bedroom home on 2.5 acres is listed for $129,000, and a four bedroom with two baths is listed for $169,950. There are more expensive homes on larger parcels available; one for $550,000 and another for $329,999.
Not including a home that sold for $450,000, the average sale price of 12 homes in the past year was about $133,000.
But a town that's had only seven new houses spring up in 12 years would seem bound to grow sometime.
Union Bridge is about to get its first large subdivision. A former 130-acre farm a quarter-mile north of town is to eventually be the site of 324 homes.
Because of a limited water supply, the town will for now allow only the first 174 houses to be built, according to Perry Jones, the town's mayor.
The entire development, which is still going through the approvals process, will be built out over a 15- to 20-year period. Site work is expected to begin next year.
Though its turn-of-the-century ambience is Union Bridge's strongest selling point, the town does feel that it needs some updating, such as new street lighting and sidewalks, as well as a few more businesses on Main Street.