Speaking of Loch Raven – Update


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These aerial photographs were just sent to me from Corey at www.aceservinc.com

Makes me want to go out and buy a drone! As far as I know, the busted ten foot conduit has not been fixed, but these guys are doing an exceptional job on building the new Loch Raven Maintenance Yard and Admin buildings. 

This is a great shot, including the dam in the background.

Another view of the same area.

Up the road a piece is the new admin building. The abandoned Zebra Mussel Station is in the background.

Thanks Corey.


Building Montebello Filters and Loch Raven Dam


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I am now in the process of documenting Water Board minutes from 1912-1919, Baltimore City. Over the course of blogging water history, some readers had asked information concerning relatives that may have worked on the New Dam at Loch Raven and/or constructing the Filtration Plant at Montebello. These ledgers have list of employees and their addresses and in some cases, their titles and pay rates. If you think this may be you, send me their names and I will try to look up that info. Keep in mind this is for the above dates. Once I am finished documenting, these books are going into the archives…

Turkey Point at Elk Neck


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With Kathy at her sister’s for a week, I figured I’d see if my daughter wanted to go kayaking or hiking. She chose hiking so we went up to North East, Md. to Elk Neck State Park. Nice day for a hike. A little warm then started cooling off with the clouds moving in. I haven’t done this hike for about 5 years. Always nice to revisit places. This was a two part hike:

First we stopped at the lighthouse lot and walked the paths. Round trip here was about 2-1/2 miles.

A few of these signs scattered about.

With good reason. My daughter, Jules, has an app on her phone that measures distance. She said this cliff was 72′ up. This view is looking N.W. towards Havre De Grace. The head of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Nice path. The fields on both sides have grown over some since the last time.

Not sure what this was.

Jules staying away from the hawk viewing sign. Multiple wasp nest on this thing. We did see a couple eagles while roaming around.

Finally made it to the lighthouse. Five years ago I was able to go inside. Not today.

We followed the light house trail down to the bottom. Another area seriously grown over. Use to be able to follow this trail south to an area just under the light house and look up the cliff.

So we headed the other way. So nice and peaceful listening to the water lap against the rocks. I could sit here for hours.

A little beach up ahead.

Driftwood and seashells. 

Back up top.

No pee-call here! This spot-o-pot had a lot of stink bugs in it. Most fell off the roof, onto the toilet, when I opened the door. 

Onto the next leg of our hike – Rogues Harbor and the Beaver Pond. This was a short hike. When we got to the upper left there was a detour around a ravine. I’ve done this hike before and it takes quite a while. We could see enough from our vantage point on this side. The trail does go all the way around the pond.

First stop though was at the marina bathrooms. Looking east across the Elk River.

Buttonwood Beach RV Resort. From this view it looks like sardine villa. From Google Earth, they are well spaced and looks like a nice place to set up an RV (or trailer home)

Unknown ruins.

Swim? I don’t think I would put my kayak in here!

If I did, it would take a while to rinse it off! Beaver Pond.

Lots of trail markers and maps at each entrance.

Beaver House. 

It won’t be long before these invasive phragmites take over the whole pond. 

Little cutie. There were a group of these right here. Good eyesight for as small as they are. And they could jump about 3 feet. 

No bridges to burn on this trip…

Lake Ashburton 1908-1910


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More files, more documenting. More work. As stated before, I am trying to get my archive files in some sort of order so that at a later date, it will be easier for people to find things. (Not that I really think anyone will go through this stuff once I’m gone, but I can retire with a clear conscience that yes, I did my job).

What has made this job difficult, yet interesting, is that various people have had numerous boxes of archives scattered throughout the City. A lot were mislabelled. These photos came from a box of glass plate negatives marked as ‘Loch Raven’ Bringing it all together in some sort of order is challenging. Chaos:

It is hard to believe that out of this construction chaos there will be built a reservoir so that the citizens of Baltimore will be able to enjoy drinking water. These are the pipes from the lake to the gate house (foundation in background).

Many years ago when I started this project, I had no clue about glass plate negatives, positive photos, restoration, etc. When I held the above GPN up to the light I thought it was a bad one – the white shown coming from the pneumatic jack hammers is black on the negative. I thought it was ruined until I processed it. Duh.

This one I have yet had a chance to restore. What I found interesting here is the suitcase in the upper right corner. Not only is this GPN broken, some of the image has peeled off.

Another interesting one from 1908 shows a church in the background. The writing on the sleeve said: Epiphany College in background.

Before building the lake the engineers had to move and raise the sewer/storm water manholes.

The photographer did a good job catching this dynamite blast at the right time.

This broken jigsaw puzzle plate I did restore.


Cromwell Park


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Saturday it was a nice day for a walk in the park, followed by a visit to the Greek Festival. Kathy’s friend’s dog Jay joined us.

First stop was to check on the renovated lime kilns. Amazing job these guys have done.

This is what it looked like in 2006.

And then in 2011 when they were just starting to work on them.

Now and…


Another shot from back then.

Our favorite little house has gone thru some changes over the years. This is 2015.

This was last year. I asked what happened to the windows and they said they took them out to restore. I like that they removed the weeds from around the house but…

This was Saturday and it is all growing back. Sad.

New benches around the park.

And a new foot bridge.

A new pond.

Jay and Molly chillin in the shade. It was rather warm.

A path we had never taken.

After a couple miles, Jay wanted to cool off. Molly not so much.

Mine Bank Run was really dried up.

So when we found a puddle, Jay took the opportunity to cool off.


Always a Favorite


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With a lot that needs taking care of this week, we were still able to find the time to go kayaking. We decided on somewhere close. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water. We have been to Dundee creek many times and each time we take a different path.

Today’s trip kept us mostly along the shoreline, checking out the hidden coves. A little over 3 miles and two hours on the water. Beautiful.

The water was really calm and smooth – like butter. This is the first small cove heading north from the launch area.

Moving on, Kathy stops to look at a couple Isis. The one on the post, all the way near shore, did not move for quite a while. We could not get close enough to them for a good photo shot.

Moving on to the next little cove. I don’t believe a lot of people venture into here. Lots of spider webs.

Not only spiders but tree obstacles as well. But worth the silence and seclusion once inside.

A whatchamacallit hanging from an abandoned dock.

The one cove, upper left had these invasive guys growing. Kathy said her goldfish love eating these things.

My sun-goddess oblivious to the paddle boarders. We went early and it was getting really hot out by 11am.

Decided to go over to the osprey nest. I guess these guys moved on to Argentina? I did wave to the Marshy Point Osprey Cam.

The Marshy Point Nature Center, which is a very nice place, is just beyond the woods.

Another great day to be kayaking.

Tying Up Loose Ends


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Since my retirement is pretty much just around the corner, I need to start working on “Tying up some loose ends”, so to speak. At work, this means getting my files together and putting them in order so others may find important information. As far as my work on the DPW Museum archives, I do not think I will ever get this done. Just so much stuff.

I came back across an old box full of broken glass plate negatives. I guess it must be about 24 8″x10″ plates. Hard to tell because most are broken into a lot of small pieces. Some, like the one below, are in just a couple pieces, making restoration fairly simple. Years ago, before computer scanning and restoration software, the previous archivist either placed the pieces on a Xerox copier and scanned them or took a photograph of the pieces, placed together as best they could. They came out as negatives. I need to find those paper copies to help put the pieces back together.

Here is one of the better broken plates. The slivers from the crack will never be found by me. So I filled it in as best I could with the software. When I first started my water history research, I had no idea that Baltimore City built one dam on top of another. The upper right portion shown was built in steps, at an elevation of 188′. This was to be able to support the newer dam which would be built at elevation 240′. It was thought to be able to support a dam at 270′.

The jigsaw puzzle, restoration process is long and tedious and I don’t believe I will have the time to finish up this box of broken pieces. Let alone finish up documenting what is left to be done.

Random Labor Day 2017


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Trip to Salisbury and Ocean City

Looking thru the screen.

Losing a feather.

Brave Molly chasing the heron away from the pond. The heron likes to eat all the fish in the pond.

The old barn and the shed.

He decided to land on top of the barn for a while.

Kathy’s photo of a knot hole in the barn.

And her photo of a morning glory.

My view of the mg.

A walk through the cornfield.

Rows of corn on the sandy soil.

Kathy looking at something…

How the corn holds on for dear life.

Corn on the cob.

Picture of Kathy taking a picture of me.

Turkey feather.



To the ocean Hon.

Rides not being…Hmm…grammar question. Would it be ‘Not being ridden’ or ‘not being rode’?

If you get a chance, go in the Life Saving Museum and look at the collection of sand from around the world.

Across the inlet. No ponies today.

Need more light.


Two sisters shopping.

Favorite art store.

Vacations in B/W


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I could not imagine going on vacation and seeing everything in black and white, although I do sometimes convert my photographs to b/w. On occasion, while sorting and documenting the museum archives I come across photographs that are in unmarked files, no explanation as to why they are there. The only thing I can figure is that they were someone’s personal photos and left within objects donated to the museum or gathered up and packed away by mistake before they were archived.

I found the below photographs with their negatives in an old lantern slide envelope. They are 2-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ prints. There are no dates but they have a short description on the reverse side.

Grand canyon of the Yellowstone from Inspiration Point, Yellowstone Park (Note falls in distance)

Old Faithful (car gives an idea to the date of this photograph – early 1900s?)

Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park. Back then people needed to be told to stay off the natural wonders, so as not to ruin them for others to enjoy.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from Inspiration Point. Two of the photos I found had a glare to them, like they were taken through the windshield of a car?

View of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone.

At foot of Uncle Tom’s Trail. Lower Falls of Yellowstone. Enlarging this photo doesn’t do it justice. Although I scanned it at 1200, it looks fuzzy. The actual photo is crisper. I never was one to like the effects some photographers do to moving water, making it all fuzzy looking. I like seeing what is being seen and not special effects.

Minerva Terrace. Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park.

Kilgore Falls and Kayaking (Doggie Style)


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It was a nice day to head up to Eden Mill for some kayaking, but first we stopped at Kilgore Falls, on Falling Branch, to do a little hiking. Early enough and cool enough out that there wasn’t a big summer crowd there.

Nice, well worn trails to the falls.

Two paths across the water. I took the easier one since I was carrying Molly in one hand and the camera in the other.

Molly, a poop bag and an alien t-shirt. Life is sweet!

An unobstructed view.

Speaking of aliens, did you ever see the Star Trek episode with Frank Gorshin – Let That Be Your Last Battlefield?

We finished our hike and then headed to the mill for Molly’s first kayak adventure. She was well behaved and only got jumpy once. (When I say jumpy, I mean, we thought she was going to jump ship)

Heading up stream, waiting for me. Another kayaker suggested I move my truck. Shouldn’t park in front of the mill. I thought the mill was closed.

Right after she peeked over the side and realized she was on the water, she panicked some. But calmed down.

The barn and shed upstream a ways. The water was higher than normal. We were hoping to go further up, but…

…just past the farm the water was only a couple inches deep. I got out and walked up some to see if it was deeper upstream. To the curve, it was not.

We brought the kayaks together to drift downstream at an easy pace. Molly decided to jump in my kayak.

Only turtles we saw.

And this guy. We did see a couple deer driving the back road to the dam, but that was it for wildlife.

Speaking of wild life, when I went to get the truck, this guy, in his mastiff taxi, was pulling up! Another weekend of wonderful adventures!!