Willow Grove at Cromwell Valley


, , , , ,

Nice day for a walk in the park. Let it snow!

The nature center is decorated, so why not the Little House?

Bells, bows and garland, from us to you.

While Kathy is decorating the door, I enjoy the cold view through the window.

The barn in B/W. Thanks God for the snow! It lets us be grateful for the sunny days.


Mathew Brady Photo Help


, , ,

While going through some old books in Kathy’s basement, I came across this card. Can anyone help me identify who this is? 

I cannot read the name on the left, but underneath it appears to say “Major General”. On the right side it may say “3rd Army ? and underneath possibly Army of (the) Potomac. 

Here is the reverse side of the card. I searched as much as I could using key words at different Official Brady sites but came up empty. Thanks.

The Permanent Gunpowder Water Supply


, , , , , , , ,

Started planning back in 1854. Elevation of 160’ would supply seven-eighths of population (according to contour lines). Supplying others outside that elevation would be a matter of mechanical detail (pumping stations). The need to keep Lake Roland and the Gunpowder as two distinct and separate supplies, as Lake Roland becomes muddied during rainy season (this was why Druid Lake was constructed). It was first suggested to tap the river as far up as the Warren Factory but concurred by a host of engineers that the proper volume of water could not be obtained by damming at any point above Raven’s Rock and most agreed to a point further downstream about where Mr. Martin has located it. The dam will be erected on the Gunpowder river, at a point admirably adapted for the purpose, a short distance above Mine Bank Run, and the lake thus formed, will extend up the river as far as Meredith’s Ford Bridge at the Dulaney Valley Turnpike, where the pump house connected with the ‘Temporary Supply’ is now located…will flow by natural gravity through a twelve foot pipe to a lake at Montebello, between Hillen and Harford roads, located in a natural basin formed by one of the tributaries of Herring Run (Tiffany Run). The lake will have a water area of about eighty acres and a storage capacity of 700,000,000 gallons. The twelve foot pipe (conduit) will continue to a point on the Harford road opposite Homestead, whence pipes will be laid to connect with the city pipe system at North Boundary Ave. and Washington St. Lake Clifton.

A drawing of the Loch Raven Gate House a couple years after completion, for the engineer’s files.

The Gate House and how it looked in the 1920s.

An interior, cut away view.

The influent drain chamber to the yet to be built Gate House.

Looking over the construction of the dam, towards the east wall.

A recent view of the discharge conduit, below the dam. As shown in third photo above.

Another drawing of the Gate House structure. Where it says Vault Record would be facing the road.

Recent photo from the road, after Gate House was removed, showning vaults and valves.

This photo has me baffled. It is showing two 12′ conduits, whereas all the drawings only show one. On the left you can see where the laborers are building the brick lined conduit. On the right, nothing going on. Wondering if it was built in error or was it for a bypass as the dam was being built?

Drawing of the east wall.

1880s photo of building dam, looking east.

Recent photo looking east. Looking close you can see where the stone work stops and cement starts. In the 1970s they put a parallel pipeline in and cut right thru the wall.

This is an early, beginning of construction photo. Stone excavation looking west. Interesting on zooming in – under the roadway guardrail is a tunnel opening that looks like…

…the top left of these drawings. 

The drawing for Shanghai Run.

A 1920s photograph.

A recent photo of the opening to Shanghai Run. Looking over the wall towards the woods, there is no opening??

City workers lounging and the job is almost completed.


Jackson C Gott – Architect


, , , , , , , , ,

I was asked the other day if I knew who the architect of the Clifton Gate House was? I could not find any information after a couple hours of research. Of course, an internet search took me to the Maryland Historical Trust, where it is noted the architect is unknown, so I decided to look through all the Engineers Annual Reports here in my office. I also looked through a lot of drawings.

I found this. Not for the gate house itself, but for the keepers cottage. In very faded print it names the architect for the cottage as Jackson C Gott.

More research revealed a couple interesting photos and prints concerning Gott. He designed two local buildings. The Maryland Penitentiary.

And the Eastern Pumping Station, which I talked about a few weeks ago. Here is a beautiful print I found at the St Croix website.

Below is the Keepers Cottage next to the Clifton Gate House. I do not have time to fix this glass plate negative, unfortunately.

There were two other ramshackle buildings near the gate house, put up by the water engineer to protect the valves, in a pit.

Two drawings of the water mains at the gate house.

Below shows the location of the venturi meter, added later.

Here is the plans for the building. No architect and it comes from the water engineers office. Curran, Martin and Kenly.

With all that said, looking at the three structures: Gate House, Pumping Station and Penitentiary, I would take a long shot guess and say that Jackson C. Gott designed the gate house. Most prints and photos are from the DPW collection except for the recent Pen photo and the EPS print, which is mine.

Thanksgiving Fog


, , , , , ,

Wonderful weekend with Kathy’s family down the Eastern Shore.

Sunset on the farm.

Gail and John 4-wheeling.

Back again looking for fish.

Time for a hike before deer season starts. Molly trying to flush out some birds.

A hawk surrounded by crows.

Grey barn roof on blue sky.

Reflections on the pond.

Kathy’s reflection.

Reflecting, contemplating…

Winter Robins.

And then the fog rolled in.

Like a loose blanket.

The barn. Soft coating of ice on everything.

The lone tree fighting off the shroud.

Dirt road to the heart of the fog.

It started to retreat from the pines.

Sniper house. New addition to the farm.

Walking through here, the trees’ upper branches, bathed in sunlight, let go a rain storm of melted frost.

Under the tree, a real bird dog.

Fog and steam mixing together.

Thanks given to God for all this.

Guilford Reservoir


, , , , , , ,

1888 – Eastern High Service Reservoir at Guilford: On June 5th, 12 acres, 3 roods and 29 perches of land was purchased on Cold Spring Lane, west of York Road, for an Eastern High Service Reservoir at Guilford. The Guilford estate was purchased from the heirs of the late A. S. Abell. A contract was awarded on July 30th to Messrs. Jones & Thorne for the construction of the Guilford Reservoir. The reservoir will have an elevation of 350 feet and a capacity of 40 million gallons of water. The water will be supplied to this reservoir from Lake Clifton via the Eastern Pumping Station. All the area between Huntingdon Avenue and Cold Spring Lane will be supplied with water from this reservoir. The 36-inch pipes temporarily used to supply Gunpowder water to Roland’s Run will be re-laid under York Road, forming a line through which water will be forced from Lake Clifton to Guilford Reservoir. The construction of the Guilford Reservoir commenced on August 1, 1888.

Property purchased by the City.

An earlier drawing without the date on top stone of vault.

A later drawing for construction purposes, showing the date. The connection of this reservoir to the water system is documented in the Early Water History: 1889 – Eastern High Service Pumping Station: A contract was awarded to Henry R. Worthington Company for the erection of the Eastern High Service Pumping Station at the corner of Oliver and Ann streets. The pumping station will have a heavy duty pump with a capacity of 5 million gallons per day for the Guilford Reservoir and ultimately for increasing the water supply in Druid Lake. Supplying Druid Lake is a result of decreasing flows of the tributaries supplying Lake Roland; and of the increase in water demand to the higher elevations. The pipeline installation connecting the Eastern Pumping Station to the Guilford Reservoir was nearly completed during the year. The construction of the Guilford Reservoir was proceeding at a good pace. The excavation was completed, the vault chamber was constructed, the puddle trenches in the embankment surrounding the reservoir were sunk to the requisite depths, and the mains to the reservoir were installed.

Another drawing by years end. Interestingly the date on the vault house is 1889, but a recent search shows the date as 1893:

Hard to see the date on the top stone in this street view. From the history: 1893 – The Guilford Reservoir was completed on June 29, 1893 and placed into service supplying finished water to the public. By 1895, the water consumption from the Guilford Reservoir averaged 400,000 gallons per day.

This drawing is from 1894. I did not know there even was a fountain in here. The two times I went to the reservoir for work was a few years ago for a CL2 leak and just recently to see the work going on there.

In this 1938 aerial view, from the Baltimore Sun, Dark Room series, you can see the fountain in the center of the reservoir and the valve vault on the right hillside.

Here is an overhead shot a couple years ago.

And here is another, showing the construction to cover the reservoir (actually installing new tanks).

Druid Lake a.k.a Lake Chapman


, , , , , , , ,

From the Water Engineer’s office – drawings and history of Druid Lake. A Google search will give various histories of the lake. This history comes from the actual Water Engineer’s reports to the Mayor at that time:

1863 Druid Lake (Lake Chapman): City authorized construction of lake and reservoirs in Druid Hill Park and the land adjoining. Also authorized to lay pipe from Hampden Reservoir or from the conduit to a reservoir or reservoirs within the park. Heavy rains had caused the Jones Falls water to be muddy, hence the need to construct Druid Lake. Work started on March 7, 1864

Although the writing on this drawing is hard to read, from what I could read it states: 1869, Cross section through [pipes?]. Effluent and Influent [?] Lake Chapman ^ Druid Lake December 2[?] 1869[?] What I like about this is that it is the first drawing that I have seen where Druid Lake was called Lake Chapman.

1867 Druid Lake (Lake Chapman): Completed Lake Chapman, 429,000,000 gallons, capable of holding a supply of water equal to 40 days of consumption. Lake has nominally the same elevation as Hampden Reservoir, but is usually about 5 feet lower.

1868 Druid Lake (Lake Chapman): March 30, Res. No. 111, changed name of Lake Chapman to Druid Lake.

Another hard to decipher drawing: W. Bollman(?). Balto. Jule(?) 1870. Grating, Gate Stands, Stems and Screen for screen well at Druid Lake Reservoir.

1870 Druid Lake: The inside portion of the Druid Lake dam was completed in 1868 except for the remaining top 30 feet of the required elevation, and had remained unfinished during the year 1869. Work on Druid Lake resumed on May 2, 1870. The Druid Lake Park Reservoir is completed and water is first let. Druid Lake has a storage capacity of 493 million gallons, but only 429 million gallons to be available for City use. This equates to 40 days of water consumption which would allow ample time for Lake Roland to settle after the heaviest rains. The extreme water depth at the foot of the dam is to be 65 feet. The extreme water depth at the upper end of the dam is to be 20 feet.

Druid, Mt. royal and Hampden Reservoir were all connected through various series of pipes. In 1898 (for year ending 1897) it is reported that the water conduit from Lake Roland to Hampden Reservoir is a brick conduit, and the water is then delivered from Hampden Reservoir to Druid Lake by means of four 30-inch cast-iron pipes.

Photo of valve vault at embankment.

From the Water Engineer’s report to the Mayor – Hoen lithograph.

Another drawing of the lake. Looking close to the upper left I believe that was the keeper’s cottage. To the right is the High Service Reservoir Pump Station.

The cottage at Druid. 1873. Philip Walsh, contractor.

The stable for the cottage.

Not sure of this drawing from 1902. It is saying that the lake is 118′ deep?? An earlier report puts it at 65′.

Another 1902 drawing.

Looking across Druid Lake in 1925.

A Walk In The Woods


, , , , , ,

That was actually a pretty good movie, with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. But for us, it wasn’t the misadventures while walking the Appalachian Trail. It was just a peaceful, late afternoon stroll along the Big Gunpowder Falls. 

I always like checking out the bridges. Quite a few bandaids on it and should be rebuilt. This is where Harford Rd. crosses the Falls.

Here we have Molly not wanting to get her feet wet. This is crossing over Jenifer’s Branch. We did that hike once before so we stuck with the Gunpowder on this trip. 

Can’t blame Molly for not wanting to get wet – the water was cold.

Ice in early November.

Even though it was cold, this little guy was reaching for the sun, trying to stay alive.

I don’t think this stuff ever dies.

Daily black and white. Some b/w make the day dreary looking. Our days hiking are always fun. We stay positive. And Kathy has shown me how to be aware of the goodness of the hike (as opposed to my just trudging through, seeing how many cool photos I can take, to post on FaceBook!!)

I now take the time to reflect on what I am seeing – to look across and up in the trees.

Sitting pretty.

Just need to focus on what is around me, on that which is in front of me, on what is important. To be in the moment. Mindful Walking.

Kathy’s gift to the tree. Art in the park.

Our map of the trip. The one thing about AllTrails is, it shows how long you are out there while recording (over 2 hours) but when you save it, it only shows how long you were actually moving. Guess I better check the settings or will probably have to upgrade.

High Service Reservoir


, , , , , ,

I know this is not a very good drawing but I appreciate it nonetheless. I love the detail that went into this.

This is the pump house for the High Service Reservoir (HSR) in Druid Park. A lot of times when talking to people, when I mention the HSR, they assume I am talking about Lake Ashburton. Because the City was constantly growing the HSR steadily moved north.


Here is another cut away view.


This early photograph shows the pump room.


Here we have a photo of the exterior of the building. This photo was used by A. Hoen and Company to create the drawing used by the Water Engineer in his Annual Report for 1875. As shown below.


This particular report had many Hoen drawings. (Lithographs).


Some things don’t change – today the deer were hanging out at the Dewatering Pumping Station at Montebello.

Druid Park

This is a drawing of Druid Hill Park in 1871. The HSR is lower left. In 1861 the Hampden Reservoir supplied the High Service Zones in the City. In 1873 the HSR above, was called the Pimlico Reservoir and it held 26 million gallons. In 1874 the City used water from the HSR to supply the fountain in Druid Lake (They are supposed to fix the fountain under the new contract going on now). In 1891 the Guilford Reservoir supplied the High Service and then in 1909 Lake Ashburton was the HSR.

Water History Drawings


, , , , , , , , ,

I love it when engineers, from the real world outside of Montebello, send me historic drawings. Not only did he send me some really nice ones, he gave me a link to thousands of others. I’m glad someone else in the Water Department, besides me, is saving our history. Here is one that threw me off at first glance.

I know where the drain tunnel is off of Lake Montebello, but looking close at this drawing and at a recent photo I had taken of the drain where it enters Herring Run, something just didn’t look right.

Here is the photo from my inspection down there. Looks about right, but, the drawing says it is of the West Portal? West? This is east of the lake as shown in the 1894 topography below.

To the right of this kidney bean shaped lake is a small arrow pointing to the drain. Then looking close to the left, near Hillen Road is another portal. This is west. Also, the top elevation of 146′ matches the drawing. The east portal top elevation is about 120′. I wish I had photos of when this structure existed. It is all built over now. Under Hillen Road is a large storm drain – 9-12′ that goes into the gate house (Structure with unknown quarter moon shaped object next to it).

Here is another drawing, unknown location because all the shafts were filled in. (Unknown, even though it gives the station as 22+50. Without the overall view, I’m not sure where the engineer started his stations? 2,250 feet from where?

It shows how they built these tunnels, by hand, through solid rock. Bottom legend shows cost and materials. Thanks Engineering!