I was called up to Loch Raven today because the contractor punched a hole through the ten foot water supply conduit, but that is a another story for another time. A lot of finger pointing going on so I should stay quiet for now…
Anyway, while up there one of the laborers approached me and asked if I was the history guy and did I want to see something? Ok. He showed me the below stone:
This is a nice sized marker (I hope it’s not part of a grave marker!) I recognized the name from some research I had done. So I did a quick look to see what I could find. I asked two of the workers there to load it onto my truck for me. Below are 2 photos of the old farm in 1921.
This was when the city was buying up all the property around the Gunpowder Falls for the watershed, to raise the dam.
It was a nice farm and the city didn’t tear it down, instead they used it as can be seen in the below excerpts:
1880 record of land acquisition and plat.
October 19, 1922 letter from assistant engineer Browne to Loch Raven resident engineer Allen, “…Megraw here today…you were to appoint a watchman for the Keiser property…a man who is now employed by Keiser known as Arc [Tracry]. Please permit me to tell you that this man has a (?) rep in this vicinity…he is a common thief. He has also deserted his wife and is living openly here in a city house with another woman…” October 23, 1922 letter, marked at top “Confidential Department Business” from assistant engineer Browne to Loch Raven Resident Engineer Allen, “I wish to advise you that [darkey] on Keiser property is about to move some property from such place during next day or so.”
November 6, 1922 memo from assistant Engineer Brown to Resident Engineer Allen, “The negro Henderson, former farm hand for Mr. Keiser, has visited this property and endeavored to start a row here. All due to his not moving his things…he comes and takes what he wants…need some direction from you as to what to do.”
January 23, 1928 letter to Armstrong from Rost, “Kindly permit Doctor Stuart Cassard to inspect the Keiser property (Near Phoenix, Loch Raven watershed). April 21, 1928 request from Girls Vocational School for tours of both Loch Raven and Montebello. July 3, 1928 letter, “To Whom It May Concern, This letter gives authority to bearer, Mr. G.S. Koller…and party to use the grounds of the Keiser property…for an outing. The request for this permission was endorsed by Mr. McKeldin, secretary to Mayor Broening.” October 10, 1928 another letter giving permission to inspect Keiser property, including the mansion house.
A different Keizer farm but a head scratcher never the less: May 17, 1948 letter from Fenwick Keyser to Small: Becoming involved with such people is a profitless occupation. They would only retaliate by harming my cattle, my dogs, or setting fire to farm buildings. All of the neighbors who own their homes around me are sober, industrious people. We are all on the best of terms. We do not shoot each other’s dogs or heap abuse on each other. I have tried to get along with your tenants. A few months ago I rounded up the escaped goats owned by the renter in the old Kiser place. He replied by killing our pet cat a few weeks later.
Nice history! But as can be seen in the 1928 note, the property was at Phoenix so what was this marker doing where the laborer found it? Eight miles away as the crow flies? A Google search also shows that Lewis Keizer had 3 patents for engine carburetors.