Baltimore, bridges, engineering, Hiking, HISTORY, maps, mills, nature, photography, state park, water history
Due to the possibility of rain, we decided to go hiking at Avalon in the Patapsco State Park instead of going kayaking. I have a new phone app called All Trails which is pretty cool. It documents your hike.
Although it says we were moving for 1 hour and 25 minutes, we were actually there for 3 hours. It does not record every time you stop to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells. That is indicated by the thicker line, where we deviated from the trail. Lots of honeysuckle out. The only thing I did not like about this hike was the amount of bikes flying through there. Some had bells, most didn’t.
Entering the park, one of the first things you see is the Thomas Viaduct.
This photo is from the 1930s I believe (DPW Archives). It shows an older train and a newer one from that time.
This photo I took 5 years ago, the last time I visited the park. Soon after this, my Konica Minolta camera would die on me. It was a good camera.
Of course I had to check out the old water works, or what is left of them. Here is some info on that:
On September 30, 1921, the City of Baltimore took over operation of the filters at Avalon. By the purchasing of the Baltimore County Water and Electric Company, the City received a dam and filtration plant on the Patapsco River at Avalon. After this, the filters at Herring Run, near Philadelphia Road, were abandoned and the sand taken to Avalon. Ten years later, the City stops using it.
Of interest is the following:
1923 Correspondence between Edward Rost (Mechanical Engineer), [V].B. Siems (Water Engineer), Edmund Budnitz (Federal Prohibition Director) and A. Bernard Siems (Water Engineer). Concerns sampling water at the Rockburn Branch (Patapsco River), Avalon Pumping Station for pollution caused by illicit liquor still smashed up by Government agents. How the Feds destroyed it and dumped it into the stream, causing the contamination. Excellent description of how the still was built and operated: They built a small dam with a hand pump for water, pumped through a rubber hose and iron pipe to twenty-seven wooden boxes made of pine, made water tight with muslin. They also had a vertical high pressure steam boiler. Scattered around were half gallon mason jars, corn meal and liquid mash. It was suggested by Siems that the mash be hauled away to a local farmer’s manure pit. A follow up letter to the feds by Siems asking that they clean up the corn mash they dumped everywhere, which is still contaminating the stream.
One of the many trails. According to All Trails, there are over 20 miles of trails here.
Tunnels to the other trails.
Besides the tunnels to the other side of the train tracks, there were many storm drains. This one had a Tulip Poplar Tree flower. Fell right in place for all to enjoy.
One of our off-trail forages to the river, we came across this guy. There was also an osprey and maybe an adolescent eagle.
Up stream a ways is the swinging bridge. I could swear that when I was young, this bridge was made of rope and wood and it really swung. Now it just kind of bounces.
Five years ago. It was pretty clear under the swinging bridge.
Plein art at the entrance to Cascade Falls.
Well worn trails.
The lower portion of the falls.
Kathy contemplating the sights and sounds of the falls. Molly contemplating how to get off that log and back to land.
Heading back, following the river instead of the trail. Dumpster?
Had trouble finding this guy. An oil tanker that was washed away during Hurricane Agnes, 1972.
This is 5 years ago. So only recently did they (Park people) allow it to get so overgrown. There is a historic marker on the trail – The Forces of Nature.
Walking along the river, found a lot of Sea Glass – actually I guess it is river glass. Also there was an electrical insulator. Found some really nice glass and porcelain. (Kathy found most of it)
A nice day and a wonderful hike. Five years ago I did this hike by myself. It is nice to have someone with me, to enjoy this.
Russ Brown said:
I would like to know the source of the lead historic photograph showing the vehicle overlooking the river and buildings. I would like to identify the vehicle and the buildings. Russ Brown, email@example.com
Ronald Parks said:
The source is from the Baltimore City Archives. Photo was taken probably by one of the water engineers of the time (Nov 1922) or the on-site photographer. I looked on the negative and there is no name. This is the town of Warren, Maryland prior to the Loch Raven Dam being raised from an elevation of 188′ to 240′. Warren was flooded. There is a school just off to the left, with the flag pole in front. Across the Gunpowder River is part of the Warren Mfg. Co. You can also see the old bridge below the new road. Make of the vehicle is unknown to me. The negative was not really clear enough after scanning and processing.