The barn in B/W. Thanks God for the snow! It lets us be grateful for the sunny days.
So when we found a puddle, Jay took the opportunity to cool off.
When I was up Loch Raven checking on the drain pipe to the 10′ tunnel, I checked on the unknown tunnel that was busted a couple days before. The contractor took it upon himself to start digging it out before anyone could verify what it was. As said before, this thing was built prior to 1875.
Fortunately the City’s closed circuit TV guys showed up before it was totally destroyed. In the upper left shows the rocks removed, that were used to build the tunnel. From where the spool is, center of photograph, to where the front of the excavator is, is what they dug out.
Here is the remote camera. Pretty neat toy. They burnt me a dvd of the exploration.
What was unexpected was that the tunnel branched off to the right. The camera couldn’t make the turn. It went about 38′ in at both areas. This side had a built up wall at the end. The other side was collapsed, probably from them compacting the soil for the new building. Real shame that we don’t know what this was. I personally believe it was an aqueduct, to bring water from Shanghai Run or Towson Run down to the farm?
Meanwhile, back at the drain. The contractors removed the steel bars in front of the drain opening.
The flow was better but the contractor needs it opened more to drain the 10′ tunnel, so they can start repairs. I believe the above photo is at 8 turns, 20%.
And this will be at about 40%. They installed the metal plates in hopes of stopping the erosion of the shore line. I am concerned with the bed of the stream, They think it will be alright. We will find out if the steel plates start slipping downwards…
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the contractor building a new maintenance facility at Loch Raven, busted a hole in the 10′ water pipe.
The site of the new complex, along the west bank of the Gunpowder River. The caution sign is the area where they broke the pipe. It is now covered with steel plates.
Here is what the conduit looked like when it was installed in 1913. It is a steel pipe, welded and riveted together.
As the conduit was installed, they encased some sections of it in concrete, to give it some strength. Loch Raven Drive is directly above this pipe in some areas.
Looking under the steel plate I ask – how the hell do you NOT know that this pipeline is there?? In the photo can be seen above the wood stake, water pouring out of the pipe. Surrounding the stake is the rebar the contractor had to break thru in the cement to strike the steel pipe. The contractor is lucky that the dam has two independent conduits coming out of it.
There was built a parallel pipeline back in 1972. I’m not sure why or even why it is called the Parallel Pipeline. It kind of zig-zags across the river.
The contractors of 1972 had their fair share of problems – like the worksite getting flooded. The lower, smaller dam is in the background.
In order for the present day contractor to fix the hole he made, the City was asked to drain the pipe.
After searching thru some old drawings, we were able to find the location of the drain pipe. This is a 12″ drain connected to a 10′ pipe.
My favorite valve guys came out to try and open it by hand but were unable to. It has been a very long time since this was open. They ended up having the contractor core drill a hole in the vault roof above the valve. They then used their valve truck to turn it.
This is at 8 turns, 20% open. This will take quite a while to drain. The contractor is impatient.
But. as you can see, opening it up too far will erode the stream bank right under this bridge. Today the contractor was given the ok to place steel plates in the stream to divert the flow away from the bank.
Meanwhile, I roamed around some and took some pics – of other than work related stuff. A stone snowman walking his stone snow duck.
View across the reservoir. Days like this, I like my job…
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.
The other day I received an email with the following photograph. It asked if I knew what this ‘tunnel’ was for? It was holding up progress on the construction of some new buildings. In the email there was an attached drawing of the building site with the location of the tunnel circled in red. Holy crap! The drawing, to scale, would mean that this tunnel was about 30′ wide! After researching drawings from 1873 onwards, not finding it in any, I went up to look.
What I found was an opening of about 18″ x 24″. Talk about a let down! Below is the contractor’s foot, for size reference.
So, since I was there I stuck my camera into the hole to get some pics – glad I didn’t climb in there. Do you see what I see on the left, dangling from a crevice in the rocks??
Well so much for finding part of the Underground Railroad or an Indian Burial Ground or a secret cache of moonshine (yes, that was suggested). After about 2 hours of meetings and investigations, I took a walk.
Looking across the construction site to the upper dam.
The lower, older dam is my favorite. The inspector told me that since it is marble, someone should pressure spray it clean. Ok, I’ll get right on that!
First, get someone to remove that log, which has been on there since the storm of 2010!
This dam has held up pretty good since 1880
The valves which were inside the old gate house.
Sorry Batman – the only bat cave I could find…
The guys I use to volunteer with up at Cromwell Valley Park asked me to join them for a hike the other day. They wanted to show me something. That something was the house I wrote about a few weeks ago up at Loch Raven. It is now gone. Making way for a new maintenance facility. They also wanted to show me the tree grinder and another surprise…
This is the site of the old house and barn. The house was where the yellow excavator is to the left, the barn was the hole in the foreground. Loch Raven is a little frozen between the dams.
The tree grinder. What a machine that is! Unlike a regular wood chipper, this thing you drop the trees in the bowl (tub) on top.
After watching that for a while, we hiked the old fire road. It was a nice day out and the path was muddy from the warmer weather we were having, but some things take longer to thaw.
Wow, this took some time to build! Two rooms and an outdoor fire pit!
The next day I took Kathy to see it.
A nice two afternoons, walking in the park!
The state parks around Maryland promote the First Hike of the year. The way Kathy and I look at it – any day is a good day to hike! And the weather couldn’t have been better! Last day of the year and the first day of the year hikes.
On Saturday we did a small hike at a park we never hiked before. Kathy came up with the idea to hike somewhere we never have for the last hike of the year and somewhere we have hiked for the first hike of the new year. Louis Krause Memorial Park was the last of 2016
When trees hunt no hunting signs
Small park wit a couple roundabout paths
After a complete circuit, leaving the woods we came upon these steps.
The top of a lime kiln
A kissing bench. (If you have been paying attention to my post, most hikes have benches)
An old kiln. This one is a lot smaller than the ones at Cromwell Valley Park.
Some history on the kiln
The next day, New Year’s, we took a hike at our favorite place to hike – Cromwell Valley Park. Lots of first day hikers there – it was crowded.
First stop – the big sycamore tree.
Kathy told me to lie down on the picnic table and take one straight up – ok, I’m easy!
Another type of view of the tree, using a filter.
A smaller kiln at CVP. A lot of people don’t even know this one is here. Can’t find any history on it.
Marble Spring. I’ve always called it bubbling brook. Usually there is some movement in here from the lime stone underneath meeting up with the spring. Watercress floating on top.
Almost done rebuilding the lime kilns. Just 6 years ago these were covered in vines and trees, crumbling apart. Amazing job these guys are doing.
New observation deck up on top.
The old log cabin
Simulated limestone in the top of the kiln. Across Mine Bank Run is the old Long Island Farm. Almost bought up by the City for Watershed property.
Steve Jobs first garage where he came up with the idea of a computer – I think? Maybe not!