The barn in B/W. Thanks God for the snow! It lets us be grateful for the sunny days.
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.
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?
City workers lounging and the job is almost completed.
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.
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!!)
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.
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.
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!
My WordPress Dashboard tells me that this is my 200th blog post. So, since my blog is called Water and Me, maybe I should write something about water? Trying to think of something profound or water history worthy! I know – Don’t Drink The Water!!!
In 2006 I started writing about water history, doing research and then eventually writing a small book, mostly on one of the water tunnels that supplies water to the Montebello Filters. Here is the Lantern Slide I saved from the dumpster, that started it all:
This is what I had to say about it in my book: “While working with one of the lantern slides, I noticed something odd, that in a tunnel, where workers were excavating, there were train tracks that came to a dead end under what looked like a giant boulder. This particular slide came from a box from around 1938, so I asked Richard if he had any information on an event of that year that was of interest. Sure enough, he showed me the Annual Report covering the year 1938 where it was reported that an explosion had occurred in the building of the Gunpowder Falls Montebello Tunnel. This notation in the report was only about a half a paragraph long, nothing more than a blurb, so I decided to investigate it further.” And I have been investigating water history ever since. Ten men were killed in this explosion and it was just a blurb in a report!
After years of refining my skills at research, I came across so much more information on this explosion. It is amazing what you can find these days on the internet. I found this photo and purchased it from the Baltimore Sun.
It shows the ten dead African American miners being hauled out. My research has taken me to draw the conclusion that this was no accident. That because of the Union troubles going on back then (Fighting between Unions for membership), this was a case of murder.
Sometimes historical research is not pleasant. Just as much as present day research can be unsettling. Like my comment above to not drink the water. I don’t drink it because of the research I have done concerning the fluoridation of the water system. But, I will save that for another post…
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.
Up the road a piece is the new admin building. The abandoned Zebra Mussel Station is in the background.
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…
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.
With all this hate spewing forth here lately on FaceBook (and life), I am so glad that I have found two ways that I can bring a sense of calm and peace into my life. 1) The Serenity Prayer 2) Kayaking. You just can’t beat those two together! Next would be hiking. Did all three Sunday.
There are three areas where the Gunpowder Rivers converge before heading to the bay. The Little Gunpowder, the Big Gunpowder and the Gunpowder River. We have explored 2 of them so far. Both times we entered through Mariners Point. A couple weeks ago I mentioned about parking and the lack of it for kayakers. (The boaters get preferential treatment for their trailers). I even wrote a letter to the County Rec and Parks, cc to the County Executive about it. I was more or less told that if I didn’t like it, go elsewhere! Fortunately, we lucked out in getting a fairly close spot to park. But, something odd did happen as we were leaving – the Coast Guard was there checking kayaks! Lots of rules I was unaware of. Check out their website to get the low-down.
“This is my path; here I shall find peace. I will pursue this path, come what may.” (Anyone remember what book this comes from?)
And here is our path. 4.67 miles in about 3 hours. The landfill is to the left. It was surprising that the water was clearer in the cove. The little white dot on land near the shore is the Days Cove Nature Center, which I believe is now closed down. I remember taking my daughter to a Halloween Party there years ago. Nice center.
Us pointing at the point sign.
Watch out for the jets.
Purple flowers around.
The grasses seemed a lot thicker this trip.
Heading into the cove from the Big Gunpowder.
We saw as many herons on this trip as we did osprey on our last trip. This guy has something on his nose.
And what do we have here?
Time to park it and get out to investigate.
A chimney and a reluctant model!
A mixture of various stones.
This path will take you to the Nature Center.
Some formstone and building debris.
Back into the water. Took a bit to figure out what this is – it’s a drain plug to drain the cove!
Saw this guy at the far end of the cove. Went over to explore because there was an eagle here also, fighting with another bird. We couldn’t find him though.
A bunch of these blinds around.
Heading back to port. These three must have long legs, or the water is very shallow.
This water will put a hurting (and a good workout) on your arms!
Abandoned water front property.
The only time during the trip that I thought about what is going on in the world. Why can’t we occupy the same place (planet) without all the hateful words and actions? This gull is getting along fine with these guys (Cormorants?)
But then again, there is always that one guy that wants to be different.