Continuing with documenting and archiving, I found a collection of small posters concerning Public Works. I believe these were given out at the DPW Museum in Baltimore back in the 1980s during the time it was open. There are some missing and I hope to be able to find them, to complete the collection. Here are issues #1,3,4,6 and 7. #1 has some misinformation. The Roland Tower was completed in 1905 according to Annual Reports. Not sure what the word exhaneous, which is handwritten on the poster, means?
Over the years there have been many attempts at posters, exhibits, newsletters etc. I wish they would start doing more of the history in a poster like the above or a new newsletter… The City attempted to try a new format of the Annual Report, but it is inconsistent and sporadic at best.
Loose Ends Never End sounds like some spiritual/metaphysical quote (It does come from the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 9). But in my case it is more about my trying to tie up some loose ends before I retire. Just when I think I’m about done documenting and scanning the archives – Poof!! More just appear out of nowhere. Well actually I found a bunch more under my work bench. Three index drawers full of 3-1/2″ x 5″ photographic negatives. At first I thought there was only 500 or so. There are over 1,500 of them! I started scanning them yesterday and got about 100 done. Below is a sampling of those.
Just glancing through the first couple hundred, it appears these are from the building of the Liberty Dam, starting in 1952. This photo shows a happy foreman on top of the intake structure as it is being built.
Ooopps! Not looking too happy now. There were a lot of accidents on the job site in 1952. Most notably a crane fell, crushing one of the workers. There are actually a few photos in this group of that, but I am not posting those. One shows the worker’s head crushed under the I-beam. I cannot believe someone took that photo.
The intake structure rising from the river.
I have been using an Epson 4990 scanner for a few years now. It works pretty good, except the software that came with it is a little off. By that I mean, if I scan a photo negative, it automatically turns it into a positive in a file, but it is too dark and takes a lot of work in the Photoshop Elements software. So I scan it as a positive, which it converts to a negative. Then in PE I invert it and hit auto levels and it looks just right. Some of course will never look right, only because of what the photographer did when taking the photo.
I guess taking care of these loose ends will give me something to do for a while!
1918 – From the City Officers’ Reports, including Mayor’s Message:
The people of Baltimore are proud of their city and sanguine of her future. With an awakening sense of her advantages; with confidence that Baltimore will have honest and economical and at the same time constructive and progressive City Government, private enterprise is going forward by leaps and bounds, co-operating with the public, through their City Government, in giving Baltimore a secure place in the front rank of cities famed for progress, for enterprise and business, for happy homes of a healthy, contented people, and for good government. Very respectfully, [signature] James H Preston, Mayor.
When I first started researching the water history of Baltimore, and I came across a map of Swann Lake, I just assumed that it was called Swann Lake because the Mayor at that time was Thomas Swann, who later went on to be the Governor of Maryland.
Here is the man himself. In the journal I am presently transcribing, I came across this entry:
October 4, 1869: The Committee on Swann Lake submitted the following report: Having examined the minutes of the Board and the records of the office, with the view of ascertaining in what way and by what authority the Lake, so long called Lake Roland received the name of Swann Lake, would respectfully call the attention to the Board the following – That Mr. Charles Manning, Chief Engineer was asked to name the principal stream that supplies the Lake, by which with great propriety the Lake could be known. Under his direction the name of Lake Roland was placed over the door of the stop house and a map of Lake Roland was presented to the Water Board with the general and final report of the Chief Engineer on the completion of the Works. In this manner the lake became known to all our citizens, by a familiar and more appropriate local name. The Board of Water Commissioners, by resolution, posed at a regular meeting on December 26, 1861, approved and adopted what had been done in the premises…to be called Lake Roland. At some subsequent period the name on the door (Roland) was erased and Swann Lake inserted and a patch was made and placed on the map stating the same. In the opinion of the Committee, these changes and defacement were entirely unauthorized and would have been improper even if ordered by the Water Board. The Board has heretofore declared its opinion as to the impropriety of designating any of the public works by the name of an individual citizen, because of his connection with the City Government and your committee sees no reason why this Lake should be made an exception of. These views have long been entertained but have thought it best to defer presenting them until the present time, when by no possibility can it be supposed that you are in any way influenced by personal or political feeling. Ask that the Lake be referenced from this point forward as Lake Roland. Unanimously resolved.
So, one has to wonder – did a political adversary go and change the name from Roland to Swann over the door? And why would the Water Engineers continuously refer to the lake as Swann Lake? Every entry that I have summarized from the 1862-1869 journal notes “The work at Swann Lake…” or as such. Here is what the work at Swann Lake looked like. Even A. Hoen and Co. called it Swann.
Wikipedia has this to say about Thomas Swann – not too good a commentary!
Many believed once slavery was abolished in Maryland, African Americans would begin a mass emigration to a new state. As white soldiers returned from southern battlefields they came home to find that not only were their slaves gone but soil exhaustion was causing tobacco crops in southern Maryland to fail. With a growing number of disaffected white men, Thomas Swann embarked on a campaign of “Redemption” and “restoring to Maryland a white man’s government”. His strategy was built on the platform of entrenching white power and displacing independent African Americans. During this same time an oyster crisis in New England caused the oyster industry in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay to surge. Swann’s problem was that the Bay oyster trade was heavily African American. His solution; use government policy to push African Americans in the bay and replace them with, “White Labor, at reasonable rates wherever needed.” Even more egregious he enacted a law that encouraged white fisherman to harass black fisherman when he signed into law the states first ever “Oyster Code.” “And be it acted, that all owners and masters of canoes, boats, or vessels licensed under this article, being White Men, are hereby constituted officers of this state for the purpose of arresting and taking before any judge or Justice of the Peace, any persons who may be engaged in violating any provisions of this article. Furthermore, all such owners and masters are hereby vested with the power to summon pose comitatus to aid in such arrest.” Even more egregious, any property seized during an “Oyster Code” violation was auctioned off, with one quarter of the proceeds going to the white man who initiated the arrest.
Wow and as Confederate Monuments have been removed in Baltimore, I guess no one thought to remove the entrance of Druid Lake at Swan Drive that has his name emblazoned across the top of the arch!
Jump forward to 1987 and the mayor back then came up with a plan to give everyone new trash cans. Thirty years later, the new mayor did the same thing, at a cost of $10,000,000.00! I wonder what happened to the ones of 1987??
Now the good stuff! In yesterday’s post I shared about our hike along the Little Gunpowder Falls, from Jerusalem Mill to the old iron bridge at Franklinville. On the way we stopped and explored an abandoned mill race and structure that appeared to be for valving or damming up the water flow. Back at my office on Monday I found a report from 1933 concerning the mill and property.
The 1933 report gives this description of the mill – Wm. Barton Mill in Franklinville, Little Gunpowder Falls. Several mill buildings used for the manufacturing of cotton duck. Mill race and dam have been broken thru since about 1926. Mill was built in 1883. All manufacturing equipment has been removed except for turbine. Barton purchased property from Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Mills on August 5, 1930. Information is sketchy on ownership. 1899 sold to Mt. Vernon-Woodberry Mills, yet they sold it twice. Once to Oak Tire and Rubber in 1925 and to Barton, but notes ownership to Marvin Merryman in 1929. No info on size of mill pond since dam was broken through. Supplementary water reservoir of 20,000 gallons in center of square in tenement section to furnish water for automatic sprinkler system in mills. Dam, made of timber, was about 800’ from mill. There was a water wheel at one time, with 140hp capacity.
Buildings at mill included: the main mill, waste house, store house, boiler house, and wheel house. There were also 3, two family two story houses on property. And more, according to tax records at Baltimore county. Records mention a mill adjacent to this one, to the north, known as Jericho mill. no traces of mill could be found.
Along with the report is this plat which shows the layout of the buildings:
What does this have to do with Baltimore’s Water Supply History?
Typhoid cases, which had decreased by the mid-1920s, would re-emerge by the early 1930s along with a long period of drought. In 1932, the City Government hires consultants to review the status of its water supply. These consultants would form a board of engineers known as The Advisory Engineers on Water Supply. The engineers were Messrs. John H. Gregory, Gustav J. Requardt and Abel Wolman9. On December 19, 1934, the Advisory Engineers released their report:
1) Immediate construction of a new Gunpowder Falls Montebello Tunnel.
2) Immediately following the completion of the new Gunpowder Falls – Montebello Tunnel, the existing Loch Raven – Montebello Tunnel should be strengthened.
3) Conduct surveys, land purchases, sub-surface explorations and preparation of plans and specifications for the development of an additional water supply should be undertaken at once. (Areas of development looked at by the Board were the Patapsco River; the Little Gunpowder Falls, Winters Run and Deer Creek, and the Susquehanna River).
They were going to dam up the Little Gunpowder Falls and all the mills and property along the Falls would need to be bought (or taken). It was decided to go with Item #1 above.
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.
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.
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.
And here is another, showing the construction to cover the reservoir (actually installing new tanks).
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…