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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Date: Oct 2013

Fallfest logo

Jordan Fish, Baltimore County Office of Tourism and Promotion

With cooling temperatures and dramatic color-changing foliage, fall is a beautiful time to be in Baltimore County. Whether you're in search of the perfect pumpkin, freshly pressed apple cider, corn mazes, or spooky haunted attractions, there is something for everyone this season.  

Autumn in Baltimore County is also home to many great local events, with everything from orchestra concerts to wine tastings available right in your backyard.


By Helga Weschke, Acting Deputy Director
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development

Image of Baltimore County businesses.

From a golf cart parts company in Rosedale to a pharmaceutical manufacturer in Hunt Valley, cybersecurity firms in Catonsville to industrial suppliers in Dundalk, teams from the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development met with over 350 companies in one week to deliver a single, clear message: “Your business is an important economic driver in the local economy.”

“We are very fortunate that over 20,000 employers have chosen Baltimore County as their home. It is critical to our economic success that we maintain a healthy, welcoming business climate  so these companies can grow and prosper,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in declaring September 30 to October 4 Business 1st Week. "We want to make sure that our diverse business community knows that Baltimore County has the resources in place to support their success."

Business 1st Week is an opportunity for the County’s business and workforce development staff to hear what business issues keep company CEO’s up at night, and how county resources can help support and grow their operations. Companies received an overview of financing opportunities, free workforce recruitment and training programs, tax credits, and innovation and commercialization programs available to Baltimore County businesses.

So what did we learn after a week blanketing the County? Our business community is certainly diverse when you look at it from street level. In a single day, one team visited a product design company, an HVAC repair firm, greeting card importer, and clothing recycling company. We also learned that the workforce is the key component to an operations success.

We appreciated the chance to meet and thank companies for being part of our economic prosperity.

And we’ll do it again – once our feet recover!

For more information on business programs and services, visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/business or call 410-887-8000.


historic map of Gunpowder RiverTeri L. Rising
Historic Preservation Planner, Baltimore County Department of Planning

Over a hundred years ago, Baltimore City proposed building a dam that would bring water from the Gunpowder River to Baltimore City. While the reservoir would accomplish this goal, it would also destroy homes, communities, and create controversy between Baltimore City and County. As a historic planner and historian, I am often asked for the story behind Loch Raven reservoir. “History Underwater” is a brief summary of the project that would change the landscape of Baltimore County forever.

Baltimore City had long struggled to supply its citizens with clean water, but the increasing population caused natural sources to disappear and water contamination to increase.  A drought in 1869 convinced city officials to look beyond the Jones Falls for sources of water and the Gunpowder River had been identified in 1853 as a possible choice.

“This matter of water supply cannot be overestimated in its importance, and when the water of the Gunpowder shall have been conducted into the city, as it must of necessity be in the lapse of a few years, no city on this continent or in Europe will be able to boast of so great a bounty.”Mayor of Baltimore - 1872

Construction began December 3, 1875 and the Loch Raven lower dam was completed by 1881.  The works consisted of a dam, which formed the reservoir, a tunnel connecting the reservoir with Lake Montebello, and a conduit connecting Lake Montebello to Lake Clifton. That water tunnel is still used today.  Officially named in 1877, “Loch Raven” was inspired by area landowner, Luke Raven, along with the addition of  “Loch”, as Scottish for Lake.  William Gilmor, owner of the "Glen Ellen" estate, has been credited as the source of the name.  

A polluted Jones Falls convinced officials to expand Loch Raven by adding an upper dam.  Knowing that Baltimore City was scouting for land, the Warren Company secretly sold the town to the city in 1908 for a confidential price. The City Council conducted an investigation and concluded the acquisition was inappropriate and price too high.  Negative press coverage resulted in serious criticism for officials and the deal was nullified by the Court of Appeals in 1913.

After the upper dam was completed, the city implemented the next phase and raised the spillway to the 240 feet maximum.  In response, nearly 50 square miles were annexed in 1918.  The annexation consumed many farms and mills and forced residents to relocate. City inspectors assigned values to the properties and negotiated their acquisition.  Many sites were demolished and flooded; others were partially demolished and left to deteriorate within the watershed’s boundaries. Those affected had names like Morgan’s Mill, "Furnace Farm", "Vauxhall", and "Glen Ellen".

Amidst lawsuits and accusations of impropriety, the last lands purchased for the final phase of the Loch Raven Reservoir included the towns of Warren and Phoenix.  When they were finally condemned in 1922, it cost the City one million dollars. Spectators made the trek and documented the dismantling and demolition of the village making Warren’s demise the best known and documented.

If you are interested in learning more, or would like information about the sources I used for this blog, feel free to contact me at trising@baltimorecountymd.gov.

Further Reading

Baltimore County Department of Planning, Preservation Services


Baltimore City Department of Public Works

Baltimore City Department of Public Works History of the Water Supply

Historical Society of Baltimore County

Baltimore County Public Library Historic Photographs Collection

Maryland Historical Trust - Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties

John McGrain, The Molinography of Maryland: a tabulation of mills, furnaces, and primitive industries, Maryland State Archives, 2007


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