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Keyword: department of planning

By Teri Rising, Baltimore County Department of Planning 

Many well-known place names have unusual origins that are often as unique as the places they represent. Place names come from early settlers and businesses, literature, mythology, and land patents. Early settlers and their businesses often led to their name and the town being put on the map, literally.  

Timonium and the Bard

Timonium originates from an 18th century mansion that was demolished in the 1970s to make way for a fairground expansion. Timonium is derived from the central character of “Timon of Athens,” a play attributed in part to William Shakespeare, and signifies a place of sorrows or solitude.  

Oella: An Incan goddess spins cotton

The textile mill community known as Oella was named after the patent given to the accumulated lands of the Union Manufacturing Co. in 1811. Oella is a spelling variation of Mama Ocllo, a goddess from Inca and Peruvian mythology. The legend of Mama Ocllo and Manco Capac is a traditional story that tells how the Incan culture developed. Mama Ocllo or Mama Oella was said to have taught Incan women domestic arts skills, including how to spin thread. A resurvey document for the tract stated that the name came from "Oella, in honor of the first woman to apply herself to the spinning of cotton on the continent of North America."

Bellona, Sister of Mars

Bellona Avenue takes its name from the Bellona Powder Mill, which was established around 1801. The mill was drowned by Lake Roland in 1861. Bellona was a Roman goddess of war and sister to Mars.

You own it, you name it

There are place names taken from 18th and 19th century land records and their owners. Bowley’s Quarters was named after Daniel Bowley who had a farm in that location in the 1750s and a residence in Baltimore City.  The quarters name was given to an additional farm owned by a planter who lived elsewhere.   

The Caves Valley area was named for the land tract "Coale's Caves" that was surveyed for John Coale in 1705.

The name of White Marsh was used in a 1714 land survey and also was the name of a Ridgely family estate and furnace established by the Nottingham Company around 1753. 


Regardless of their origin stories, each one of these names represents a special place in Baltimore County’s past and present.  

To learn more about other Baltimore County names and places, check out the Baltimore County Department of Planning and the Baltimore County Public Library

Photo Sources: Taylor, Robert. Map of the city and county of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore, 1857, Library of Congress; U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918; Baltimore County Public Library. 

Public hearing and information session set for December 13

Baltimore County invites non-profit organizations, government agencies and the general public to a meeting to discuss upcoming funding opportunities and spending priorities for housing and community development programs. The meeting, to be led by the Department of Planning, will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 13 in the basement (Genesis Hall) of St. Pius Church, 6428 York Road, Baltimore, MD, 21212. 

Citizens and organizations will be asked to express their views on needs and spending priorities related to housing and community development for the coming fiscal year, 2018, during a public hearing that will begin at 10 a.m. Following the public hearing, County staff will discuss the process through which organizations may apply for grant funding. The bulk of the funding to be discussed is made available by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which allocates funding annually to Baltimore County. HUD funds include Community Development Block Grants and Emergency Solutions Grants. Additional support comes from state and County funding. The County disburses much of this funding through a competitive grant program administered by the Department of Planning.

County staff will also invite interested citizens to learn about and consider joining the Homeless Roundtable, the County's advisory group that helps guide policy on homelessness. The Homeless Roundtable supports the County Continuum of Care and the efforts of Baltimore County government in the allocation of public funds to prevent and reduce homelessness in the County. 

Grant funding opportunities are targeted to:

Homeless Services – projects that prevent homelessness or assist those who are currently homeless.

Public Services – projects that address the needs of low-income citizens in the area of employment, crime prevention, child care, health and welfare, education, substance abuse, energy conservation or recreational needs.

Capital Projects – for the removal of architectural barriers for persons with disabilities.

Generally, one-year grants will range in size from $15,000 to $200,000. Applications are due by 2 p.m. February 7, 2017. To learn more, visit

Hundreds cheer honorees at awards luncheon

At today’s 26th annual Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities Awards Ceremony, an enthusiastic crowd recognized the achievements of ten individuals, employers, advocates and organizations for their outstanding achievements and contributions.

About 200 people attended the ceremony and luncheon hosted by the Baltimore County Commission on Disabilities. The Commission provides support and advocacy for County residents with disabilities and works to ensure that County programs, buildings and services are open equally to all persons, regardless of their disabilities.  In addition, the Commission provides resources and referrals on obtaining services not only from the County but through programs offered by the state and federal government. 

“Life is full of challenges, but no matter what those challenges may be, one thing remains true – it’s best not to face them alone,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “That’s why we’re so pleased to recognize the remarkable efforts of people living with disabilities in our communities and the people who help them in their journey.”

This year’s honorees include:

  • Kelli Szczybor and Michelle Strekfus of Angel Park, winners of the Accessibility Award;
  • Julia Stockburger of Perry Hall Middle School, winner of the Student of the Year Award;
  • Pamela Saterlee-Williams of Baltimore County Public Schools, winner of the Teacher of the Year Award;
  • Alban CAT Company in Rosedale, winner of the Employer of the Year Award;
  • Maggie Hutson of the Timonium Edible Arrangements, winner of the Employee of the Year Award;
  • Marty Sweeney, Head of School for the Odyssey School, winner of the Educational Advocate of the Year Award;
  • Ed Pfaff, winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award, is an instructional assistant at Parkville High School and football coach at Towson High School who volunteers with the Challenger Softball Program;
  • Gary Madigan, Penn-Mar Organization, winner of the Employee Advocate Award;
  • Kathy Vecchioni of By their Side, winner of the Family Support Award;
  • Paralympics gold medal winner Larry Hughes; the first recipient of the new Community Service – Courage Award.

A few interesting stories…

Kelli Szczybor and Michelle Strekfus are accepting the Accessibility Award on behalf of the four thousand volunteers their group inspired to help raise $1.5 million to build an all-inclusive playground and amphitheater in Perry Hall that is specifically designed to be the largest and most accessible playground in the Baltimore region for children with special needs.

Student of the Year honoree, Julia Stockburger of Perry Hall Middle School, is an outstanding Braille reader who has won national competitions, is an avid piano and trumpet player and computer techie, and she loves attending Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

Employee of the Year Award recipient, Maggie Hutson, is known by her co-workers at Edible Arrangements in Timonium as an ace at cutting and skewering fruit, not to mention her chocolate strawberry dipping finesse. They credit her enthusiasm and positive attitude as a daily morale boost.

Larry Hughes, a paralyzed Vietnam veteran and 1996 Paralympics gold medal winner in the discus throw, is the first recipient of the new Community Service – Courage Award. He has translated his love of athletics into a devotion for physical fitness training, coaching, and motivational speaking and is the founder of Maryland Wheelchair Athletic Promotions.

Marianne Bishoff and her colleagues at Alban CAT’s Pulaski Repair Shop in Rosedale take employee mentoring to a whole new level, empowering their Arc Baltimore supported employees, treating them like family, and striving to help them grow, learn and succeed.

Revised September 26, 2016