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Mansion House 1870

Mansion House 1870



By 1670 Old Baltimore had been established as the seat of government for Baltimore County.  The village was located on Romney Creek which is in the lower part of what is now Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Miles Gibson from Anne Arundel County purchased some of this land around Romney Creek in 1670. By 1683 he had laid claim to several tracts of land, one of which was the 500 acres called "Gibsons Ridge", a part of which is Harford Glen.  Upon his death his son Robert came into possession of this land.  He sold 136 acres bordering Winter's Run to Henry Rodes.  This is the site of the Mansion House of Harford Glen.


By 1710, the 136 acres had become a part of a very large tract of land owned by the Claggett family. Samuel Chew, an influential and wealthy member of a family of Annapolis, inherited the land.  He conveyed this property to Henrietta Dulaney of Annapolis.  Her father took charge of this property along with other connecting tracts of land.


HarfordGlenHistoryIn 1806, the farm as we know it today, was acquired by Nathaniel Hollingsworth from Chester County, PA.  At this time the first substantial part of the Mansion House was built, the two story section with the porch that faces south.  A kitchen was added and a third addition was completed between 1825 and 1868 by Major Henry Hall.  By 1868 the farm was listed as Glen Echo Farm.

Wakeman Bevard acquired the property in 1873 and kept it for 33 years.  Mr. Bevard probably built the ice house, the building with the roof reaching to the ground.  Some of the roof shakes on this building are original.  The Smokehouse was one of the earliest buildings.  Mr. Bevard was involved in a land suit and the property changed hands several times in the next ten years.


In 1915 the farm was transferred to Robert Fisher. Mr. Fisher owned Glen Echo for 14 years.

In 1929, the property was bought by a Philadelphia family by the name of Pennypacker.  Mr. Pennypacker had the final addition made to the house.  The large living room was added to the end facing the river with the entrance as it is now.  He also had a dairy barn and silo built.

During World War Two, the farm was condemned by the U.S. Government and acquired along with four other tracts of land along Winter's Run.  The U.S. Army constructed Atkisson Dam, creating a 75 acre lake which was to ensure an adequate water supply for the Army Chemical Center.  The entire farm was vacated and the area was guarded by soldiers 24 hours a day,

 In 1948 the property was declared surplus property.  Through the efforts of Dr. Charles Willis, Superintendent of Schools, the property was given to the Harford County Board of Education under a lease for 25 years.  The property is comprised of 245 acres of land and a 75 acre lake.

NewPaperClippingHistoryA contest was conducted by a local service club to name the property.  The name "Harford Glen" was suggested by Mrs. William Mahrer, a biology teacher at Bel Air High School.

In 1953, under the direction of Anne M. Noonan, Supervisor of Elementary Schools, a resource unit for grade six was written as a guide for teachers who wanted to take classes to Harford Glen for a learning experience in the out-of-doors.

Outdoor Education became a part of the curriculum in Harford County Schools from May 1959 through 1968.

In 1959 the pier below the mansion house was built by local citizen volunteers, spearheaded by Mr. Joseph Wolney.  On May 17, 1959 the pier was dedicated as "Harkins Pier", in memory of Charles Harkins, an administrative Assistant for the Board of Education.

In 1975 a committee under the co-chairmanship of Mr. Wilson E. Bailey and Dr. Leslie D. Goodwin recommended that a program for all fifth grade students in the county in residential environmental education be developed in four phases, utilizing Harford Glen.

In November 1977, the Board of Education approved the recommendation of Dr. A.A. Roberty, that Harford Glen be developed as a site for a residential environmental education program.

Renovation of the dairy barn began during the 1977-78 school year. A kitchen and dining area were constructed in this facility.

During the 1979-80 school year, four relocatable classrooms were transported to the Glen, positioned on foundations, and outfitted with showers, restrooms, activity rooms and bunk beds.

In May of 1978, an outdoor Education Committee Chaired by Mr. Patrick McCarty, was appointed to develop an outdoor education program to eventually involve all fifth grade students in Harford County Public Schools. During the 1989-90 school year, a small staff was placed at Harford Glen to expand the residential program.  The staff members were Mr. Dennis Kirkwood, Ms. Mary Navarre, and Ms. Carolyn Lipscomb. Since that time the residential program schedule has expanded to sixteen weeks per school year, accommodating about 45 classes.  It was decided to formulate a master plan to upgrade the Harford Glen Facilities. L.D.R. International, Inc. was selected to create a formal master plan.

The plan called for a new entry roadway with parking, an expansion/renovation of the existing dining hall, new classroom facilities, new cabin facilities, and a nature center/headquarters building.

A fishing pond has been built in cooperation with the Harford County Government, the Country Walk Developer, and Harford County Public Schools.

Renovations began in the late 1990’s.  During the construction of the new dorms, classrooms and pavilion the residential program took place at Rocks State Park.  The beginning of the spring residential program in 2000 the first groups were slated to stay at Harford Glen.  However the dining hall was not yet finished.  Most of spring groups were offered day trips, but Dublin Elementary and Emmorton Elementary did get to come for the residential program as the dining hall had been completed by May. 

There is a continuing plan for expansion at Harford Glen