The Knollwood Story

The Knollwood Story

In the 1920’s while the prominent neighborhoods of Stoneleigh and Wiltondale were being developed along the York Road corridor, the secluded and natural terrain of Knollwood area continued to remain undeveloped property of the estates of A.C. Snyder, G. Merryman, and A.C. Bosley.

housesThe adjacent original Washington Stevenson property, which was a dairy farm, was being developed into one of Maryland’s pre-eminent Golf Courses.

By 1929 Baltimore County recognized the need for a public school and construction of the Stoneleigh elementary school on a large lot at Copeleigh and Kenleigh Roads, which backed up to Stevenson Lane. However, at the same time the financial panic of 1929 inevitably had the effect of slowing the building boom that had initiated the neighboring developments, and allowed Knollwood to remain an unknown property jewel. The area bounded by Herring Run consisted of rolling hills, pastureland, and the Towson water reservoir.

Knollwood & Donnybrook & Rogers Forge Summit was situated along Stevenson Lane adjacent to Stoneleigh and Wiltondale, bounded by the Country Club of Maryland. Developers: Cityco Realty Company, Stebbins, and several independent builders who bought lots and parcels.

In 1932 the Towson Company, incorporated sold a tract of land consisting of property from M Eliza Bosley and Husband; Fanny Fox-Decker; Harry L. Merryman and conveyed it to Lee J. Stebbins for the subdivision into lots with restrictions and covenants for a neighborhood development, known as Rogers Forge Summit.

Parlett L. Davis and wife sold a parcel of land to the Cityco Realty Company of Baltimore City for the express development of the residential neighborhood of lots known as Knollwood.

Rappaix Court: was still an Apple Orchard until the early 1950’s when the court was built and lots developed. The orchard was owned by the family in 1104 Stevenson Lane, and it was bordered by a stream and underground springs along 401-415 Donegal Drive.

Knollwood Drive did not originally extend North of Quincy Drive it stopped at the top of the hill, and Fairway Drive did not go through to Stevenson it stopped at 924 Weatherbee; and Aigburth Road stopped at Herring Run stream it did not go through to the high school as it does today.

Donnybrook Neighborhood Assoc. joined the Knollwood Assoc. in 1956. Donnybrook was North of Quincy Drive to Garden Road and Far Hills Drive. Mr. Pietro Persico was the first pro-tem President of the Knollwood Association,

1952. He resided at 821 Oak Lane, and was a stone mason and as noted above involved in the development of Fellowship Forest. The highly recognized stone wall-staircase was developed for his use to access his daughter’s home below his on Aigburth Rd.

Shortly after Korean War, when housing was so limited a new development process of prefabricated homes was introduced by Wm.(Bill ) Chew starting at Quincey Drive and Knollwood, including Donegal and Farhills Drive were constructed as an alternative to the custom brick & stone homes in the area. The homes were staged in an old barn from the Towson Nursery located near Garden Road & Fairway Ct. Today several of these starter home are now being renovated to include more square footage, since the lots are relatively large and easily afford expansion.

Employment at the time of the new housing development many of the home owners worked in the area. Prominent firms were: Black & Decker; Glenn L. Martin, later Martin Marrietta; Franklin Bell Mar Co.; Bendix Radio latter AlliedSignal, Inc.; R.E.Michaels; (GE) General Electric; Baltimore Gas & electric; Haemann’s Funeral Home and of course Towson University. Local business owners made Knollwood-Donnybrook their home and original owners included businesses, Hollenshade’s Auto Repair; Valley Pharmacy; Harford Home Improvement Company; Gardiner’s Furniture Store.