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From: "macbd1" <>
Subject: [BALTGEN-L] Early Iron Works - Patuxent River - SNOWDEN
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 14:50:07 -0700

Following is more info concerning development of iron works in early
Maryland times,
Neil McDonald

Patuxent Research Refuge
Rediscovering the North Tract: Snowden Time Line

1686 - King Charles II grants "Robin Hood's Forest" to Richard Snowden,
through Lord Baltimore; 1,976 acres.
1690 - Birmingham Manor is built by Richard Snowden Jr. on the "Old Post
Road" in the Robin Hood's Forest section of the Snowden estate facing the
Patuxent River. The present day site is on the east side of the
Baltimore-Washington Parkway opposite Laurel (Suburban) Airport.
1736 - Sept. 29 - A patent is granted to Patuxent Iron Works Co. which
erected smelting plants on Patuxent River, organized by Richard Snowden Jr.
1753 - Richard Snowden Jr. dies.
1763 - Richard Snowden Sr., the "Iron Master", divides the iron works
between three sons John, Thomas and Samuel Snowden. Richard Snowden Sr. also
dies in 1763.
1794 - June 20 - State of Maryland Map by Dennis Griffith indicates forge
and furnace operated by Snowdens on Big Patuxent River at Brock Bridge Road
and at Little Patuxent River on Old Tank Road at Forge Bridge. A Snowden
mill is seen on the map just below the big river site. This is probably the
grist mill referred to as being four miles below Laurel as it is measured as
that distance on the Hopkins map.
1798 - Federal District Tax, Anne Arundel County, Md., Snowden & Company,
owners, were charged an assessment of $816 on 204 acres which included:
forge house, small out houses, one dwelling 12 x 16, out house 10 x 12, out
house 10 x 14.
1801 - Iron works company terminated after being operated from December 24th
1775 to January 2 1801 by the three brothers.
1803 - Thomas Snowden dies.
1831 - Snowden Iron Works, consisting of a furnace and forge, was sold by
Thomas, Richard and Edward Snowden to Evan T. Ellicott and Company who
erected another furnace 28 feet high and 8 feet wide at the boshes, and a
puddling furnace and roughing mills. (From Maryland Geological Survey, Vol.
9, 1911.)
1860 - Martinet Map, Maryland Hall of Records, Annapolis, Md., shows "Works
Bridge" over the Big Patuxent River at the current Brock Bridge Road and a
"Blk. S. Shop", blacksmith shop, at or near the site of the forge. It also
shows the current Switchboard Road intersecting with Brock Bridge Road and
"R.H. Snowden" southeast of the intersection. Another "R.H. Snowden"
notation appears north of Switchboard Road and west of the current Combat
Road at the notch formed by two unnamed streams west of Thomas Branch.
1878 - Hopkins Map, Maryland Hall of Records, Annapolis, Md., shows "Iron
works, G & S Mill", (grist and saw mill), at the same location as the forge
site. However the notations of R.H. Snowden have been changed to Wm. Snowden
but are in the same locations.
1891 - August 20 - Birmingham Manor destroyed by fire.
1917 - Ft. Meade established. (Also called Ft. Leonard Wood for a short
1939 - Susie C. Beall (now deceased) of Beltsville visited Birmingham Manor
site and interviewed Julius Snowden, his wife Estelle and her sister Anna
Bird. Julius had built a "bungalow" on the ruins of the manor house. Miss
Beall wrote that the old foundation is surrounded by many of the original
trees and boxwood.
1941 - Birmingham Manor site is made part of Ft. Meade.
1991 - July 16th - Iron works site is found, just off Patuxent property.
Patuxent Historic Project begins when Patuxent Research Refuge grants
special permission to survey the property. Despite the Army's removal of all
pre-existing structures, many historic sites remain. Birmingham Manor site
is also located.

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