A Brief History of the Parkville/Carney Area

In 1874 a prominent Baltimore surveyor, Simon Jonas Martenet, purchased "35 acres and two rods of land, more or less" at a trustee's sale. He then advertised residential sites as "one of the healthiest and pleasantest locations near Baltimore". The land was named Parkville for a plot of land which Martenet donated to the people with the stipulation that it always remain a park. The designated 360 ft. park area is still located in the center of present day Taylor Avenue between Oak and Chestnut Avenues. Parkville extended from what is now Old Harford Road to Harford Road, and from Linwood Avenue to Linganore Avenue.


Harford Road, the "main street" of Parkville, was originally an Indian trail. During Colonial times, the Baltimore and Harford Turnpike, as it was then called, was connected to Philadelphia Road and therefore served as a thoroughfare for northern and southern colonies. In 1773, the first stage coach made the Baltimore and Harford Turnpike its regular route between Philadelphia and Baltimore. General Washington and the Continental Army troops accessed this road to the Yorktown victory that ended the Revolutionary War.


Today, Parkville includes part of Joppa Road, which is the oldest road in Maryland. It was a trail used by the Susquehannocks long before the arrival of the first Maryland coloists. It eventually became a major east-west route in Baltimore County.


Parkville land had originally been surveyed in 1735 as part of a tract called Grindon. Much of this land was also referred to as Lavender Hill due to its post office designation. The area consisted of large estates up to the time of the Civil War. Eventually it became a rural community of smaller truck farms owned by German immigrants. Today, many streets in Parkville bear the names of early property owners, such as Sonn, Mann, Neifield, Radar, Wildberger, Harris and Hiss to name a few.


In its early days, Parkville grew slowly. However, even a small community, people pulled together to help one another and to improve the quality of life for its citizens. This is evident by the formation of a volunteer fire department in 1911. Beginning with just a hand-drawn hose reel, the fire company was soon able to purchase a horse drawn ladder truck. Men from the community serves as the firefighters, while women and children also gave their support. The Ladies' Auxiliary raised money assisting at dances and carnivals to benefit the fire company. The Junior Fire Department composed of boys nine and older helped by pulling the hose reel if the fire was nearby. In 1918 the fire company purchased its first motor truck.


The civic minded concern continued as an increasing number of families made Parkville their home during the years immediately following World War II. The Parkville Lions Club, which was founded in 1944 by local clerical, professional, and business organizations, was a signficant positive force in the community. One of its earliest and largest projects was to purchase 43 acres of land in 1946. This land became Double Rock Park (named for the twin boulders along side of the stream), and was donated to Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks in 1952.


Also in 1952, the Lions Club of Baltimore launched the formation of the Greater Parkville Community Council (GPCC). The purpose of this organization was to preserve and improve the general health of a rapidly expanding community. Among its accomplishments, were public improvements such as the local library (established in 1961 and settled in its present location in 1971), the police and fire station (dedicated in 1954), an auditorium in the Senior High School (opened in 1953, now the Middle School), and the post office (built in 1962).


In addition to its civic pride, Parkville boasts four historical landmarks: The Parkville Park, The Hiss House, The Cub Hill House and The Krause Memorial Limestone Kiln.


By Andrea Messier, a Parkville Resident

July 1, 1998


The above information was compiled with gratitude from: The Parkville Centennial Reporter; Inventory forms for the State Historic Sites Survey; The Sun Paper; the Times-Herald (October 1996); The News American (June 11, 1972).