History of Ulmstead

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THE EARLY INHABITANTS ON THE MAGOTHY RIVER

magothy

The earliest spelling of the river's name was Magoty, but by 1795 the spelling had become Magothy. The argument is if the word is derived from the Algonquian (Algonkian) Indian word "magucke" meaning a "wide plain," "without timber," that does not describe the area. If it were an English name, it would indicate abundance of maggots, grubs or gnats and mosquitoes. Perhaps, the colonists were repulsed by the meaning and added the "h" to the spelling.

There are similar names elsewhere, such as Magothy Bay, Va., Maggoty Run, W. Va., and Maggotty Cove, Newfoundland.

According to legend, Ulmstead Point was the site of Indian feasts between the tribes of western Maryland and Gibson Island. Indian artifacts from the late Archaic period (5000-1500 BC) were discovered near Ulmstead Point. Later, the area was occupied by the Algonquian (Algonkian) tribes who left their arrow heads. When Captain John Smith of Jamestown arrived in this area in 1608, his records show that he found no Indians. Early in this century, Mr. Franklin B. Spriggs uncovered many arrow heads when he plowed up a mound on his bottom land near Bayberry.

THE EARLY 1900'S ON THE MAGOTHY

In the 1870's, the sites of present day Bayberry and Ulmstead Estates were part of 400 acres of land belonging to Mr. James Spriggs. In about 1890, Mr. Spriggs gave his daughter, Ruth, 101 acres in the Bayberry area when she married. Mr. Henry Stainback purchased this acreage in 1910. Mr. Stalfort purchased 46 of the 101 acres in 1928; payment was made in gold coins. He subsequently sold them to Mr. Charles B. "Buck" and Lillian Lynch in 1943. The remainder of the James Spriggs farm, including the area of Ulmstead Estates, was sold to Professor Robert L. Werntz in the early 1900's. Professor Wemtz had a private school at the corner of Prince George Street and Maryland Avenue. Many of the students studied there before taking the entrance exam for the Naval Academy. Professor Werntz died in the early 1930's, leaving his land to Mrs. Maurice Ogle, his niece. Mr. Lynch bought it in 1941.

Mr. Frank O. Spriggs and his brother, Mr. Harry L. Spriggs, began farming Ulmstead Point Farms in 1909 on a rental basis. Peaches, tomatoes, and watermelons were the main crops. This produce was hauled down to Forked Creek in farm wagons and ferried out to a two-masted Bug-Eye, a large flat-bottomed boat. The Bug-Eye was developed on the Chesapeake Bay about 1870. Its design came from the log canoe, an outgrowth of the American Indian dugout canoe. In 1893 small motors were attached to the boats. The Bug-Eyes sailed to Baltimore where the produce was sold by commission merchants on a percentage basis at the docks. At the height of the season an average of 1,000 baskets of tomatoes, 1,000 baskets of peaches and 3,000 watermelons were shipped daily. Some of the watermelons grew so large one year that the captain of the Bug-Eye refused to handle them; they weighed 70 to 90 lbs. each! On one occasion when 1,000 baskets of tomatoes were shipped to the cannery, the receipts came back showing $8.00 was owed the commission merchant besides the expense of the baskets and picking on the farm. At the end of the growing season Mr. Frank and Mr. Harry routinely sailed to Baltimore on the last trip of the Bug-Eye to buy supplies to last the family all winter.

Mr. Frank O. Spriggs died of a heart attack in 1930; his wife and Mr. Harry L. and Jessie Spriggs continued farming Ulmstead Point Farms until Mr. Harry Spriggs died in 1946.

ULMSTEAD POINT FARMS

When Mr. Lynch's 1943 46 acre Bayberry purchase and the 1941 purchase were combined, the total came to about 438 acres. Mr. Lynch developed the community of Bayberry on the Magothy in the early 1950's from that 46 acre plot.

Mr. Lynch, a ship builder in Baltimore, lived with his family in Round Bay and later in Severna Park. He had two children, Jack and Carol. Carol Pent' (nee Lynch) was born in Round Bay and in 1939 moved with her family to Severna Park. The original farmhouse, 938 Lynch Drive, was occupied by the Spriggs family. The oldest portion of the house was built in 1760; the main house was built in 1860. Originally, the entrance to the house was on the south side; the country lane that went past joined the main road to Arnold. The orientation of the house was changed in the 1950's or 60's and that lane no longer exists. The house is now listed on the Maryland Register of Historic Properties as the Spriggs-Lamb house. The Spriggs family continued to live there until Mr. Harry's death in 1946.

Carol fondly remembers meeting her father after his work day in Baltimore to come to the farm. Bayberry Road was a narrow winding country road leading to the farm buildings. In addition to the main farm house there was a small cabin of two rooms with attic, lovingly called by Mr. Lynch "The Shack," which overlooked the water just past the Barn. The Shack became a favorite gathering spot for guests and family members who enjoyed sumptuous meals prepared by Mr. Lynch. Meals consisted of the usual Chesapeake Bay delicacies and, of course, Aberdeen Angus roasts of beef. A path led to our Beach. Across from the farmhouse, Mr. Lynch built a horse barn for his prize Belgian Draft horses.

Behind the horse barn was a tenant farm house, now carefully renovated and enlarged by the residents at 659 White Swan. Mr. Blank, the first overseer, lived there. Our present Barn was built for award winning Black Aberdeen Angus cattle in 1942 by Mr. Oden Smith, an uncle of one of our current residents, Mr. Len Burton (629 Breton Place). Mr. Lynch hired a Scotsman, Mr. William Duncan, to manage Ulmstead Point Farms. Mr. Duncan came to Ulmstead Point Farms after 10 years experience at the Outten Farm, Ellicott City, the experimental livestock station for the University of Maryland. He, his wife, and their three small sons, William, David and George, lived in a tenant house identical to the tenant house on White Swan; it was located close to the present day Barn. Carol, her husband, Wally, and daughter, Cindy, lived there before they built the Dutch colonial at 925 Placid Court. Mr. Henz Brown, a black man whom Mr. Lynch had known in Baltimore 30 years prior, lived in a house built for him in the present Quail Run Court. Mr. Lynch and Mr. Brown met again quite by accident on one of Mr. Lynch's walks around the area. Mr. Brown lived in a cabin just back of Anne's Market, the "Currier and Ives" stone house familiar to us on Shore Acres Road. Soon after that meeting, Mr. Brown came to live on the farm until his death.

A SEA CHANGE

Realizing that trucks crops had become bad business, Mr. Lynch decided to put the land in pasture. A full page story from the Southern Maryland Times, September 1947, praised Mr. Lynch's innovative approach to farming; the piece is titled: "Ulmstead Point Farm Improvements Cited by University of Maryland Livestock Advisor."

"...this property was a wasteland of brush and scrub pine in 1941, when its new owners, Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Lynch, determined to abandon the system of sharing truck crop losses with a tenant and put their land down in pasture. 'Truck crops are bad business. When you have to pay to dump your produce in the city garbage heap, you'd better try something new,' Mr. Lynch declared. 'We decided to give the tomatoes and cantaloupes to our friends rather than lose them at a flooded market. We determined to put the place in pasture and raise cattle.' The neighbors laughed that he could not grow grass in this light, sandy soil. Bulldozers cleared the pines and the soil was treated with lime and a crop of lespedeza was planted. The first year saw rich acres of the healthful legume. Three thousand chickens and two draft horses filled the livestock inventory and the water supply became critical. A watering system was initiated. Workers sank the shaft, ten feet in diameter and thirty-seven feet deep, in the treacherous sandy strata of this region. The well maintained an estimated 18,000 gallons at all times. Water was discharged through two filters into an 1,800 gallon storage tank and distributed through a pipe line two and one half miles long laid four feet underground. Sheep were brought in because they supplied valuable manure to improve the soil. But the sheep killed the grass of the sandy soil and began to die themselves. An autopsy disclosed enough sand in the digestive track to kill them. Then he brought in cattle seventy head of pedigreed Aberdeen Angus. A new cattle forage barn was built for them. The feeding racks were concrete troughs, fenced with welded steel pipe."

Ulmstead Point Farms became one of the largest Aberdeen Angus breeding farms in the state. Epponian of Ulmstead was the State and County grand champion bull in 1953.

Four saddle horses, belonging to Carol and Jack, were stabled in the large well designed horse barn. They included Landroute by Man O'War, a pretty little mare named Ulmstead Duchess, a five gaited horse known as Major and a pinto. Carol subsequently converted Major from a five gaited horse to a hunter. Mr. Lynch was much impressed with the Belgian breed of draft horses. He imported a stallion named Terrance Chancellor. This splendid roan stallion won the Grand Championship and other honors at the State Fair in Timonium in 1947.

In addition to Grand Champion Belgian Draft horses and Black Aberdeen Angus show cattle, Chester White hogs were raised on the farm. A stream of water was dammed up to make a lake behind the Barn. The pig pens were located near the site of our swimming pool. Mr. Duncan favored Chester White hogs for the size of shoulder, loin, and ham; the meat was lean and not as fat as most. The Ulmstead Point boar hog was Gangway; he won Senior Championship at the Timonium Fair in September, 1947. At the 1950 state fair, Ulmstead Point had nine Chester Whites in the show and took away seven first place and two third place ribbons as well as four Champion and two Reserve Champion ribbons. Not a bad record for nine hogs. The Chester White Journal gave credit to William, David, & George Duncan for their showmanship and interest, and to their parents for their support: "...Give these boys some Chester White hogs, some yellow corn, and some green pasture and they will change it all into purple ribbons."

Carol, an avid horsewoman, rode and walked every inch of the farm taking inventory of the many species of trees with her father and her cousin, Emanuel Fritz, President Emeritus Cal Berkeley, known as "Mr. Redwood".

Results of the Maryland State Fair at Timonium in September 1948: "Showing both Chester White hogs and Aberdeen Angus cattle, Mr. Charles Lynch of Ulmstead Point Farms, Arnold, carried off ribbons in both classes." The Maryland Gazette gave the results of the Eastern National Livestock Show at Timonium, Md. November 15-17, 1948: "...Painful Work - Carol Lynch of Ulmstead Point Farms and a member of Arnold 4-H club placed second in her class with her Angus steer. This is the first year Carol has been a 4H'er and the first time she has shown her steer in a big show. Competition is keen at the Eastern National since entries come from all states east of Colorado. That second place was not the result of a pretty girl parading a good looking steer before the judge. Weeks of hard work preceded the show on Carol's part and some of it was a little painful. Not long ago, while she was training her steer at home in preparation for the show, Carol got her toe soundly smashed when her steer stepped on it. This resulted in the loss of one toenail and the inconvenience of hobbling around on crutches for a time. By show time, however, she was in fine shape with a pair of reinforced shoes and led her steer right into the money. She also sold her steer for 39.75 cents a pound, the top price paid for county steers."

Many Aberdeen Angus Field Days were held at the farm: a festival with a cattle show & judging, swapping information on breeding and squeals of Scottish bagpipes calling hungry people to a lunch of beef on the spit. The June 24, 1948 Maryland Gazette covered one such field day held at Ulmstead Point Farm on Saturday, June 19, 1948: "...a. full Aberdeen Angus steer was barbecued and the tender, flavorful cuts of meat that resulted were no accident. The particular steer honored was specialty prepared for months, kept in a restricted pasture so as not to get exercise in order that the meat would be tender." The Gazette reported that more than 300 Southern Maryland breeders attended this biannual Maryland affair. During W.W.II German prisoners of war worked the soybean fields. When the war was over, Mr. Lynch took in a displaced Ukrainian family on the farm. Mr. Brown's house in Quail Run Court was enlarged for them. During the 1940's and 1950's the Boy Scouts camped out in the pine woods near Ulmstead Point.

Mr. Lynch and his son, Jack, loved hunting duck and quail on the property. After his death in 1958, the farm was stocked for a short time with pheasant for a hunting preserve. Mr. Duncan continued farming the property for another year after Mr. Lynch's death; then, the farm was dissolved.

MR. LYNCH THE MAN

Mr. Lynch was an active and involved Anne Arundel County citizen. After losing portions of fingers on his right hand in an unfortunate power saw accident here on the farm in June, 1948, Mr. Lynch was instrumental in the creation of a modem streamlined Anne Arundel General Hospital. He became the President of the Board of Managers of the hospital. He was instrumental in organizing the Anne Arundel County Trade Council in 1949; he was elected the council's president in 1949 and reelected in 1950. He developed Bayberry on the Magothy in the early 1950's and was a co-developer of Linstead on the Severn. He was the 1952-1957 Chairman of the newly organized Anne Arundel County Planning and Zoning Commission. He was awarded the Charles L. Pumphrey Memorial Award in 1957 by the Magothy River Association for having "made the most outstanding contribution or rendered the most significant service to the communities surrounding the Magothy River and the Severn River."

ULMSTEAD ESTATES

In 1963 Mrs. Lillian Lynch deeded Ulmstead Point Farms to two chartered corporations. Dixon Holding Company and Ulmstead Estates, Inc. for development as "Ulmstead Estates on the Magothy". The community property, beach, barn, paddock and docks, are described in the various plats of Ulmstead Estates in the land records of Anne Arundel County. Ulmstead Club, Inc. (UCI) was first chartered as a for-profit, stock corporation on April 29, 1965, by the developers, William Dixon, Joseph Swartz and Patricia Reilly. Five thousand shares of stock were issued; property owners became stockholders and began to participate in running the affairs of UCI.

On November 30, 1968 the developers signed an interim agreement which gave UCI use, management and control of the community facilities. On July 10, 1970 the facilities were formally leased to UCI on a yearly renewable lease until 75% of the lots were sold. In order to relieve UCI and its stockholders of tax liabilities, including potential real estate taxes on properties deeded to the Corporation, on November 10, 1972. the UCI Board of Directors adopted Articles of Amendment which changed the corporate status of UCI to a nonprofit corporation. Capital Stock was eliminated, all outstanding stock was redeemed and stockholders became "members" of UCI. UCI became a nonprofit corporation on December 5, 1972. On August 23, 1973 the community properties and improvements were deeded to UCL

UCI is a legally formed Maryland Corporation, with a specific charter to manage, control, and administer the properties for which it is the deeded owner. Community property ownership is held in common by its dues paying members. The 1993 assessed value of UCI community property is over $2 million and is obviously a major factor which makes Ulmstead Estates on the Magothy a very magical place to live.

The rest is familiar history!

Carol has generously donated pictures of Ulmstead Point Farms circa mid 1940's and pictures of the prize animals bred and raised on the farm. Copies of some will be on permanent display at the Barn; the remainder will become an archives file for Ulmstead Club, Inc.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Broadneck, Maryland's Historic Peninsula, published in 1976 by the Broadneck Jaycees.

Mr. Franklin B. Spriggs' letter of February 14, 1967: Franklin was the son of Frank 0. Spriggs and the nephew of Harry L. Spriggs. He served as the Arnold Postmaster from 1958 to 1967. His wife, Ruth, a dear neighbor of Ulmstead Estates, still lives in "Combination Defeated," their turn-of-the-century family home at 965 Bayberry. She came to live here in 1929 when she married Franklin. She is a niece of Mr. Henry Stainback.

Facts and memories related to me by Carol Perry, the daughter of Mr. Charles B. "Buck" Lynch and Mrs. Lillian Lynch, owners of Ulmstead Point Farms; and from Mrs. Lynch's scrap books containing numerous newspaper articles and photographs, now the property of granddaughter, Cindy Perry.

The Southern Maryland Times, dated 1947 & July, 6, 1950.

The Maryland Gazette, June 24. 1948 & November 18, 1948.

Kenny, Harnill, The Placenames of Maryland, Their Origin and Meanings 1984

Doris Luna
754 Carlisle Drive
November, 1994