Lake Waterford Park History
Waterford Location a Historical One
By: Walter B. Bockmiller Superintendent, Lake Waterford Park (written in 1967)
The property on which the county's first park at Lake Waterford, Pasadena, now stands along Route 648 near Waterford Road. dates historically back to two land grants of Lord Baltimore. One was known as "Gambriells Purchase" (from which the community name of Gambrills evolved) and the other, "Howard's Pasture."
In its other early stages, the park was part of a very early estate. The owner was Henry A. Williams, who was well respected. The land was formed by some of the preceding owners and an old mill there was used to grind grain. The mill, itself, was built in the 1700s and was used up until the year 1900. After it was torn down, the area became a hiding place for traveling vagrants. A road opposite the mill became known as "Old Mill Road" and the road became a landmark that is frequently noted in manuals on past surveying.
The land then was known as "Waterford Mill." The area was name for Elizabeth H. Water. who died Oct. 2, 1808. Only horse-drawn carriages and wagons would trod up the "old oyster road" (Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd.) past the site of the future county park. With the advent of the automobile came roads and Old Annapolis Rd. was paved, thus causing the dam's site to be moved to it's present location. In 1903, Louis Bauer purchased the property and erected a two-story on it. He farmed for awhile, but his living was made in Baltimore, working for a straw hat factory.
The last living grandson of Frank Bauer at the time of this writing is Herbert Bauer, 80, of Pasadena. He says that he used to leave his house in the morning, catch the old "Short line" (train) to Baltimore and work in the B&O Railroad building. Later, the house was torn down and a building was constructed to manufacture concrete blocks.
The last property owner was a family named Wolle, now of Glen Burnie. One member was director of the Druid Hill Park Zoo in Baltimore and he purchased the land to raise goldfish commercially. He also purchased various exotic plants from South America and planted them in the lake. After he died, his survivors set out to use the land as a private pleasure area for profit.
Buildings went up in 1927-1930. Several cabins were erected by WPA workers during those depression years. In the past, many countians have created fond memories on a Sunday at Lake Waterford and many more will now be enjoying it beauty.
The park off Route 648 boasts "a tremendous variety of trees". Nearby is the site of an old mill, built in the 1700s. Only the remains exist today because the mill was torn down.