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History of Quiet Waters Park

 
It is common knowledge that prior to becoming a park, Quiet Waters was a farm. However, the history of Quiet Waters extends several millennia into the past, with evidence of pre-historic aboriginal occupation. Upon the colonization of the Americas, Quiet Waters became a valuable plot of land, changing hands many times before its final ownership by Anne Arundel County. To completely understand the historical and pre-historical habitation of Quiet Waters it is necessary to look at the areas environmental condition as glacial recession marked the end of the last ice age, approximately 15,000 B.C.
At the end of the Pleistocene, the era of the last ice age, sea level was considerably lower than today, and the coastline of Maryland would have been located approximately 100 miles to the east. Although difficult to predict, the paleo-environment of the area was probably that of the sub-arctic, with open grassland interspersed with evergreen forests.
As sea level rose with glacial melt, the climate of the area changed, producing highly variable and unstable environmental conditions. Overtime these conditions began to stabilize, beginning in the Middle Archaic period (ca 6,500 B.C.), and continuing through the Late Archaic (ca. 3,000 B.C. to ca. 1,000 B.C.), and into the Early Woodland period (ca. 1,000 B.C. to ca. 400 A.D.). The evidence for the earliest occupation comes from two quartz Piscataway points and other artifacts dating to the Late Archaic period, coinciding with the stabilization of the areas climate. Aboriginal occupation of the area continued through the Woodland period, which lasted until 1600 A.D. During the Contact period, ca. 1600 A.D. to ca. 1700 A.D., it appears that local Indians were no longer located in the area, possibly due to the lack of fur to trade and disease. Thus, by the time European settlers began to consume land, there were very few natives in the area.
Prior to the establishment of Londontown, William Harness patented a piece of land in 1652, on the east side of Harness Creek, called Harness Estate. In 1701, Joseph Hill came into possession of 300 acres of the Harness Estate, which became known as Hill’s Delight. The northern tract of Harness Estate was sold to Jacob Lusby, and was called Little Harness Tract. All other transactions involving Little Harness Tract refer to the land as Level Estate. The property remained divided into two primary estates for over 200 years. Hill’s Delight continued to be sold, and divided throughout the 18th century, and most of the 19th century, until 1841, when the entire estate came into possession of William Rawlings.It is shortly thereafter that Rawlings probably built the caretaker’s residence, which was located just east of the present day Visitor Center. The estate continued to exchange hands throughout the 19th century and into the beginning of the 20th century. In 1918, Julian Harris purchased 217 acres of the property, called Laurel Banks Farm.
The Level Estate remained in the Lusby family throughout the 18th century, and exchanged hands several times in the beginning of the 19th century. In 1876, the property was conveyed to William Tuck, and remained in the possession of his family until 1909. During the 1930’s all of the property located west of what is now Hillsmere Drive came under ownership of The Simplicity Land Trust, owned by Mary E. Parker. In 1976 the entire holding was deeded to Mary Parker by the Simplicity Land Company, and then sold by her to the Mary E. Parker Foundation. On October 30 1987, the trustees of the foundation sold the property to Anne Arundel County. Visitors can see evidence of aboriginal and historical occupation by the remains of oyster shells throughout the park in concentrated sites. Many other artifacts can be found, but remember, leave only footprints and take only memories!
Information taken from A Phase I Cultural Resources Survey of Portion of Annapolis Neck Park by Robert F. Hoffman and Kenneth Baumgardt.
April 1989
 


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