Ferndale name connects area to Indian past NORTH COUNTY * Linthicum * Ferndale * Brooklyn Park* Pumphrey


September 13, 1993|By ROSALIE M. FALTER

A few columns ago, I asked why the community of Wellham changed its name to Ferndale in 1921. Several of our neighbors responded with information. Their information, together with my research at the Anne Arundel Historical and Genealogical Research Center, has provided some answers.

Indians who lived in the Ferndale area hundreds of years ago called it the valley or dale of ferns because of the luxuriant ferns that grew in low-lying marshy sections.

In the early 1900s, there were several large landowners in the area, including the Pumphrey, Cromwell and Wellham families. Wellham appears on the 1907 Maryland Geological Survey. The map also shows an area called Wellham Crossing, now part of the airport. This property, about 100 acres, was owned by the Wellham family.

Around 1917, a developer purchased some of the land and called it Ferndale Farms. The name appears on the 1920 U.S. Geological Survey.

In 1921, the Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad asked the Wellham family to change the name of Wellham, to avoid confusion between railroad stops at Wellham and Wellham Crossing. The family agreed, suggesting Ferndale, the name with Indian origins.

When gathering this information, I also learned a few other things about Wellham Avenue, a road in the community that still bears the family name. It originally was an unpaved serpentine road of packed sandy soil. The sand was of exceptional quality for mixing with cement to produce mortar, which was used to construct houses in the area. Local children played on the sandhills, often finding arrowheads.

I want to thank the following people who provided the above information: Harry A. Chaney, Bob Latini, Herbert Gray, Louise Layton and Louise L. Floyd. Another thank-you goes to Jack Mellon, a volunteer at the Historical and Genealogical Research Center at the Kuethe Library.


Good buys can be found at the annual Flea Market and Sale sponsored by the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society, set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the Benson-Hammond House on Aviation Boulevard and Andover Road.

More than 20 dealers will participate, selling antiques and collectibles. A few spaces are still available for $10. Refreshments, hot dogs and baked goods will be sold. Tours of the Benson-Hammond House will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call 768-9518.


Ferndale United Methodist Church will present an afternoon of food and fashion at La Fontaine Bleu Sept. 26. The fun begins at 1 p.m. with a luncheon, fashion show and crazy auction. Festivities will end at 5 p.m. No children will be admitted.

Fashions will be presented by the Dress Barn, Fashion Bug and Eddie Bauer. Anyone who purchases a sheet of tickets could win one of 100 items from the crazy auction table, including a porcelain doll, garden bench, week in Ocean City and limousine-escorted night on the town.

Proceeds will benefit church programs.

Tickets cost $17.50 and can be purchased by calling Janet Tyler at 766-3942 or Lisa Beall at 969-5793 by Sunday.


Linthicum Oaks residents are busy preparing for their annual Community Yard Sale, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Participants will set up tables in front of their homes. Posted signs will direct motorists to the community, located off Benton Avenue.

For additional information, call Kim Barnes at 859-0263.


The Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights will begin its year with an Opening Tea at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at the clubhouse, 110 N. Hammonds Ferry Road.

Congress has dubbed this year "The Year of the American Craft." To celebrate, club members will bring their handcrafted items to the meeting. Drop off crafts at the clubhouse between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today.

The Opening Tea is the traditional time for the club to welcome new members.

For more information, call Connie Perry at 859-0096.

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