Hayfields too valuable to develop

September 07, 1996

THE EDITORIAL ON the proposed development of the Hayfields farm on Aug. 28 is an insult to the people of Baltimore County. The editorial writer displayed monumental ignorance of the issues involved in the Hayfields farm proposed development. We do, however, wish to thank the writer for considering Catonsville and Essex property owners as part of North County, since protests of the Hayfield's development came from both of these areas.

It is indeed true that Hayfieldsalways was a historically significant property, but very few people today besides the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian from Princeton University knew the full extent of the historic significance during the Civil War.

The Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission did not learn of the Civil War significance until Aug. 13. None of us would have known of it if the volunteer testimony of a Civil War reenactor who had participated in the 1991 reenactment of part of the Confederate action of 1864 on the Hayfields farm . . . had not called it to our attention. More was known of Hayfields in 1864 than was generally known about Little Roundtop prior to the conclusion of the Civil War.

The editorial writer obviously has not read the opinion of the Baltimore County Board of Appeals, which limits the use of all of the historic buildings, except the manor house, to country club members only. The interior of all buildings will be remodeled for country club and golf course purposes with no semblance of their historic interior retained. Non-golfers will never know the historical significance and heritage of Hayfields farm. Some Civil War artifacts have been found at Hayfields. A complete historical study of the site should be performed before the bulldozers are turned loose to destroy the historic site forever. . . .

Richard W. McQuaid

Parkton

The writer serves on an ad hoc committee to preserve Hayfields.

Pub Date: 9/07/96

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