Memories still grow where crops once did Many are pleased by development in Timber Grove area

Neighborhood profile: Timber Grove

November 09, 1997|By Christopher Wolfe | Christopher Wolfe,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

There was a time when a small section of Owings Mills called Timber Grove was only a couple of roads, sparsely built with small, single-family houses.

That was more than 50 years ago.

Today, the Timber Grove name may live on maps, but the newly developed communities such as Timberscape, the Village of Timber Grove, Timber Chase and Academy Acres have overshadowed that traditional area.

The main difference between the residents of these communities is age.

"Timber Grove residents are mostly more established, middle-aged and retired persons, and Timber Grove Village is mostly young couples starting off," said Linda Weinstein, real estate agent for O'Conor Piper & Flynn.

Kenny Garret, who works at Timber Grove Elementary School, remembers growing up in old Timber Grove in 1960s. He remembers a time when all the children from the area went to the school.

He and his father still live a block from the school in one of the oldest homes in Timber Grove.

"The Timber Grove community started with two houses on Kendig Mill Road, and my house is one of the two. It was built in the 1940s.

"I went to Timber Grove Elementary School when I was a little boy, and I've just finished my 20th year working for the school."

"I'll never leave this community; I love it," added Garret, who noted that he's seen the area go from farmland to multifamily developments.

"Before all these new homes were built, there was only one road from Reisterstown Road to my house," Garret said.

"My father knew the guy who pitched hay on the farm where Timber Grove Elementary School stands today."

While Garret may be nostalgic, many of the neighbors who have moved in during recent years lean toward the names of the more modern subdivisions that have sprouted around the original Timber Grove.

"There used to be more houses considered to be in the Timber Grove community, but those residents of those houses identified their homes with Timberscape when it was built next to Timber Grove," said Linda Smith, PTA president of Franklin Middle School.

Marty Alston, who lives on Carissa Court, says she knows she lives in the heart of old Timber Grove, but prefers to identify with the newer development of Timberscape. She reasons that, since there is no official Timber Grove sign or official community association for Timber Grove, it makes more sense to affiliate "with the large Timberscape neighborhood sign. I tell people I live in Timberscape."

New roads appreciated

She added: "I don't mind all of the development around my home. My family has lived here for 10 years and we like the changes. Especially the new roads and homes. They help build the Owings Mills community."

Garret agreed that development has made life a little easier.

"My sister lives in a development just outside of Timber Grove," Garret said. "I like the convenience of living near her. I like the new roads, too. Bonita Avenue used to be the only road I could use to leave my neighborhood. Now I can leave driving the wider Owings Mills Boulevard."

But with development comes a downside, according to Phyllis Bloom, vice president of the Parent Teacher Student Association of Franklin High School.

She said the "massive development and population explosion" have led to overcrowding in the schools.

Critic of growth

Students from the area also attend Reisterstown Elementary, then feed into Franklin Middle School.

"This is progress?" said Elsie Bowers, who lives on Kearney Road in old Timber Grove. "I have lived in Owings Mills since 1938. I really don't like developments, but what choice do I have."

Peggy Harris, a staff worker in the Owings Mills office of O'Conor, Piper and Flynn, says the Village of Timber Grove has perfectly suited her lifestyle.

"I have lived [there] since I've been divorced, and I love it," said Harris, who bought a condominium five years ago.

"The condos here are catching a lot of empty-nesters. For me, Timber Grove Village is a community that joins younger people with older people.

"I love that I can see children playing outside my window every afternoon."

Timber Grove

Population: 4,301

Commuting time to downtown Baltimore: 30 minutes

ZIP codes: 21117, 21136

Public schools: Timber Grove Elementary, Reisterstown Elementary, Franklin Middle School, Franklin High School.

Shopping: Reisterstown Shopping Center, Cherryvale Shopping Center

Points of interest: Timber Grove Pool, Sunshine Playground

Average price of a single-family home: $145,000*

* Based on eight sales during last 12 months by the Metropolitan Regional Information System.

Pub Date: 11/09/97

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