May 13, 2007

As the French army of Lafayette marched through Harford County toward Virginia in the spring of 1781, two officers encountered "the most beautiful spot they had seen anywhere in America," on a hill overlooking Deer Creek.

Lt. Col. John Joseph Gimat and Capt. Angus Greme agreed to purchase the land and settle their families there after the Revolutionary War ended. With funding from Gimat, Greme purchased more than 800 acres between 1793 and 1796.

Although Gimat and his wife had since died in France, Greme arranged for the transfer of ownership of the property to their estate on May 15, 1800. Less than a month later, and before the disposition could be finalized, Greme died at 50. His widow, Mary F. Greme, and their four children resided on the property until 1822, when it was sold to Stevenson Archer on behalf of Gimat's heirs.

[Source: Some Landmarks of Colonial History in Harford County, Maryland by Charles D. Holland; research by Harford County Public Library]

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