Harford History

Wheels and Deals on Winters Run

April 20, 2008

In the mid 1800s, the Hollingsworth family operated a sawmill and gristmill powered by the waters of Winters Run. By 1880, Joel C. Hollingsworth and his son Barclay had established the first company in the state to produce ready-made carriage wheels. Although they had access to water power and local timber, the coming of the automobile would soon make wooden wheels obsolete. The family turned its attention to another new technology: electricity. By raising the height of their dam on Winters Run, they increased the waterpower available to generate electricity, making their property attractive to J. Alexis Shriver, founder of the Electric Development Company of Harford County. A higher dam would flood land that the Hollingsworths did not own, however. On April 24, 1907, they purchased the property upstream from James H. Archer for $50 per acre. On that same date, they sold the property to Shriver for $3500.

Source: Harford Glen: An Outdoor Classroom and Preserve, by Jack L. Shagena.

Compiled by the staff of the Harford County Public Library

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