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Roland Park Company records

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0504
The Roland Park Company was incorporated in 1891 in Baltimore, Maryland, and was known primarily as the developer of the Baltimore neighborhoods of Roland Park, Guilford, Homeland, and Original Northwood. The records date from 1865-1970 (bulk 1891-1960), and consist primarily of correspondence, including every day activities, sales, and management of land and resources. The collection also contains the governance and operational records of the Roland Park parent company and its subsidiaries; photographs; advertising; site plans; deeds and agreements; publications; and approval records.

Dates

  • 1865-1970 (bulk 1891-1960)
  • Majority of material found within 1891 - 1960

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

902.26 Cubic Feet (289 record center cartons, 1 flat box (20.5 x 14.5 x 1.5 inches), 1 flat box (15.5 x 12 x 3 inches), 5 oversize boxes (19 x 19 x 6 inches), 1 oversize box (37 x 25 x 6.5 inches), 174 Long boxes)

Biographical/Historical note

The Roland Park Company of Baltimore City was incorporated in 1891 as the result of the purchase of a one-hundred acre tract of property near Lake Roland in Baltimore, Maryland. The property was purchased by the investment firm Jarvis and Conklin on behalf of British investors, and the company was founded to develop this venture, with Edward H. Bouton of Kansas City installed as general manager. Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. was subsequently hired to design the subdivision thereafter known as Roland Park. Construction of homes began in 1892. In 1903 the British financiers sold the company to Bouton and a local group of investors.

In 1911 the company merged with the Guilford Park Company of Baltimore, acquired its land, and truncated the new entity as the Roland Park Company. The company retained the Olmsted Brothers firm to lay out the new subdivision of Guilford, which was formally opened in 1913 and later declared finished in 1925.

In 1924 the Roland Park Company acquired the tract of land known as Homeland, and began development soon after. They acquired another 520 acres in 1930 for a subdivision known as Northwood. After the acquisition of Northwood, the Roland Park Company branched out into commercial development and built the Northwood Shopping Center (later Northwood Plaza Shopping Center) on land bordering the new subdivision. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s the Roland Park Company acquired multiple subsidiary companies and managed other local real estate development projects through them.

In 1952, the Roland Park Realty Company acquired the brokerage and management business of the company. Seven years later, on December 31, 1959, the Roland Park Company liquidated. The second company president, John McConkey Mowbray, managed the liquidation of assets into the 1960s.

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of the records of the Roland Park Company from 1865-1970 (bulk 1891-1960), including the records of its presidents and subsidiary companies. The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence, mainly documenting the everyday business activities of the company, as well as individual correspondence files for certain employees and the company presidents Edward H. Bouton and John M. Mowbray, which can be both business-related and personal in nature. The collection also contains the governance and operational records of the Roland Park parent company as well as a significant number of its subsidiary companies, most notably the Northwood Shopping Center, Incorporated.

The collection also contains records related to specific functions of the company, particularly the management, development, and maintenance of its properties by the Engineering and Landscaping Department, and the sale of its real estate holdings by the Sales Department. Other functions represented by the collection are the design and approval of architectural plans and the legal documentation of the creation, mapping (platting), sale, transfer, and restrictions of property and property holdings.

Finally there are records relating to the advertising and publication of the company and its activities, represented by advertisement scrapbooks, periodical and book publications, and photographs of homes and property. Site plans, a general term referring to any plan that documents the structure, topography or engineering plans related to property, are also present.

Custodial History note

This collection was donated to the Cornell University Libraries in 1968 by John McConkey Mowbray, and later transferred to Johns Hopkins University in 2009.

Provenance

The records were transferred from Cornell University.

Bound volumes in the Periodicals series were transferred from the George Peabody Library in 2016.

Related Archival Materials note

Researchers should note other archival collections related to the Roland Park Company Records:

Roland Park Civic League (RPCL), 1903-1978. University of Baltimore, Langsdale Library.

Sponsor Information

This collection was processed with the support of a Cataloging Hidden Special Collections grant, funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Processing Information note

Processed by Valerie Addonizio in 2013, with prior contributions by Paige Glotzer, Rob Gamble, and Cornell University Libraries. Biographical information for Edward H. Bouton and John M. Mowbray contributed by Emily Burton and Eliza Harris, respectively.

The archivist referenced the file titled "Index of Books, Letters, Vouchers, etc. filed in the Basement of 4810 Roland Avenue" (in Series 4: John M. Mowbray President Files) in order to understand and represent the original order of the bulk of the collection.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA